6 UAE Traditions and Customs Tourists Should Know

The UAE has a diverse culture and traditions. Locals take these traditions seriously and tourists are expected to show respect to the culture and traditions of the country. Tourists are also expected to follow certain customs. As well as the dos and don’ts in the country. Respecting the UAE traditions and customs is mandatory in order to avoid any conflicts or even arrests. Here are 6 UAE Traditions and Customs tourists should know.

UAE Traditions and Customs

Traditional Clothing in UAE

Tourists are expected to be dressed modestly and according to the dress code of the country. Failing to do so will cause distress between the locals and the tourists and even a conflict might spark.

Locals expect tourists to be dressed well and in a respectful manner. Another thing to keep in mind is that unless you are having a photo shoot, it is often seen as disrespectful for western men to wear Emirati national dress while being in public places. Locals highly regard those who show respect towards the UAE traditions and customs.

traditional clothing in uae

Body Language

Body language is something that should be maintained really well by tourists. Certain body languages are often discouraged and some might even be disrespectful.

For instance, sitting with your feet facing a local is a big no-no. It is seen as a very disrespectful thing and can sometimes break up relations between the locals and tourists.

Another thing to keep in mind is to polite at all times. Being polite and respectful will easily help you gain the local’s trust and thus build better relations with them.


While visiting or meeting with locals, knowing the correct way of greeting is very important. It shows respect and greeting the person correctly will help build trust between you and the locals.

Generally, local men often use long greetings, with praises to Allah, in addition to hugs and kisses. This is only used for greeting local men. For women, avoid handshaking unless she put out her hand first.

Maintaining a good method of greeting is a sign of respect and is highly regarded by locals. These methods of greetings are part of the UAE traditions and customs which locals have used for hundreds of years.


Public Behavior

Maintaining good public behavior is key to gaining the local’s trust. There are certain things that you cannot do in public and some of these things are against the law.

For example, it is not allowed to take pictures of local women as it is seen as a very disrespectful thing and can even lead to a big conflict between you and the locals.

Showing public affection is not allowed and will most certainly lead to arrest. Another thing to keep in mind is that since locals are not allowed to drink, drinking in public or being drunk in public is a huge no.

When going out of the local, try to pick a place that doesn’t serve alcohol. The same can be said with pork as locals are forbidden to eat pork by the religion.


Religion plays a massive role in the UAE traditions and customs. Most of the locals are Muslims and follow all the rules set by religion. You are expected to respect religion.

You are expected to respect prayer times, dress properly when visiting mosques, not eat publicly during the fasting hours in Ramadan, and avoid eating pork/drinking alcohol in public.

Respecting religion and showing interest is one of the main factors that will help you gain the local’s trust and avoid any unnecessary arguments.



One of the main parts of the UAE traditions is food. Emirati food is very delicious and you should defiantly take your time to try out all the various traditional dishes.

Locals are very hospitable and will sometimes invite tourists to try out various local foods. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the Emirati culture and the various dishes offered by locals.

While eating, you should maintain general etiquette and thank the locals for the food. This will help gain the trust of locals.

Read More: Modern And Traditional Places To Visit In Dubai 2020

“There are many UAE traditions and customs. The next time you visit the UAE, make sure to follow the general customs we mentioned above. This will ensure you a pleasant experience during your stay at the UAE.”

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