Alcohol is not a component of Emirati culture; therefore it is recommended that you do not consume alcohol unless you are absolutely certain it is okay to do so. Most restaurants still serve alcohol but if you are really jonesin’ for a cocktail, you might want to double check that your restaurant serves it before making reservations. For a fun nightlife alternative, and an authentic local experience, try heading to a hookah lounge.
Drugs are strictly forbidden.
Sex outside of marriage is illegal and sharing a hotel room with an un-married partner is also illegal.
Holding hands is only tolerated if you are married so make sure you are considerate of the local culture.
Most restaurants will have a dress code so you might want to double check before going out. Out of respect for the local culture, women should remember to cover their shoulders and knees in public.
Dubai is a VERY expensive city!
Brunch is on Friday and not Sunday like in many western cultures. The weekend in Dubai is Friday and Saturday. So the main nights to go out are Thursday and Friday nights.
The cost of alcohol in restaurants is often more expensive than the price of the food.
Addresses are very confusing!
Smoking is allowed in many restaurants, please be aware.
Public transportation is relatively cheap and easy to use. However, cabs are also relatively accessible and inexpensive.
Tipping in Dubai is as follows: 10-15% at restaurants, round to the nearest dirham (ex. 27AED to 30AED) for cab rides.
Buffets! Some people are weary of buffets, while others can’t get enough, but in Dubai, it’s all about the buffet. They are common and serve high quality food.
Seafood is huge! From lobster and oysters to salmon and sea bass; seafood is both delicious and fresh in Dubai!
Local Emirati cuisine consists of shawarma, falafel, hummus, lamb kebabs and more.
Ramadan is an important time in Muslim culture, so be aware that if you’re going to Dubai during Ramadan, many restaurants will not be opened during the daytime. However, don’t pass up the opportunity to experience a traditional Iftar, the extravagant feast that breaks fast when the sun goes down in the evening.