Saturday, November 25, 2023

Newcomers to Dubai: 13 Things to Remember Before Arrival

More UAE Updates

Entering a new country can be an exciting moment. You get the opportunity to explore new experiences and meet new people. But it could also mean the possibility of breaking laws that you may not be familiar with. This is usually the case for overseas Filipino workers who enter a foreign land for the first time.

Although there are pre-departure orientation seminars aimed at educating OFWs arriving at their respective workplaces, it is not a guarantee to cover all the nuances and minute details. Therefore it pays to be aware and remember things before flying in. For the United Arab Emirates, here are the things newcomers must remember, even before arriving in.


Drinking or being drunk in public is not tolerated, and the legal drinking age is 21. You should only drink in a hotel or a designated area for alcohol consumption.

Public displays of affection:

Holding hands, kissing, or gets cozy with your other half could lead to arrest and imprisonment.

Sex outside marriage:

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Sex between those who are not married is illegal and can lead to severe criminal sanctions.


Homosexual acts are illegal and subject to severe punishment.


Swearing and making rude gestures, such as the middle finger, are criminal acts in the UAE.


Wearing bathers outside the beach is against Dubai’s decent laws, and swimsuits, in general, should be modest. Nudity at beaches is illegal.


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Lighting up in a shopping mall, government building or shop can result in a fine.


Woman’s dress may be considered indecent if it is tight, transparent, above the knee, or shows her stomach, shoulders, or back. Men should wear T-shirts at all times, and short shorts can attract the wrong kind of attention.


It is illegal to “harass” women – this includes unwanted communication and prolonged stares or eye contact.


Taking photographs of people, particularly women, without permission, is illegal and can lead to arrest or fines.


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During Ramadan, it is illegal for non-Muslims to eat, drink, or smoke in public in front of Muslims between sunrise and sunset.


Many medications available over the counter or by prescription in other countries are illegal in Dubai.


The UAE laws on drugs are stringent and include the death penalty or life in jail

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