Dubai is one of the favourite destinations in the world perfect for all types of holiday. Be it an adventure escape, a romantic interlude or a fun-filled family holiday, Dubai welcomes each and every guest with plentiful options in the sightseeing, adventure sports, and remarkable recreational experiences. However, as with any destination, one must take into consideration certain facts for a comfortable travel experience and understand what is unlawful and what can seem offensive to the locals of that particular destination. As the famous saying goes ’When in Rome, do as the Romans do’, in Dubai you need to follow it sternly in order to have a pleasant vacation. It is essential to follow rules in Dubai as the emirate is also highly influenced by Islamic laws. If you are travelling to Dubai for the first time, here are some essential points you should keep in mind before you apply for a Dubai visa online and plan your holiday trip.
Keep in mind the best time to visit Dubai
Dubai, a desert land is mostly known for its monotonous climate. It is mostly hot throughout the year with temperatures spiking up during summer months. In short, the weather is typically hot or hotter. It is essential to do your homework on when to visit Dubai as its summer months are unbearably scorching. The climate change can be particularly agonizing if you are used to cooler climates. Plan your visit between October and April when the temperature descends to a pleasant warmth. This is the time when you wouldn’t have to face the harsh heat of the desert and can indulge in outdoor activities without worrying about sunstroke. Other months of the year in Dubai witnesses a sharp slash in prices and can feel like a good time for a budget-friendly holiday, but then you would have to spend most of your days in Dubai indoors, getting away from the sweltering sun.
Book your services in advance
The mellowed weather in Dubai during October to April allure hordes of tourists which makes it the peak season period of Dubai tourism. This is also the period when Dubai gears up for its annual festivals and events to entertain its guests and capture more tourists’ influx during its high season. This is why you would need to book hotels, flight tickets and restaurant reservations in advance to avoid any disappointments on your holiday. If you have a particular hotel or resort in mind where you would prefer to spend your stays in Dubai, you need to keep a lookout for availability as most popular hotels get sold out swiftly for peak seasons. Hence, it would be better if you book your hotel stays three to four months before your travel date to avoid any inconveniences. Flights also get full and tickets are sold out quickly during cooler months. The same goes for high-end and popular restaurants where it wouldn’t be easy to make a spontaneous reservation on the night you prefer to dine at your choice of swanky fine dining restaurant during the bustling tourist season in Dubai.
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Strict laws against drug use
The United Arab Emirates has one of the longest lists of banned substances in the world and it has absolutely zero tolerance policy against drug use. One main travelling to Dubai rule is that drugs are strictly prohibited and not allowed within the emirate. You could land in serious trouble if you are caught with traces of drugs on you. There have been cases where unaware visitors have been detained just for having poppy seeds scattered on clothing and bags. Even if someone is not in possession of narcotics, having traces of drugs in urine or blood testing also accounts as “possession” under UAE law. Even certain medicines are listed under drugs and you would require a doctor’s prescription to carry them with you while entering Dubai. Hence one of the important things to know about Dubai before visiting is its list of banned goods and drugs. If found guilty, you may have to pay a hefty sum as a penalty or sentenced to jail.
Respect the culture and locals
Dubai being an Islamic destination has a conservative cultural scene. There are certain norms and customs you should take into consideration while visiting Dubai which in turn will benefit you to have a hassle free Dubai trip. Always consider the comfort of the locals around you; irking them and a complaint to the local police against you can attract trouble for you. Dubai does not encourage loud noises, music, and processions on streets and public areas. Stay away from swearing and public display of affection even as little as holding hands in public as these are considered offensive to locals. While taking photographs in public places, it is better to ask permission to avoid any unnecessary issues. Taking photographs of locals especially of women without consent, any government buildings, airports and military sections can land you in trouble with the authorities.
Dubai does not have a strict dress code but it is essential that visitors dress modestly to avoid any problems. Women travellers should be aware of what to wear and which apparel is considered inappropriate in Dubai. Apart from certain hotels and designated spots, it is essential to cover shoulders and knees, especially at public arenas. Men too are not allowed to roam shirtless or in sleeveless attires. While visiting a mosque, women should cover their head and the attire should cover their legs. It is best to carry a shawl or a cardigan among things you need for Dubai city tour if you are not sure of the dress code at public spots and malls.
Be careful where you are drinking alcohol
Unlike other emirates of UAE, Dubai doesn’t have strict bans on consuming alcohol. But there are restrictions on when and where to drink. In Dubai alcohol is allowed in designated restaurants, private clubs, and hotels that have a license to serve alcohol. Even if you plan to have a drink with your friends and chill at a licensed hotel or bar, you should not leave the premises in a drunken state as public drunkenness is an offence in Dubai. Dubai is very strict about drunk driving and consuming liquor in public areas and beaches. Publicly consuming alcohol can lead to six months of imprisonment and heavy penalties.
Show respect during Ramadan month
It is probably best to avoid visiting Dubai during Ramadan month as it is very little you can explore and experience during that period. If you are planning to visit Dubai during the Ramadan month, you have to consider following the customs of Ramadan month which mainly involves not eating or chewing in public during the fasting hours. The locals practice fasting for a month between sunrise and sunset and everyone irrespective of religion is bound to respect the custom by not eating and drinking in public. Most of the restaurants will be closed during these time, some remain open behind closed screens. However, it is best to refrain from eating in public and respect the traditions of holy Ramadan month.
Hey Friends, I am Shivam Khandelwal. I am a restless soul. The only time I am sitting still is when I am reviewing all the various places I’ve travelled. Yes, I love to travel, shop, eat good food, and write about it. I am truly living a blessed life and will continue to share my experiences with you. Let’s stay in touch!
Thank you for the write up on Dubai. I am resident here for some time now. It is nice and the weather as you said can be pretty overwhelming, but it has some positives. Dressing is an important point to bring up as people can go overboard with their dressing styles. Dubai is pretty accepting of most styles, but people need to remember where they are. Some people with saris can also draw issues due to the exposure of a large portion of the mid section of the torso. Especially when visiting Sharjah, it is better to wear saris with less mid section on display. dresses are fine if they are not micro mini, depending on where you are. Malls are not night clubs. PDAs are best avoided. Also, when you see an accident avoid rubbernecking. There has been an incident where a couple took a video and posted it online. The voyeurism is best avoided
Thanks for sharing these tips, Louise.
Thank you 🙂