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Here are 7 things you should never dare do while in Dubai

A general view of the luxury Burj al-Arab Hotel at Jumeirah area in Dubai, UAE December 9, 2015.
  • Every year millions of tourists fly to Dubai to go enjoy sun, sand, and sea among a host of other fun activities.
  • Although Dubai is a fun and calm destination, having so much to offer, never mistake the city being the Las Vegas of the Middle East.
  • Dubai is infamous for its stringent laws that have landed quite a couple of people in prison.

In recent years, Dubai has emerged as one of the top tourist destinations in the world. Every year millions of tourists fly to Dubai to go enjoy Sun, Sand, and Sea among a host of other fun activities.

Africans haven’t been left behind and more and more of them are now raking in thousands of miles travelling to Dubai to go experience desert safaris and ‘eat life with a big spoon.’

However, although Dubai is a fun and calm destination, having so much to offer, never mistake the city to be the Las Vegas of the Middle East. The City is infamous for its stringent laws that have landed quite a couple of people in prison.


The old adage that goes “If you go to Rome, do what the Romans do?” best describes Dubai too. Every city in Dubai is guided by rules and regulations which are expected to be obeyed and followed by residents and anybody travelling to that city.

Failure to adhere to these social rules will attract penalties in the form of an instant fine, jail, or even deportation.

Considering that, here are 7 things you should be caught dead doing in Dubai

1. Don’t dare swear like a sailor


After paying a dime to fly to Dubai you may feel like everyone owes you a little respect and even a pat on the back. Well, leave that entitlement to your friends and village mates back home.

Should you feel someone is disrespecting you or even looking at you disdain, don’t fall for the need to remind them otherwise, walk away and go blow steam in the desert.

Dubai is very conservative when it comes to bad language. Swearing, profanities, insults and "all kind of vulgar language" are considered obscene acts - as is making rude gestures - and offenders can be fined or jailed.

2. Don’t go crazy with public photos


I know after saving for years the temptation to click away like crazy in order to drive your friends back home green with envy may be too much.

However, you need to understand that taking random pictures of people (especially women and children) without consent in public is "strictly frowned upon", as is randomly addressing women in public.

When caught taking pictures and videos of people without their consent, your camera or phone will be confiscated, pictures deleted, and you will be asked to pay a fine or spend some days in jail.

3. If you don’t have a marriage certificate, don’t dare sleep with your better half


If you want your stay in Dubai to end quickly before you even say Timbuktu then go ahead and sleep with your better half or anyone of the opposite sex.

Having canal knowledge with someone you’re not married to is unlawful in Dubai. It doesn’t matter whether or not you’re in a relationship with the person.

4. Don’t dare drink alcohol in public


If you really want to see the inside of a Dubai prison then pop open that inviting cold beer bottle and proceed to down it. It’s not prohibited to drink alcohol in Dubai. What is illegal is drinking in public; as well as being drunk in public. Alcohol should be bought at licensed places.

5. Go easy on public affection

Dubai’s public decency law does not permit unmarried members of the opposite gender to display public affection – even in bars and clubs. Passionate kissing and fondling are frowned upon in public places.

6. Mind your dress while in Dubai


Its Dubai we are talking here so this goes without saying while in Dubai do as ‘Arabs’ do and try to dress conservatively.

Short and revealing clothes are deeply frowned upon and seen as a form of disrespect so they should be avoided at all times.

7. Don’t dare unleash the ‘Michael Jackson’ in you at a public place


Should the spirit of Michael Jackson hit you while in a public space and you feel like unleashing his best move, don’t fall for it. Please hold tightly to your seat or the nearest railing and pray that his ghost floats away and leave you in peace.

In Dubai dancing is only allowed in the privacy of your home or at licensed clubs failure to which you will be quickly catered away like a sack of potatoes to the nearest police cell.


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