Traditions: The UAE is built on generations of Islamic traditions which are rooted firmly in its culture and tribal heritage. The Emirati are friendly people who show tolerance and an open minded approach to visitors in their country; but their culture and values should always be respected.
Expat Community: In the last 30 years, Over 150 nationalities (including an estimated 100,000 British expats) contribute to the UAE’s modern society. The streets, shopping malls and business areas are alive with numerous languages and cultures. Do keep in mind that you will probably meet many people with different values and opinions.
Social Ethics: The culture and laws in the UAE are designed to ensure that everyone is respectful of each other regardless of their faith and nationality. Visitors and residents alike should avoid types of improper conduct and behaviour which can otherwise lead to fines, imprisonment and deportation.
Dress code: Emirati dress conservatively in traditional dress and can be offended when people dress inappropriately or not in accordance with Islamic values.
In public places, you are encouraged to dress appropriately. Clothing should not be transparent, indecently expose parts of the body or display offensive pictures or slogans.
Alcohol consumption : is allowed only by Non-Muslims in licensed restaurants, bars, clubs, private venues, and at home (for residents who have acquired an alcohol licence). It is against the law to drink alcohol whilst walking in the street or to be drunk in a public place or drive after taking that.
Drugs are strictly forbidden, even a residual amount.Some medicines (accepted in other countries) containing psychotropic substances are also forbidden, so check out the UAE relevant embassy website for further information.
Over the counter or doctor prescribed medecations: If you are using doctor prescribed drugs it is advisable to carry a doctor’s note. If you are bringing prescription drugs into the UAE you may need to seek prior agreement from the authorities.
A word of warning: The UAE is a relatively safe country from a crime perspective. Nevertheless, when you are out and about, take the necessary precautions to stay safe just as you would do if you were in your own country.
Pornography and pornographic images, media and websites are banned in the UAE.
Bouncing a cheque is illegal in the UAE. If a cheque is presented without adequate funds to cover the amount, you will face criminal and civil charges.
Offensive language, spitting and aggressive behaviour (including hand gestures) are viewed very seriously and can result in imprisonment and deportation. This includes “road rage”.
Smoking is forbidden in government areas, offices and shopping malls. There are however many designated areas where smoking is allowed.
Working without the proper visa is illegal. You cannot partake in any kind of paid employment without first obtaining a work visa. If caught, you will face imprisonment.
Respect for religion: Follow a few simple rules of respect:Muslims pray five times a day. You will notice that the Mosques call people to pray through a speaker system. At this time you will also notice public music is turned off as Muslims perform their daily prayers.Be aware that drivers who are not close to a Mosque, may stop at a convenient lay-by to pray privately.
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