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Travel with Respect

Emiratis are a proud but welcoming people and, when not in their cars, are generally extremely civil and friendly. Like most peoples of the world, they welcome visitors who are willing to show some amount of respect and can be extremely generous. (Some expats and visitors do not understand that too-revealing clothing can be quite offensive to some peoples, even if nothing is said to the offenders.) Their culture is unique and can be highly traditional, but overall they are quite attuned to the ways, customs, events, media, and manners of the world.The UAE is more conservative than most Western societies, though not as conservative as some of its neighbors. Travelers should be aware and respect the more traditional outlook in the UAE, as there are behaviors typical in the West (for example, making "rude and insulting gestures") that will result in arrest in the UAE. On the other hand, Western travelers will find most of the UAE quite comfortable.Although women are not required to wear a burka, most revealing fashions such as tank tops and shorts should be avoided. Below-the-knee skirts are somewhat more acceptable, although you will still incur stares. However, there are quite a few tourist or expatriate-dominated zones where even "provocative" dress may be seen, although not necessary respected. These include many areas of the Emirate of Dubai and, for example, beach resorts in Ajman or Fujairah. Public nudity anywhere is strictly forbidden and will be punished. Sharjah is the most conservative of the Emirates with public decency statutes (i.e., forbidding overly revealing clothing or certain kinds of beach wear), but few of them are enforced (although that varies). The Emirates are not gay-friendly, and any flagrant same-sex behavior will be punished. However, discretion is the key: like many things in Emirati society, what happens behind closed doors is - well - what happens. On the other hand, it is not uncommon for Emirati men or women to show physical affection--Emirati men often kiss one another's noses in greeting and women greet one another with cheek kisses and may hold hands or link arms. Many Arab and Asian men show physical affection by holding hands with one another as a sign of friendship. Such behavior by Westerners though (particularly men) would probably draw unwelcome attention. It is considered rude for men and women to hold hands.

Information from wikitravel.org*

Travel Safe

The crime rate is extremely low in the United Arab Emirates, although of course one must use common sense. A couple of things you should be aware of are to do with drug laws in the UAE. Some common painkillers in western countries are illegal narcotics in the UAE, for example, codeine. Don't bring any with you unless you carry a copy of your prescription. People have received jail sentences for making this mistake. In contrast, antibiotics are freely available over the counter at pharmacies. If you receive a prescription for controlled drugs in the UAE -- such as some painkillers and antidepressents -- be sure to keep the copy of the prescription with you when traveling out of the country.Another trap for the unwary is that if you are suspected of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, a blood test can be taken and if it shows evidence of substances that are illegal in the UAE, then you will probably end up in jail even if the substances were ingested in another country.

Information from wikitravel.org*


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* ecotourdirectory.com is not responsible for the travel advice and travel with respect sections on this page. We would strongly advise that before traveling to United Arab Emirates you consult your countries embassy for the lastest guidance.

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