Expat Life in Dubai
5 min read

Living in Dubai: Respecting the Customs and Traditions

Are you planning to live in Dubai? Learning to respect the customs and traditions in Dubai can help you fit in and have a great living experience. Click here to learn more.

Published on
May 18, 2023

Dubai is well-known for its diversity, rich culture, and unique traditions. Although the city is extremely friendly to new residents, newly settled individuals must reciprocate the same respect and warmth the city extends by honoring their cultures and traditions. Hence, if you are considering relocating to Dubai, we have compiled a guide on the customs and traditions in Dubai to help you get started on the right foot and blend in well. 

Customs and Traditions in Dubai

Dress Code

One of the most crucial things to know when relocating to Dubai is the dress code. The UAE values modesty in public, and modest clothing is an important aspect of this rule. The city urges residents to dress modestly and avoid wearing anything too revealing, especially near religious places or commercial locations where children may be present. Both men and women must avoid wearing excessively tight clothing. Women are also obliged to cover their knees and shoulders. If you want to blend in and show respect, you can wear traditional Emirati apparel, an Abaya for women, and a Kandura for men. However, this is not compulsory.

Politeness and Greetings

Dubai residents are known for their warmth, politeness, and hospitality. Hence, when living in Dubai, show the same courtesy by greeting individuals with 'Marhaba,' meaning hello, and shaking their hands. When meeting new people, keep eye contact and address them by their entire name or title. When discussing business issues, start with a humble greeting and engage in small talk. Moving straight to the business may be considered impolite by some Emirati individuals. Furthermore, you should avoid addressing any taboo or sensitive subjects related to politics or religion.

People Wearing Traditional Clothing at a Conference in Dubai
People wearing traditional clothing in Dubai

Islamic Practices

Since Dubai is a Muslim country, being aware of Islamic practices and sacred months like Ramadan can help you ensure you are respectful towards the residents. Even if you are a non-Muslim, gestures like refraining from eating or drinking in public can help you fit in well in the Emirati community. Furthermore, refrain from blasting music during Ramadan and engaging in other inappropriate activities that the residents may consider disrespectful in the sacred month. 

If your neighbors or colleagues invite you to a Ramadan iftar dinner, try your best to participate to show respect and demonstrate your support and understanding of the local customs. The Emirati residents are also strong believers in charity, especially during Ramadan, so participating in charity is also a great way to fit into the Emirati community. 

Wrapping Up

Knowing the cultures and traditions, like the dress code, Islamic practices, and greetings, can help you fit into the Emirati community and have the best experience living in the Gulf Tiger. 

Moreover, if you want to open a business in Dubai, we recommend contacting Capatt Services to connect with business setup consultants in Dubai. 

We have years of experience helping new residents set up successful businesses in Dubai and will gladly do the same for you. Get in touch with us now for more details on our offerings. 

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