When withdrawing money, ensure that the person behind you is not standing too close or tries to distract you while you are busy conducting you transaction. Do not leave your wallet in your back pocket where it can be easily lifted.

If you do get into trouble, phone Ph: 999

Road Safety

Dubai has an impressive network of roads connecting all parts of the city and surrounding areas. There are two bridges (Al Maktoum Bridge) and (Garhoud Bridge) as well as a tunnel (Shindagah tunnel) linking the two main districts of Dubai and Deira on either side of the creek. The main highway (Sheikh Zayed Highway) also leads to Abu Dhabi heading southwards.

If you’re used to driving on the left hand side of the road, you have to get accustomed to the fact that Dubai drives on the right-hand side of the road. You should not drink and drive. Do not drive on the extreme right. Read street signs and watch for no-parking zones. Parking meters are charged from* 7:00am-1:00pm and *4:00pm-9:00pm. During *1:00am-4:00pm, it is free of charge. Maps are available at all major bookstores at shopping malls. Filling stations are dotted all over the city and along Sheikh Zayed Rd. These are fully serviced.


Though tap water is safe for drinking since it’s desalinated, most tourists prefer buying bottled mineral water.


While the official language is Arabic, English is also widely spoken and understood. Dubai Dress Code: Conservative clothing should be followed in Dubai. Women should avoid wearing revealing or tightly fitting clothing, especially in rural areas, and go for garments such as loosely cut trousers and long dresses. Light cottons and summer wear is ideal as Dubai has a tropical climate most of the year. Carry a few woolens during the winter months. Shorts and skirts are acceptable for ladies, though clothes which are too revealing may not be appreciated.

Greeting Someone in Dubai: Usual practice is the use of ‘Sayed’ (Mr) or ‘Sayeda’ (Mrs) followed by the first name. The first name should always be prefixed with the honorific title, especially in business situations.

Business Hours and Banking: Dubai’s business community works Saturday to Thursday from 08:00 to 13:00 and 16:00 to 20:00. Banking hours in Dubai are from 08:00 to 13:00, Saturday to Wednesday, although some also open from 16:30 to 18:30. On Thursdays, banks are open between 08:00 and 12:00.


The Shopping Festival is from Jan.15 to Feb.15 each year is any shoppers’ annual pilgrimage. During the summer the Dubai Summer Surprises (June-Aug) are there with well-known brands offering great discounts! People from across the world throng to Dubai to grab a good deal. Shops in the city generally open at 10 am and close for a lunch break between 1 pm and 4 pm, after which they are open till 10 pm. Shopping malls are open right from 10 am to 10 pm on weekdays. Fridays from 2 pm to 10 pm.


Attitudes to smoking in Dubai are the same as in Europe, and in most cases it is obvious where not to smoke. Visitors should remember that during Ramadan, it is illegal to eat, drink or smoke in public.

When to Visit – Arts and Events

Dubai’s Muslim festivals, held annually on varying dates, include Ramadan, the four-week religious fast, which always ends in the festival Eid al-Fitr. The Islamic New Year and the Prophet’s Birthday are the two main celebrations.

Observing Etiquette

Some other matters of etiquette to observe include:

  • Only use your right hand when offering or receiving things
  • Always ask permission before taking photographs, especially of native women
  • Be mindful of religious practices to avoid causing offence
  • Avoid pointing the soles of your feet directly at other people

Dubai Tipping Advice

Tipping is not a widely established practice in the UAE, as restaurants prefer to include a service charge. Given the low salary of many waiters, however, tips are greatly appreciated. A sit-down meal where service is very good, tips would be much appreciated. Many restaurants offer a general tipping box which would be shared equally with all staff.

axi drivers generally accept a few dirhams as tip.

Personalized service providers like barbers, manicurists and masseurs do not expect a tip.

Porters, valet parkers are usually tipped a small amount