Dubai is a fun and frivolous playground on the Persian Gulf, but don’t consider it the Vegas of the Middle East. While this eclectic city is one of the most permissive, relaxed, cosmopolitan destinations in the region, you do have to watch your behavior to some degree. What’s considered appropriate in your home country may be inappropriate if not illegal here, so bone-up on the local rules before visiting. Cross the line and the consequences may be dire. In fact, many a foreigner has been thrown in jail for unwittingly committing an offense. Don’t be alarmed or put off, however. Just adhere to some basic guidelines and cultural sensitivities and you can have a good time without offending anyone or breaking any local laws. Here are 12 definite things not to do when in Dubai.
1. Don’t Drink in Public
Dubai is one of the most liberal locations in the Muslim world when it comes to booze consumption. However you have to respect the rules, be discreet and not cross the line or you could be in big trouble. Foreign residents are allowed to drink alcohol at home if they obtain a license. You can get this online or at a bottle shop, but you’ll need permission from your employer. Travelers and expats can also imbibe at licensed hotels, but don’t overdo it. Public inebriation is not tolerated here, so go easy on that all-you-can-drink champagne brunch, nightclub or bar binge. Once you step out of the venue and appear even slightly tipsy you may be charged. And, please, never ever drive while under the influence. They’ll throw the book at you, so this is definitely one of the things not to do in Dubai.