Dubai is a dream destination for many, and understandably so. This place is like a luxurious mirage in the middle of a desert, except it’s not a mirage, it’s real. It’s beautiful, mesmerizing and very expensive. Why? Well, there are rooftop bars, rooftop pools, rooftop tennis courts and anything you can and can’t imagine on a rooftop. There’s also man made islands and a skyline so gorgeous New York pales in comparison. You can find the best haute couture and designer shops here and the trendiest, newest, most expensive cars. The only downside? You have to abide by the Sharia laws. So let’ take a look at some of the things you might want to do, but definitely shouldn’t if you don’t want to end up jail.
Cursing is a big no-no in Dubai. In most western countries cursing is just a part of life. No one will be surprised by you dropping an F bomb in Europe or America, but in Dubai you might actually get arrested for swearing. Same goes for blasphemy. So it’s best not to curse while you’re there.
We’ve mentioned that Dubai has the newest most luxurious cars. And yes, you can rent them for a drive along the gorgeous streets. But as with everything, Dubai has very strict driving rules and even the slightest speeding, tailgating or even something as harmless as flashing your lights just for show could result in a very expensive fine. So it’s better to just take a cab, after all, those are also fancy as hell here.
3. Showing Too Much Skin
You don’t have to be completely covered, but do consider that Dubai is used to modesty. There’s a courtesy policy which requires you to wear respectable clothes. No short shorts, no crop tops and no micro dresses. And it’s not just women who are affected by these rules. Men also aren’t allowed to be shirtless no matter how hot it gets. So you now, think “would my mother/grandma approve of this outfit?” and you’ll probably be ok.
Dubai is known for its incredible nightlife, and yes, that means bars and clubs where you can drink alcohol. However, you can only drink in the designated places, and nowhere else. So like if you’re thinking of having a beer on the beach or just as you’re walking down the street – it’ll get you in trouble. Same goes for walking around the city while being drunk – not a good idea. If you’re acting drunk – you might get arrested or fined.
This might be weird for westerners, but kissing or even holding hands in public is frowned upon in Dubai. So if you love public displays of affection you might want to cool it down while you’re here. And if you like making out with people in clubs – forget it! You risk jail time if you do this. A couple has been arrested in Dubai and jailed for 3 months for getting all hot and heavy at the beach. On the plus side – gawking at women is also forbidden, so for once you’ll be treated with respect by men.
6. LGBTQ+ Pride
It’s unfortunate, but showing any signs of being a part of the LGBTQ community will get you in trouble in Dubai. While it looks like a very modern city, it’s got very old fashioned and traditional values, so being gay here is illegal and punishable by law. So if you want to stay out of jail you might want to keep your personal beliefs and sexual orientation to yourself while you’re in Dubai.
Smoking isn’t exactly prohibited in Dubai, it’s just very limited to certain areas. Most business centers will have designated smoking areas, and you’re also allowed to smoke in cars, as long as you don’t throw the cigarette out of the window. However, smoking in public areas, in or next to shopping malls, government buildings is not allowed. So if you enjoy smoking on a leisurely stroll through the city – you’re out of luck.
Drugs are illegal in most countries, but trust us when we say no one takes it as seriously as Dubai. In Dubai you will end up in jail if you’re caught selling, buying, using or just having drugs on you or in your system. And that’s your best case scenario. Worst kind scenario is death penalty.
9. Taking Photos
Dubai is very impressive and you’ll definitely want to take thousands of pictures wherever you go, but you should keep in mind that it’s considered rude to take pictures of people without asking their permission first. So while you’re free to snap away as many pictures of the incredible architecture as you want – make sure not to include any locals in your pics.
Last but not least – you should be very careful when bringing medicine over the border. As you know, Dubai takes drugs seriously, and all sorts of recreational drugs are prohibited here. In fact, their rules are so strict that some of your cough medicine or painkillers might also be on the list of illegal meds here, so it’s best to be thorough and check what you can and can not bring here, even if it’s something so harmless as ibuprofen.