Useful Tips

How to behave during Ramadan in Dubai


This year, the month of Muslim fasting Ramadan begins in the Arab world on Monday, May 6, with the dawn of the sun. At this time, Muslims are forbidden in the daytime to eat, drink, smoke and experience bodily pleasures. This month is for spiritual practices, prayers, a more thorough acquaintance with the Qur'an, good deeds and thoughts. Also in Arab countries, a ban on holding mass public events this month is being introduced.

Workers in the UAE tourism industry and religious figures told how to behave properly in Ramadan to representatives of other religions, foreign tourists who will be in Arab countries at that time, including Dubai, which is popular with tourists. It is reported by RIA Novosti.

Tourists do not need to fast in the Arab countries in Ramadan. As the imam of one mosque in Qatar, sheikh Abu Mohammed Hassan, said that often tourists during Ramadan are embarrassed and hiding when they drink or eat in the presence of fasting, however, Muslims should not care how others behave.

In particular, he said: “Non-Muslims should not fast only because Muslims do this.”

If earlier all cafes and restaurants in hotels were closed during Ramadan, now almost all of them are open for lunch. In addition, hotel restaurants and beach clubs provide full service, including the sale of alcoholic beverages. Julia Muravleva, who works as the manager of REDS Travel & Tourism in Dubai, believes that the tolerant attitude of local people towards tourists in Arab countries should not be abused.

You also need to respect the customs and culture of the country, refraining from the manifestation of open feelings in public places (hugging, kissing), wear very open clothes. You can’t walk in transparent clothes on top of a swimsuit, it is also recommended to limit the use of alcohol, you can not behave provocatively and curse.

It is noted that Ramadan also imposes certain restrictions on foreigners who are not practicing Islam at that time in the country. It is necessary to follow local traditions, namely, do not drink, eat, smoke on the street during the daytime, women refrain from wearing defiant outfits (shoulders and knees should be closed, cutouts on the chest and open backs should be avoided).

Also, foreigners will have to take care of how they move around the streets of Arab cities during the Iftar hours. It is known that the transport system in Dubai during Ramadan will work as usual, without restrictions, but in the evening taxi drivers rush to an evening prayer before eating, so it will be difficult to find a taxi on the road.

Clothing / PDA

In the new areas of Dubai, as well as in shopping centers, you can probably get away with quite a bit (but this does not mean that you should). Many Western women wore short shorts, spaghetti straps, and other common summer models. However, in Deira (the older part of the city), my girlfriend was very conservatively dressed (long trousers, long sleeves and her whole shoulder / neck are hidden) and still received full body looks from 90% of the men there (the bazaars were almost exclusively male there) .

As for the CCP, I saw maybe 1 out of 10 pairs holding hands at the malls, and nothing more. In shopping centers and new areas of Dubai, you can probably get away with it, but it's better to be respectful. In a more extreme case, in the Great Mosque of Abu Dhabi, I hugged my girlfriend without thinking about it (a completely friendly gesture, as, for example, I would do for any male friend), and we were politely warned.

Ramadan Time Limit

Prayer times probably won't hurt most of the things you do in the city. Many places are closed during the day, but much remains to be done. Historic places, mosques and shopping centers are still open. However, many bases will have odd hours or they will be completely closed. Please note that the metro may have limited hours (on Fridays it is open at 13:00). Do not eat in public until 6:45 - 7:00 pm.

If you are not married, it may be worth taking a few fake wedding rings with you. Many of the resort hotels will probably not ask you anything, but you can get some questions if you are outside the new areas of Dubai.

The appearance of a tourist

If a beach holiday is planned on site, you can not worry. Before visiting a public beach, it is advisable to make sure that there is a modest-looking swimsuit in stock.

Otherwise, sunbathing will not work. Defiantly open forms will be the reason for receiving comments from the police. As for everyday wear, everything here also depends on the place of residence. In tourist areas (Marina, Downtown) it is allowed to wear light dresses and short shorts.

If you live or pay a visit to the old part of the city, you need a more serious attitude to your appearance. It is advisable to use closed clothing with covered knees and elbows. This applies to the Deira region or the emirate of Sharjah. Good to know! Some shops and local markets restrict visitors to t-shirts.

How to behave in public

What you need to know for every tourist who arrives in the United Arab Emirates in 2019:

  • First and foremost, you should not show feelings for your partner with other people. Kisses and hugs in the UAE are punishable not by a simple fine, but by arrest from a few days to six months,
  • Same-sex relationships are prohibited in Dubai,
  • The list of what tourists should not do in the UAE includes smoking street and in public places. There are many special areas throughout the country for this activity.
  • You can’t disrespect UAE citizens - laugh, condemn or discuss their actions,
  • Dubai residents practice Islam and pray 5 times a day, no matter where they are. If you become a witness to this process, do not pay attention to it, much less do not laugh and do not walk around the person who is praying,
  • You can’t talk loudly on the phone in the UAE,
  • In Dubai and other emirates, there are rules for tourists, according to which it is impossible to photograph mosques and people, especially women,
  • You can’t fight, use a mat or indecent gestures in the UAE. Believe me, the local police know all the Russian curses, so restrain yourself, especially while driving,

Another strange rule for us is connected with dancing. In Dubai, tourists and locals are forbidden to dance on the street, this can only be done in a hotel or night club.

Rules of conduct in transport

It is forbidden to eat (even chewing gum) and drink in the metro, buses and taxis of Dubai. For violation of this rule you will have to pay a fine of 100 dirhams.

Compliance with traffic rules is the key to a relaxing holiday. If you rented a car, do not exceed the speed, do not stop in the wrong places, and even more so do not drive while intoxicated - in this case the penalty will not be a large fine, but arrest and / or deportation.

In the UAE there are special subway cars for women and children, which are forbidden for men to enter - they are easy to spot among the rest, thanks to the pink color and signs. Despite the fact that you will not be fined for violating this rule, but will only make an oral remark, do not risk it, and even when you see an empty pink carriage, do not give in to the temptation to go there.

If there is no free space for both of you in public transport, just give it to your girlfriend, but do not put her on your knees - this gesture is considered a serious violation of the rule of law.

The relationship between man and woman

Kisses and passionate hugs in public places are prohibited in the UAE. Sitting on the boy’s lap is also considered a gross violation. For this you can spend ten days in jail. Such tenderness to each other can be shown only when:

  • in the hotel bar
  • at the disco,
  • in the night club.

In public places couples can walk holding hands. A man and a woman who are not officially husband and wife can be accommodated in the same hotel room.

Even if this is due to the most difficult circumstances, local police may accuse you of sexual harassment.