Public Behaviors in UAE: Tips for Newcomers

Public Behaviors in UAE: Tips for Newcomers

A recent research study published that, 72% of the expats lack the knowledge of local customs and tradition, in UAE. Even 1/3rd of the 2000 respondents surveyed said, anytime they want to know more about local culture. Due to this kind of complacency and ignorance of the country’s moral boundaries, results in increasing of the incidents, where expats falling foul of the law and many expats are enduring court trials, confronting social embarrassment and also suffering a long list of inconveniences just for not knowing the rules. Below are 6 rules, which are often cropped-up in cases, where the expats, though claim ignorance of the law but not able escaped its effects.

No Kissing, No Touching:

Hand-holding may be considered, but kissing/petting is not. Expect a shoulder-tapping or a correcting-finger, that reminds you to abide by local customs, it’s inappropriate on deeming this behaviour.

No Swearing/Making of Indecent Gestures:

In many tourist guide-books, “No swearing and no indecent gesturing” is a warning, since it’s forbidden in UAE. The unaware foreign visitors/residents, in the past, have been fined/imprisoned for expressing themselves, the ways like giving the finger, pulling out your tongue and even little-bit of aggressive hand-moving are all considered as indecent and are un-appreciated. Moving of thumb up/down, for catching a hitch-hike is not done and pointing at something/someone is impolite.

No Taking Pictures of Others Without Permission:

A photographer can be dragged to court, if any person got captured on camera in any public place in UAE, even if it is done by any innocent/unaware tourist. Especially, women or families are sensitive on this issue, which may result in fine.

Disrespecting any Religion:

In UAE, the religious values are widely respected, so committing any blasphemy or sacrilege, against any religion is highly offensive. As Islam is the official religion, in order to avoid misunderstanding and showing respect, some simple rules are followed which states the Code of Conduct. The rules to aware-of like, if any newspaper contains the name of a prophet (PBUH) never use for wrapping anything, never disrupt the sound of prayer call in any obvious way and during Ramadan the rules are different altogether.

No Sharing Private Space with Opposite Sex:

Any sharing of private spaces like, house, room, hotel-room and even car, with a member of opposite sex, who is not related by family-ties or marriage, is strictly forbidden. However, there are certain tolerable behaviours like, hotel reservations are easily available for unmarried couples looking for sharing a room, single men and women sharing a villa, apartment and even room. Punishments depends based on the situation.

No Indecent Clothing:

The clothing guidelines may affect the unsuspecting residents on decency law in UAE. The guidelines say, that the shorts and skirts should be of appropriate length and not to indecently expose parts of the body, not transparent and not even displaying of obscene/offensive pictures/slogans. Rules are more lenient in beaches, where swimwear is accepted but should be appropriate and top-less sunbathing or thong-wearing is not aloud.


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