Dubai is one of seven Emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates. As part of the GCC (Gulf Cooperative Council) the UAE is a Muslim country, however; it is probably one of the most liberal of all the countries. That said, there are some faux-pas that should be avoided when traveling to Dubai. We recommend the following travel tips to ensure a hassle free stay in the Emirate:
Dress in Dubai is a bit more conservative and it does have a local dress code. That is not to say that bikinis and swimwear is not commonplace; however, such attire should be restricted to the beach and swim areas, and not openly in public. Topless sunbathing is not permitted, and we suggest you leave the thong at home. In addition, men are expected to wear shirts, and short skirts and revealing tops for women are not considered appropriate attire for public venues such as shopping malls, and are highly frowned upon.
Food and Alcohol
Alcohol is permitted in Dubai and can be purchased at the Duty Free Shop upon entry into the country. There is a limit, however, of four bottles per person. In order to purchase alcohol from the supermarkets or liquor stores one must be a resident with a valid alcohol license. But alcohol is readily available in most hotels and the bars, nightclubs, and restaurants affiliated with these hotels.
It is important to note that it is prohibited to consume alcohol on the streets and there is a zero tolerance for drinking and driving. The penalties for a DUI range from large fines, to imprisonment and even lashings and deportation. So just don’t do it.
In addition there are times, such as the religious holiday month of Ramandan where alcohol is not served in public facilities Also during this time, eating (or smoking) in public before sundown is a major no-no. Many restaurants are closed during daylight hours, although most hotels and malls have at least one restaurant that is open to discretely serve guests. If this is an important factor to you please check before booking your holiday to ensure your dates do not conflict with these times.
Being caught with recreational drugs in Dubai, whether yours or you are trafficking them, has very serious consequences. Dubai has absolutely no tolerance for drug offenses and their law are as stringent as many other Asian countries (The ‘Bangkok Hilton’ comes to mind.) So, don’t even think to try and smuggle such substances into the country.
Dubai also has regulations regarding controlled substances. If you taking any prescription medicines that contain a controlled substance you may want to verify ahead of time whether your prescription is on their restricted list. Even medicines such as Tylenol 3 which contains codeine are restricted, and some narcotics require prior approval by the Ministry. So it is always advisable to check beforehand. Should you need to travel with medication that is regulated in Dubai, it is advisable to carry only the necessary amount needed for your travel (not to exceed 3 months) along with a letter from your physician.
As an Islamic country, the United Arab Emirates, including Dubai is governed by Sharia law, and the laws regarding relations out of wedlock are quite strict. It is highly recommended that unwed couples traveling together to the Emirate make arrangements for separate accommodations.
In addition, major public displays of affection should be avoided as they could be considered offensive to the local populace, and homosexuality is not permitted in any part of the UAE.
There are some things that are illegal to bring into Dubai. The following is a list of some of those forbidden items:
· Religious Propaganda and Materials
· Unstrung Pearls (except for personal use)
· Raw Seafood (Dubai and Sharjah)
· Fruits and Vegetables from Cholera-Infected Areas
Here are Some Additional Suggestions and Dubai Travel Tips to Help You Plan Ahead
We advise you to check with your insurance carrier or travel insurance to ensure you are fully covered for medical treatment should it be required. Hospitals are generally well equipped with state-of-the-art treatment, as are pharmacies. And there are doctors and specialists available in all fields of medicine. However, treatment, hospitalization and evacuation (if necessary) can be quite costly.
Although most of the North American, European, and South West Pacific nationalities can obtain a 60-day tourist entry visa upon arrival, there are still a number of nationalities that require obtaining a valid visa before arriving. It is always advisable to check with your local embassy for your specific visa requirements. You do not want to be refused entry for not having the proper documentation.
The local currency of Dubai is the United Arab Emirates Dirham (UAE Dhs., also referred to as AED). There are many international banks, such as Lloyds and HSBC and ATMs are abundantly found in most major hotels and malls. It is not advisable to conduct any monetary conversions on the streets, as there is no guarantee that the notes are real and not counterfeit.
While visiting Dubai you can drive on an International Driver’s License, however, if you become a resident you will need to apply for a Dubai driving license. If you have an accident, remain with your car in the exact place where the accident happened and call the police who will handle the accident in accordance with local laws.
We hope you’ve found these Dubai travel tips helpful. Should you have additional questions or would like additional information, feel free to visit us at www.dubaishortstay.com where you can contact our representatives 24/7 via Live Chat or call us at 971 4 4214988.
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