Etiquette

  • Clothing Modesty is key. Swimwear is only for the beach. Shoulders and knees covered at all times – for both sexes – is a good rule to stick to.
  • Greetings Handshakes (though not firm as that's seen as disrespectful) are normal. Men should refrain from shaking hands with a woman unless she offers her hand first.
  • Politics and religion Avoid contentious issues such as the UAE's involvement in Yemen and the Qatar blockade. Insulting Islam is against the law, as is publicly expressing sympathy towards Qatar.
  • Public displays of affection A no-no. Couples should refrain from kissing, cuddling or hand-holding in public. Technically all are public decency offences though most people turn a blind eye to hand-holding.
  • Ramadan Drinking, eating, smoking, loud music and dancing in public during daylight fasting hours are illegal.
  • Swearing Considered highly offensive and people have been prosecuted or deported for it.