Etiquette

  • Clothing Modesty is key. Shoulders and knees covered at all times – for both sexes – is a good rule to stick to. Swimwear is only for the beach.
  • Greetings Soft handshakes are normal (and firm ones seen as disrespectful). Unless a woman offers her hand first, men should refrain from shaking hands with a woman.
  • 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.