10 Tips for Safe Travel in Dubai
Located in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the city of Dubai is a stunning blend of nature and technology. Situated on the Arabian Gulf, visitors can enjoy the sandy beaches, head out towards the desert, or simply explore the city that is quickly becoming one of the most prominent in the world.
As an Arab country with a relatively long history, the city of Dubai is not without its flaws. Crime levels are average when compared to other cities, but political and civil unrest throughout the UAE can leave some visitors questioning whether or not their travel plans are a good idea. Traveling to Dubai isnâ€™t difficult, nor is it dangerous especially if you take the time to plan for a safe trip.
10. Purchase Health Insurance
Most health insurance companies won’t pay your expenses when traveling out of country. Check with your own carrier before you leave to make sure you have coverage. If not, purchase some travel insurance. While in Dubai, it is generally easy to get medications from pharmacies, but if you end up hospitalized the costs of treatments or getting you back to your own country can add up very quickly.
9. Check Your Visa
Will you need to have a visa on hand before visiting Dubai? Citizens from some countries are allowed to enter the United Arab Emirates by purchasing a tourist visa upon arrival. Others must have a visa in hand at the time of arrival. Check with your country’s embassy before you embark on an international journey to ensure you have the right documents in hand.
8. Driving in Dubai
There are plenty of public transportation options available in Dubai, but if you plan on driving you will need an international driver’s license. If you plan on taking up residence in Dubai, you’ll eventually need to get a permanent Dubai driver’s license. Don’t panic if you are in an automobile accident. Simply remain with your vehicle, without moving it from the place where the accident occurred, and wait for the police.
7. Think before You Click
Never take a photograph with a person not in your travelling party in it without asking for permission first. Unless you are in a tourist area where photography is expressly permitted, avoid taking pictures of government buildings, airports, docks, military installations, and other locations of similar nature. Never, ever, take a picture of a Muslim woman without permission.
6. Avoid Public Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol itself is not banned in Dubai, but can only be purchased at a few Duty Free Shops on your way into the country. No one person may have more than four bottles on hand at any time. As a tourist, you will not be able to purchase alcohol in a local liquor store as Dubai residents must have an alcohol license. You can purchase drinks in restaurants and bars, but be careful. Public drunkenness is strictly prohibited, as is drinking and driving.
5. Avoid Drugs & Check Your Prescriptions
It should go without saying, but the consumption of illegal drugs and trafficking drugs is strictly prohibited as well. If you are caught with illegal drugs, you’ll spend quite a bit of time in jail likely much longer than you anticipated your trip would be.
Make sure you double check with your embassy to make sure your prescription drugs are allowed in the country. Some are regulated and need approval and, in some cases, you may need to carry a note from your physician.
4. Electricity Adapters
Electrical sockets for 3-pinned plugs of 13 amps each are the standard throughout the UAE. It is, however, a good idea to purchase an electrical adapter just in case you run into a problem.
3. Avoid Public Displays of Affection
Public displays of affection are considered offensive in the United Arab Emirates, as are displays of homosexuality. Because Dubai falls under Sharia Law, some travel sites even go as far as recommending unwed couples arrange to have separate hotel rooms.
2. Use Proper Money Exchanges
Never, ever have your money exchanged for the local currency on the street. Always have your own currency exchanged to the UAE Dirham in a bank, at a hotel, or at a mall ATM. Exchanging money on the street may open you up to a dangerous situation and you may not get the right amount in return.
1. Dress Modestly
Because Dubai is in a Muslim country, clothing should be modest in order to respect local customs. Women can wear bikinis and bathing suits while on beaches, but should not wear them in public (even on the way to the beach or back to her Dubai hotel). Men should never walk around without a shirt. Revealing clothing, like short skirts or spaghetti strap tops, are not considered appropriate in any forum.
The city of Dubai is an exciting place, and you’re bound to remember every moment spent there. Take some time to learn about the culture and traditions of those living in the city, and you’ll blend in well. Enjoy your stay!