Dubai is one of the countries that constitute the Islamic world. Though the emirate has risen to become one of the hot spots in today's world with its fast emerging cosmopolitanism, yet the fact remains that it still adheres to its roots in more ways than one. For those who are already part of Dubai and those who intend to do so, there are some things from the conservative capillaries of Dubai culture that have to be borne in mind.
In Dubai, Islam is something that is promoted and inculcated in children from a young age, wherein the basic tenets are the focus. Apart from this, all children have to learn Arabic. The bottom line is - Learn the rules of Dubai if you are in Dubai.
A few pointers towards general social etiquette and mannerisms are given below: Girls and women have to dress up modestly as the culture is mainly patriarchal. There is no compulsion for women to wear the traditional Arabic dress called “abaya" which is worn over normal clothing. But if they want to go for western dresses, the skirts, tops or trousers in question must not be revealing. Eating, drinking and smoking are strictly forbidden at public places during the Holy month of Ramadan, one of the major events of the year for Muslims around the world. The reason is that the daytime during Ramadan is devoted to observing fasts and praying to God. Some offices and public places have marked “Muslim" and “Non-Muslim" areas. One has to adhere to the same at such places. If a non-Muslim wishes to visit one of the many majestic mosques in the emirate, s/he can do so only through special guided tours. Live-in relationships are forbidden by law. Public displays of affection are also something looked down upon in Dubai. Arabic is the official language of Dubai. But English is also understood and spoken by majority of the population in Dubai. Unless one is absolutely certain whether a native takes alcohol, one shouldn't offer drink to the person. One should refrain from any word/ action that is blasphemous or anti-Islamic in the presence of Muslims.
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