Things Not to Do in Dubai City

16 Essential Things NOT to Do in Dubai

Things Not To Do In Dubai

Dubai, the shining jewel of the UAE, offers visitors a blend of modernity and tradition. But like every other destination, it has its own set of rules and customs that travelers should be aware of. Here’s a comprehensive guide on the things not to do in Dubai to ensure a memorable and trouble-free experience.

Things not to do in Dubai

1. Do Not Neglect to Respect Religious Practices

Do Not Neglect to Respect Religious Practices

Religion plays an integral role in Emirati culture. Always show respect towards prayer times and never disturb those praying. Moreover, non-Muslims should refrain from entering certain areas of mosques unless with a guided tour.

2. Do Not Dress Immodestly

While Dubai is more liberal than some other Emirati states, dressing modestly, especially in religious or public places, is crucial. Ladies, a knee-length skirt or dress and covered shoulders will do, and gents, it’s best to avoid sleeveless shirts.

3. Do Not Engage in Excessive Public Displays of Affection (PDA)

While holding hands is generally accepted, hugging, kissing, or any overt PDA is frowned upon. It’s always best to keep it low-key to avoid any unintended offense.

4. Do Not Consume Alcohol Irresponsibly

You can enjoy a drink in licensed places like hotels, but public drunkenness can lead to fines or imprisonment. Never drink and drive; the UAE has a zero-tolerance policy for it.

5. Do Not Disregard the Observance of the Month of Ramadan

During this holy month, Muslims fast from dawn to dusk. Refrain from eating, drinking, or smoking in public places during daylight hours to show respect.

6. Do Not Involve Yourself with Drugs

Even a small amount of illegal drugs can result in severe penalties in Dubai. It’s wise to avoid them completely during your visit.

7. Do Not Disregard Traffic Rules

Driving in Dubai can be an experience. However, traffic violations can result in hefty fines. Always wear seatbelts, avoid using mobile phones while driving, and be wary of the speed limits.

8. Do Not Violate Photography Etiquette

While Dubai is picturesque, avoid taking photos in restricted areas, of military installations, or of locals, especially women, without permission.

9. Do Not Misbehave in Public Places

Loud music or dancing is frowned upon in public areas. Always be considerate and respect the local norms.

10. Do Not Use Social Media Irresponsibly

Posting photos or comments that can be viewed as disrespectful can land you in trouble. Always think before you post.

11. Do Not Misunderstand Gender Dynamics

Be respectful when interacting with the opposite gender. Physical contact, unless initiated by them, is best avoided.

12. Do Not Use Your Left Hand To Greet Anyone

In Dubai, as in many Middle Eastern cultures, the left hand is traditionally considered unclean because it’s used for personal hygiene purposes. Thus, always use your right hand for greetings, handing over items, and even when eating. Offering your left hand can be perceived as a sign of disrespect.

13. Do Not Cuss In Public

Using foul language, swear words, or making obscene gestures can lead to heavy fines, deportation, or even jail time. Maintaining decorum and expressing disagreements or frustrations is essential without resorting to offensive language or actions.

14. Do Not Eat-In Public During Ramadan

Ramadan is the holy month when Muslims fast from dawn until sunset. During this time, it’s considered disrespectful to eat, drink, or smoke in public during daylight hours. Most restaurants and cafes remain closed or operate behind screens until the evening. It’s best to have your meals in private spaces or designated areas.

15. Do Not Disrespect The Royal Family In Public

The UAE’s royal family holds a revered position in society. Any public criticism, derogatory remarks, or negative discussions about them can lead to severe repercussions, including imprisonment. Always speak with respect and avoid any negative discussions or speculations.

16. Do Not Dance In Public

While dancing is appreciated in the privacy of homes or in licensed clubs and private events, dancing in public places, like beaches or streets, is considered inappropriate. Loud music and dancing can draw unwanted attention and might be seen as a disturbance to others.


Absolutely! Dubai is one of the safest cities for solo female travelers. Just adhere to local customs and dress codes.

A simple “Salaam Alaikum” (Peace be upon you) is a courteous greeting.

-Are tattoos allowed in Dubai?

Yes, tattoos are allowed in UAE.

Certainly! With a valid international driving license, you can rent a car and explore the city at your own pace.

It’s essential to show respect by not eating, drinking, or smoking in public during the fasting hours.

Elina Shaukat
Grumpy but gorgeous.