Visiting Dubai For The First Time? Get Prepared For These Culture Shocks

When you hear the word “Dubai”, you probably think of luxury, modern architecture, and endless shopping possibilities. It’s just the “it” city. Glamour screams from all corners of this place, making it a popular vacation spot for people from all over the world. But especially the ones who enjoy the finer things in life. But as popular as Dubai may be, don’t make the mistake to assume that it’s just like any other major city. It’s most definitely not, especially not for someone visiting from a Western country. So to help you get over the culture shock of visiting Dubai, here are some of the most unusual things that you could experience.

There is something like a dress code

Due to the fact that Dubai is a Muslim city, visitors are advised to dress modestly. This entails wearing modest attire, especially around the shoulders and knees. Although there isn’t a set dress code, it’s important to respect local customs and wear modest clothing, especially when visiting mosques or other places of worship. It’s also important to note that showing affection in public is not encouraged.

Check if you’re traveling during Ramadan

Ramadan is a month-long Muslim holiday where believers fast from sunrise to sunset. During this time, many businesses and attractions may have limited hours or be closed altogether. It’s important to be respectful of this holiday and understand that it may impact your travel plans. If you’re traveling during Ramadan, be sure to check local schedules and plan accordingly.


Alcohol is restricted

Despite the fact that Dubai is a very liberal city, alcohol is strictly forbidden. Alcohol can be purchased by non-Muslims in places like hotels, but public intoxication is not permitted. It’s also important to remember that laws against drinking and driving are strongly enforced, and harsh fines can be imposed.

You can still bargain

Bargaining is a common practice in Dubai, especially in markets and souks. It’s important to remember that the initial price quoted is often inflated, and bargaining is expected. Don’t be afraid to haggle, but also be respectful and polite when doing so. It’s also worth noting that some places, such as malls and department stores, have fixed prices, so bargaining is not possible.

Weekends are something else

In Dubai, Friday and Saturday are considered the weekend, with Sunday being a typical workday. Especially if you’re used to the typical Saturday and Sunday weekend, this may take some getting used to. It’s also important to keep in mind that Friday is a day of worship, so many establishments might have shortened hours or shut down entirely.


The culture is very diverse

Dubai is a multicultural city with a sizable international expat community. Therefore, it’s critical to respect various cultures and traditions. You can meet people from all over the world here. And I’m not talking about tourists, but the people who decided to move here for work. The city is so diverse, so keep an open mind and stay respectful to whoever you are talking to.

Kanita Bajrami

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