Laws in Dubai that Tourists Might Not be (but must be) Aware of

Laws in Dubai that Tourists Might Not be (but must be) Aware of

The world is witnessing Dubai’s rapid growth and it is turning into one of the most sought- after destinations for tourists around the world. Even though this is the case, many travelers, especially from the Western countries, think twice before planning a vacation in Dubai as it is portrayed to be extremely conservative. But, if you can keep just a few points in mind regarding the laws in Dubai, this place can offer you the most unforgettable vacation of your life time.

Respect the culture of the place you are visiting

Something every traveler visiting another country should keep in mind is that you are there to experience their culture and not to give them a cultural shock. When most countries might be lenient on tourist laws, Dubai is definitely not one of them. As an Islamic country, Dubai has laws that are thoroughly intertwined with religion and that is why it becomes extremely important to be sensitive about the rules they have in place.

Laws around Alcohol

Consuming alcohol is not illegal in Dubai, if you know the answers to where and when. The legal age for alcohol consumption is above 21. If you are a tourist, you can drink from licensed venues like restaurants, bars, clubs etc. Buying alcohol in Dubai requires a liquor license, so if you are tourist, you wouldn’t be able to buy alcohol from general stores and supermarkets. Consuming alcohol in public is a strict no and you may be fined or even jailed if it comes to the notice of authorities.

Dubai is a country that values life. Thus, there is a zero tolerance policy for drinking and driving. Even with the smallest amount of alcohol in your system you would have to pay hefty fines.

Regarding drugs

Can you get away with drugs in Dubai? The answer is a very plain straight NO. Consuming drugs or carrying them, even if you are travelling from one country to another and transiting through Dubai airport, can bring you 4 year jail time and deportation. Buying or selling narcotics would buy you life time imprisonment. So, before you travel to Dubai, make sure that you check the UAE embassy website for details as even some medicines, accepted in other countries, that have psychotropic substances are also illegal in Dubai.

If you have prescribed medicines, such as painkillers or anti depressants, you need to carry a prescription and doctor’s note containing specific information regarding your condition, dosage, period of travel, duration of consumption etc. To have a relaxed journey, it would be much better to consult your UAE embassy or lawyers in Dubai and get prior permission from the authorities to carry your prescribed medicines.

How to dress in Dubai?

Dubai has strict dress code that needs to be followed in public places like shopping malls, parks and restaurants. Clothes that are too revealing would get you reported and cause you trouble. It is advised to wear clothes that cover your arms and legs. Swim wears are allowed in beach, water parks and swimming pools, but not anywhere outside these areas.

Dancing your heart out in Dubai

You can dance when you are in your own private space or at licensed clubs and events. Dancing in public places would cause trouble as it is considered to be inappropriate.

Mind your language when you are in Dubai

Using cuss-words and swearing in Dubai will not be taken lightly if reported. It is a serious offense which can cause imprisonment and deportation.

Unmarried couples

A sexual relationship outside marriage is illegal in Dubai, so is cohabiting. However, most hotels in Dubai, especially the luxury hotels, don’t enforce “only married couple” rule. But it would be safe to refer to your partner as your husband/wife to avoid unpleasant situations.

Gay and lesbian travelers should be extremely careful as homosexuality is considered to be a criminal offense and display of public affection would get you deported. Public display of affection is generally not tolerated according to the laws in Dubai, even for married couple. Kissing and hugging in public are considered to be indecent behavior.

The holy month

During the holy month of Ramadan, everyone who is a follower of the Islamic religion would fast from dawn to sundown. Eating and drinking in public places during this time is an offense. Partying or playing loud music during the period of fast is also not allowed. Anyway, some hotels and shopping malls would have screened spaces where non-Muslims can eat.

As far as you can follow these rules, you can have an amazing time in Dubai, memorable for all the right reasons. Make sure that you read more to stay updated with the laws of your period of travel and don’t hesitate to get help from the embassy when you need any clarification.