Common Culture Shocks to Expect in Dubai

When visiting a country in the Middle East like Dubai, tourists should be prepared for a number of culture shocks. Being an Arabic nation, there are traditions and rituals that have been done for thousands of years. People should be sensitive to these practices so as not to offend residents or break the law. Here are a number of shocking activities and practices to know about.

1. Dubai in the month of Ramadan

Photo credit

Ramadan is a month-long holiday where Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. For Filipinos or other nationalities who do not practice Islam faith, this can be a new or culturally shocking experience. People are prohibited from drinking liquor, eating or even swallowing their saliva during fasting hours. You might be surprised to find restaurants not serving alcohol even to tourists. Muslims also pray at least five times a day during the time of Ramadan. Be respectful to worshipping Muslims or you might be apprehended by authorities.

2. Dubai is still home to conservative people

Photo credit

Although Dubai is more liberated compared to its Arab neighbors, you should also be mindful of what you’re wearing. Many mosques in the city do not allow non-Christians to enter. You might also be required to remove your shoes or slippers before entering. Do not talk while inside the mosque. Women should be careful on what they’re wearing and avoid very skimpy clothes like skirts, halters and shorts. Avoid cursing or using profane gestures while in the city.

3. Dubai is home to ultra-rich people

Photo credit

Dubai is one of the richest cities in the world so many tourists will be shocked to find policemen driving Ferraris and Lamborghinis. They say that these are for chasing rich traffic violators who are driving very fast sports cars. You will also find many unique decorations and embellishments placed by car or homeowners on their property. There are diamond-studded racing cars, gold door knobs and Swarovski crystal chandeliers in many places around the city.

4. Dubai’s tap water isn’t potable


Tap water, even if boiled, is not supposed to be drinkable in Dubai. You will notice sand deposits even in minute amounts in your glass. Instead, drink from bottled and filtered water to stay safe. Many homeowners install water filters to clean their water. You don’t have to go outdoors and realize how precious water is in this country. In summer months, tap water could even be hotter than your conventional hot water from home kettle!

5. Dubai folks rely a lot on home deliveries


Many companies like restaurants, grocery stores and even auto shops have delivery services. Many Dubai residents prefer having the things they buy delivered straight to their doorstep. You will easily find vans from various establishments sending goods with bold and big telephone numbers on the side. And why not, if it’s too hot outdoor during summer or cooler months offer discomfort, delivery services are a very welcome alternative, even if you have to shell out a fee for the service.

These are just some of the many culture shocks you will witness in Dubai. Talk to locals to find more surprises.