Dubai is a very large, interesting and lively city with lots to see and do but if you are travelling there for the first time, it can be a bit of culture shock. It is very different to the western norms you’re used to, and you need to be aware of these differences to make sure that you are not only respectful of a different culture but that you aren’t breaking any laws that are in place.

Here’s an overview of some of the basic ins and outs that you need to know.

Dress Code

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Men typically wear a tailored shirt, trousers and a tie. For women, it is expected that they dress modestly when in public, ideally with arms and legs fully covered.  Skirts are also acceptable if the hem is below the knee. Swimwear can only be worn at either a hotel pool or beach. 

It isn’t a requirement for non-Muslim women to wear a hijab or headscarf unless they are entering a place of worship.


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If you’re travelling with your partner, you should note that public displays of affection between men and women are considered extremely disrespectful and deemed as inappropriate behaviour.  It’s also worth noting that unfortunately, in the UAE, homosexuality is illegal and whilst authorities don’t seek out gay tourists, discretion is advised.

Any form of rude or arrogant behaviour is unacceptable and swearing of any kind is considered highly offensive.

If you’re travelling during the month of Ramadan, eating, drinking and smoking in public is strictly prohibited. However, these rules tend not to be as heavily enforced within hotels as they tend to partition off certain areas for their foreign guests so that they can still eat and drink without upsetting or offending.

Business Etiquette

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When you’re planning a trip to Dubai, you should know that the working week runs from a Sunday to a Thursday. One of the most difficult things to grasp is the cultural etiquette you’ll find in business meetings. Hospitality here is crucial, upon being welcomed you’ll always be offered tea or coffee and it’s an offer that should always be accepted, a refusal is typically frowned upon.

When discussing business deals, approaching business matters head on isn’t the norm. A period of ‘small talk’ is courteous and considered to be the proper etiquette. With business meetings in Dubai, patience is essential and it’s essential to give your meetings enough time in order to not be rushed.


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Dubai is home to a number of sky kissing towers such as the Burj Khalifa and the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. The Burj Khalifa (the tallest building in the world) stand at 160 stories high and quite a sight to behold. Visitors can even take a trip to the observation deck on the 124th floor for a truly staggering view of the city. Evening visits are also available and ideal for business travellers whose days are consumed with back to back meetings.

However, Dubai isn’t just known for their skyscrapers, it also has a fantastic number of shopping malls, museums, aquariums and even indoor ski slopes.


There is no shortage of places to stay in Dubai. Places like The Two Seasons Hotel and Apartments offer a great range of amenities for business travellers.  It is a 4-star award winning hotel offering state of the art suites.  More information can be found here.

However, if a hotel isn’t really what you’re looking for, serviced apartments might be the thing for you. Occupying the top 23 levels of Sidra Tower, Fraser Suites Dubai gives you a stunning view of the Arabian Sea and charming city skyline of Dubai. Check out Fraser Suites for information on availability and offers.

Between the skyscrapers, luxurious hotels and the endless shopping opportunities together with the sheer amount of entertainment available, Dubai makes for a fantastic getaway.

You should really try to schedule in an few extra days after your business meetings or even before to really appreciate the city and everything it has to offer, you’ll certainly not regret it.

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