5 Essential Local Customs to Embrace in Dubai: Etiquette and Traditions for a Memorable Experience

Dubai, a city renowned for its hospitality and cultural diversity, holds a rich tapestry of customs and
traditions. Understanding and respecting local customs is essential to fully appreciate and engage with the
vibrant community of Dubai. In this blog post, we will explore some of the key local customs in Dubai,
helping visitors navigate social interactions and foster a deeper appreciation for the city’s unique cultural

burj al arab saudi

1. Greetings and Hospitality:

Dubai is are known for their warm hospitality, and greetings play an essential role in daily interactions. When meeting someone, it is customary to offer a handshake or, in more informal settings, a friendly embrace or air kiss on the cheek. When visiting Emirati homes, guests are welcomed with great respect and offered refreshments as a gesture of hospitality.

man in black suit jacket sitting beside woman in brown long sleeve shirt

2. Dress Code and Modesty:

Dubai has a modest dress code influenced by Islamic traditions. While the city is cosmopolitan and tolerant, it is respectful to dress modestly in public places, especially in religious sites. Both men and women should avoid clothing that is revealing or excessively tight-fitting. Women may consider wearing loose-fitting clothing that covers their shoulders and knees, and men should opt for long pants
and shirts.

woman in black hijab standing on rug

3. Ramadan Etiquette:

During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims observe fasting from sunrise to sunset. It is important to show respect for those fasting by refraining from eating, drinking, or smoking in public during daylight hours. Non-Muslims are not required to fast but should be considerate and avoid eating or drinking in public areas. It is also polite to greet Muslims with Ramadan Kareem or Ramadan Mubarak to acknowledge the significance of the month.

close up photo of raisins and dates

4. Respect for Islamic Customs:

Islam is the predominant religion in Dubai, and it is important to show respect for Islamic customs. Visitors should refrain from public displays of affection, as it is considered inappropriate. Additionally, it is customary to remove shoes before entering mosques or homes, and to avoid pointing the soles of your feet toward others, as this is considered disrespectful.

black and gold book on white and brown floral textile

5. Socializing and Dining Etiquette:

When invited to an Emirati home, it is customary to bring a small gift as a token of appreciation. It is polite to accept food or drinks when offered and to use the right hand for eating and greeting others. During meals, it is common to eat with your right hand or use utensils, as the left hand is considered unclean. When dining out, tipping is appreciated but not obligatory.

foods set on table by the pool

Personal Recommendation

Embracing Dubai’s local customs and traditions is a wonderful way to connect with the city’s vibrant
cultural tapestry. By understanding and respecting local etiquette, visitors can engage in meaningful
interactions, forge connections, and gain a deeper appreciation for the warm hospitality that Dubai is
renowned for. Remember, embracing local customs fosters mutual respect and enhances the overall
experience of exploring this diverse and welcoming city.

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