Things Not to Do in Dubai: Do Not Go to the UAE without Knowing These Rules


After several high-profile arrests and regular fines, many UAE travelers began to ask what can and cannot be done in Dubai? We want to answer this question in today’s article, which contains all the laws in Dubai for tourists. Be sure to comply with them if you do not want to pay a fine or even be deported.

Things Not To Do In Dubai

Things Not to Do in Dubai

Drug Use in Public Places

Dubai has strict laws regarding drug use in public places. The import of drugs and sales in Dubai is also prohibited. If you are caught by the police, then you may be in big trouble. The minimum punishment you would receive is 4 years in prison. But there were cases when people were sentenced to death. Therefore, do not tempt your fate, Dubai is definitely not a place to experiment.

Drinking Alcohol in Public or Unauthorized Places

It is strictly forbidden to drink alcohol in public places, as well as in establishments without an appropriate license. If you want a drink in Dubai, do it in your room, a suitable bar or club. Another rule related to alcohol in the UAE is the ban on drunk walks. If you have a drink, stay at the hotel.

Display of Love in Public Places

Display of Love in Public Places

While the Emirates is a favorite destination for honeymooners, tourists should be aware that public displays of affection are unacceptable. Although this law in Dubai seems weird to us, even a kiss in a public place can lead to jail time for a couple. This policy also applies in bars and clubs, so if you go on vacation with your significant other, do not forget this rule. Even ordinary hugs with the opposite sex are not welcome.

Take Pictures of Local People without Permission

According to cybersecurity laws, it is a crime to photograph people without their consent, especially if you photograph women. If there are a couple of people in your photos, be careful when posting photos on social networks, as you can be sued.

Filming the Sheikh’s palace, mansions, and government buildings is also prohibited. Shops usually do not allow filming a video, in the subway you need to ask the employees – they may be allowed.

Staying in a Hotel When You Are below 18 Years

According to the laws, you cannot stay at a hotel in Dubai if you are under 18 years old. You must always be accompanied by an adult during your stay. This is probably the only reason not to visit Dubai if you want to come here on your own after graduating from high school.

Drink or Eat during the Holy Month of Ramadan

Drink or Eat during the Holy Month of Ramadan

When talking about what not to do in Dubai, you must not forget about this rule. According to the rules of fasting, a Muslim must abstain from food, drink, and smoking during the day. For this reason, even guests should not violate the established order when staying in public places. This rule does not apply to hotels, where tourists can dine at a convenient time for themselves in specially designated places.

Don’t Use Your Left Hand When Greeting People

The fact is that before there was toilet paper and flush, the left hand was used for “cleaning”. Although circumstances have changed, many residents still consider left-handed greetings to be obscene gestures. This also applies to giving something to someone or opening a door. Those who are left-handed are encouraged to try themselves in both hands to show due respect to the locals.

Public Swearing

When communicating in public places or with locals, be sure to monitor your speech. Keep all slang with you and avoid swearing and vulgar words when visiting Dubai. Especially if you are commenting on something about Islam or Muslims. This is a punishable offense because of which you can even go to jail. Also, on the streets in the UAE, it is forbidden to speak loudly, shout or gesticulate. In the understanding of locals, this is uncivilized.

Do Not Stay in a Hotel Room with Your Significant Other Unless You Are Married

Do Not Stay in a Hotel Room with Your Significant Other Unless You Are Married

It is forbidden for people who are not married to stay together in the hotel room. Moreover, even simple cohabitation can lead to a fine, deportation, or imprisonment. So when you go on vacation to Dubai with your lover, make sure you stay in different rooms.

Women-Only Carriages

In the UAE, there are special train carriages for women and children only, which are forbidden for men to enter. You can easily distinguish them from the rest – they are of pink color and have pointers. If you accidentally enter a women’s carriage, you will not be fined at first, but maybe given a verbal warning. But in any case, seeing an empty pink carriage, do not be tempted to sit there.

If there is no free space on public transport for both of you, just give it to your girlfriend, but do not sit her on your lap – this gesture is considered a serious violation of law and order.

Open Clothes on Women

Even though there are no laws in Dubai that oblige tourists to wear closed clothes and cover their heads, we still advise you to dress modestly to show respect for the moral principles of the host country. Please note that girls who are inappropriately dressed may not be allowed into shops and attractions. It is also prohibited to wear swimwear outside the beaches and pool areas. This does not apply to hotel areas.

Don’t take your medications in public

Don't take your medications in public

For those tourists who have certain medical conditions, it is extremely important to have the right medicines in their luggage. But Dubai laws prohibit bringing some medicines even if you have a doctor’s prescription. It is important to pack your medication properly along with your prescription. If you are caught with them in public, then you can go to jail. If you have any medical conditions and are going to take medicines with you, be sure to check in advance if you can bring them into the UAE.

Dancing or Singing in Public

To us, this may seem like one of the crazy laws in Dubai. Indeed, what is terrible about dancing or singing your favorite song? But such actions in Dubai are frowned upon. This rule does not apply to licensed clubs or hotel rooms. But in public places, you have to control yourself if you do not want problems with the police. Loud music on the street is also prohibited.

Do Not Change into Clothes of the Opposite Gender

Dubai is not as open to homosexuality and such behavior is obscene. In this country, it is customary to dress according to your gender, so such activities can lead to detention by the police.

Do Not Buy Fake Products in Dubai

Do Not Buy Fake Products in Dubai

When visiting Dubai, be careful not to buy counterfeit goods in the city. While visiting the famous gold and spice market, you may come across persistent sellers who want to sell you a fake Chanel bag or Cartier watch. Just ignore them and walk by. If you are caught buying in illegal outlets, you may be in trouble.

Import Porn or Pork

If you are traveling to Dubai, pay special attention to this warning. Never bring pornographic videos with you, or imprisonment is inevitable. While you are in Dubai, also refrain from visiting pornographic sites.

As for pork, its import into the UAE from other countries is prohibited by law.

Disdain for Local Culture and Religion

When visiting any country you should respect the culture, religion, and traditions of the destination country. Even if some of this is not to your liking, keep your opinion to yourself. Otherwise, you may be deported or imprisoned.

How Safe Is Dubai?

Considering all the above laws, which apply not only to tourists but also to residents, we can confidently say that Dubai is safe to travel to. Nobody pesters, grabs the hands, and does not pursue, because even after a long look there can be problems with the police. Especially when it comes to women. Dubai can be dangerous for you only if you do not follow all the rules that we mentioned above.


The rules of conduct in Dubai for tourists are not just restrictions, but an attempt to maintain a calm atmosphere in the country. Do not take them negatively, because it is due to them, you can walk the night streets of the UAE without fear and be confident in your safety. Do not think that police remarks are nonsense, after two of them you will be fined about $100. Meanwhile, the residents of the UAE are very good-natured and hospitable people. Their sincerity is natural, because locals, as a rule, are wealthy people, regardless of the income that tourism brings to the country. And despite all these not quite simple requirements, the United Arab Emirates is a quite friendly country. So feel free to pack your bags and have a nice trip!

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