Hints & tips

The UAE is a tolerant society that may feel Western, but it is important to remember that it is a Muslim country and there are certain traditions and ways of conduct that visitors should be aware of. Media often turn traditional customs into something strange, but the foundation of life in the UAE is respect for one another. 

With the right attitude when it comes to etiquette, dress code and behavior, tourists can enjoy all the wonderful experiences that the country has to offer without the risk of offending anyone or breaking the law. 

The population in the UAE is made up of 90% immigrants from all over the world, and the average age is a mere 33.5 years. This means that everyone speaks the second language in the country, English. 

Most European citizens do not need a visa. The passport must have at least 6 months validity from the expected return date. Temporary passports are not allowed. 

The UAE has warm and tropical climate all year round. December-March 24-29 degrees C and June-August around 40 degrees C. The temperature in the sea is 21-38 degrees C depending on the season. 

Summer clothes such as dresses, knee-length shorts and airy cotton garments work well, but dress conservatively in government buildings . As a woman it is handy to have a scarf to cover your shoulders, it can also be nice inside air-conditioned buildings. Swimwear is only OK by the beach and pool. When visiting a mosque, loose, full-coverage clothing, including women’s hair, is required. 


Accept coffee when offered Offering coffee at business meetings is seen as extending hospitality. By accepting the coffee you acknowledge and appreciate this hospitality. 

Titles on business cards Without the correct title it can sometimes be difficult to get in touch with the decision maker. Managerial titles are very important. 

Dress decently Above all, avoid showing shoulders, knees or cleavage. Smart casual dress code for dinner is common. Public display of affection is not allowed. 

Religion The UAE is a Muslim country and religion is important to local residents. Respect this by dressing modestly. The call to prayer can be heard 5 times a day. 

First through the door The most important person goes through the door first. The guest is more important than the host. Women are more important than men. The customer is more important than the supplier. 

Respect Always respect people in official positions, for example in customs, hotel security guards and the police.