Cultural Differences – Dubai

Welcome aboard!

Grab a seat and that delicious cup of coffee, because we are taking you on a journey to various countries of this planet through our latest blog series (look for the name) showing cultural differences of the world. The world as we know is a place to explore, let’s explore it by respecting each other’s culture (and avoid shocks when you travel)!

Today we start with one of the most fascinating and traveled place in the world, Dubai. Thinking about Middle East, one tends to cultivate certain notions which might be far from the truth. Although, thanks to the internet, the gap has been reduced, but nothing prepares you for the shocks, or to mildly put it, the differences that you experience once you have set foot on a foreign ground.  Dubai is comparatively the most  liberal nation in the middle east, and being closer to home, there’s still a sense of familiarity, but the differences in the lifestyle and culture are remarkable.

License to drink (not from your parents)

If you want to buy or consume alcohol, you’d need an alcohol license to do the same. This rule applies to both tourists and residents. However, you can still consume alcohol without license at hotel bars. Less number of wine shops and no drunkards.

Public Discipline

You won’t find a lot of couples walking on the streets, simply because you won’t be able to identify any. As per the law, public display of affection is prohibited, this includes no holding hands even if they are your spouse.

From what everyone has heard of Middle East, you’d expect modestly dressed crowd in public places like malls, restaurants, or beaches, well you are in for a surprise, there are no such clothing restrictions in Dubai! 

Grandeur at its best

While you are recovering from the sight of magnificent buildings and structures, don’t be taken aback from the sheer number of Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Jaguars, Bentleys, Audis, on the road, some with fascinating modifications.  If you are a car freak, Dubai is one place where you can satisfy your interests.

Their generous use of gold in architecture is blindingly stunning, which also brings us to Gold Souk, a whole market dedicated to trade gold.


If you get a chance to visit Dubai during Ramadan, you’d experience a different city altogether. Less crowded places, closed restaurants and shops, uneventful tourist attractions during the day, and an unbelievably lit city until the sunrise.

You won’t be allowed to carry food, or drink water in front of the locals or in public during these days.

Guess who works on Sundays?

Not us (officially). Dubai weekend starts from Thursday evening and people are back at work on Sunday. Once you are there Thursday will be your new favorite day of the week.

Even with all the homework in the world, no one is ever prepared to welcome and accommodate the changes. ‘When in Rome, do as Romans do’ has now just reduced to a cliché, so, if you are visiting a country as tourists, you should remember that the experience is more enriching if you respect the traditions and follow them during your visit. And if you are planning to stay there for a long time, it is always advisable to research and know what you are signing up for. And we are sure you know from where your journey starts!


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