Customs and Traditions of United Arab Emirates

Customs and Traditions of United Arab Emirates


According to Countryaah, the official state language in the country is Arabic; languages ​​such as English, Hindi, Urdu and Farsi are also used in communication. In connection with the expansion of the tourist flow to the United Arab Emirates from the Russian Federation, a lot of Russian-language signs appeared, as well as announcements, the staff of many large hotels and hotels successfully mastered the basics of Russian speech.


The main (but not the only) religion of the United Arab Emirates is Islam (most of the population is Sunnis, the smaller part is Shiites).

The United Arab Emirates is a country whose whole spirit is imbued with respect for the laws of Islam, therefore, when going to this state, one should take into account local national characteristics. Check agooddir for recent history of United Arab Emirates.

Behavior rules


  • to break cakes and other bakery products with your hands;
  • take food, money and other objects with the right hand;
  • take off your shoes at the entrance to the mosque or the house of a local resident;
  • have identification documents with you;
  • purchase alcoholic beverages in a bar or restaurant of the hotel or hotel complex where you are staying;
  • refusing the offered coffee, you need to shake an empty cup;
  • greet men with a slight bow, without shaking hands.

Not recommended:

  • to eat while moving through the streets or standing;
  • look the interlocutor in the face when shaking hands, while keeping the other hand in your pocket, shaking hands with a cigarette in the other hand;
  • be in a state of intoxication in public places (violation of this rule in the emirate of Sharjah faces a fine or arrest and deportation);
  • drinking alcoholic beverages in public places;
  • pass in front of praying Muslims;
  • be in public places in sports or beachwear;
  • consume chewing gum in public places.

It is forbidden:

  • throwing garbage on the streets, in parks and other public places (violation of this rule entails a fine);
  • driving a vehicle while intoxicated (as a punishment for such behavior is criminal liability);
  • the use of obscene lexical expressions (mate) or the assumption of offensive or threatening statements addressed to the interlocutor (entails criminal liability);
  • use of narcotic drugs (punishable by imprisonment for up to 5 years);
  • import and sale of narcotic drugs (punishable by death);
  • photo and video filming of state institutions, sheikhs’ palaces, as well as military facilities;
  • photo and video filming of Arab women;
  • sexual harassment of women (the penalty for breaking this law is a fine or imprisonment, depending on the severity);
  • it is forbidden to take a married Arab woman by the arm;
  • to be in places of beach recreation in the nude (for both men and women) or without the upper part of a bathing suit (for women);
  • women’s clothing, with open or semi-open breasts, mini-skirts, as well as other provocative toilet items.

Recommendations for women making a tourist trip to the United Arab Emirates:

  • it would be appropriate and useful in this country to use modest clothing that covers the knees, chest, stomach, neck, shoulders and elbows (clothing should not have a tight-fitting silhouette);
  • it is undesirable to be in public places with loose hair;
  • it is desirable to wear a wedding ring, the status of a married woman is highly respected by Arab men;
  • you should not frankly consider local residents, direct glances in their direction, as a rule, can provoke excessive attention to your person;
  • cries and views that have sexual overtones from the local population are best simply ignored;
  • when on public transport, take seats next to women;
  • do not flirt with unfamiliar Arab men;
  • if you need help in a public place, you should first of all contact people of your own gender;
  • it is undesirable to ride horses and camels without a male escort;
  • it is undesirable for single tourists to meet Arab men in places such as discos, tourist shops, markets, diving centers. If you meet men in such places, pay attention to his behavior. As a rule, if the attitude towards a woman is respectful, a man in this country will not sexually harass her on the first date. Confirmation of respect for an unfamiliar woman may be the choice of topics for communication such as religion, family, planning of any events, as well as work.

National holidays of the United Arab Emirates:

  • August 7 – “Ascension to the Throne”, the day that marked the beginning of the creation of the state of the United Arab Emirates;
  • December 2 is the day of the formation of the federal state of the United Arab Emirates.

Religious holidays are celebrated in the United Arab Emirates according to the lunar calendar, so their date is not fixed in the calendar. These holidays include:

  • Id-Al-Fir;
  • New Year according to the Hijri (Muslim calendar);
  • Birthday of the Prophet (Milad-an-Nabi);
  • Holy month of Ramadan;
  • Birthday of the Prophet Muhammad;
  • Israa and Laylat al-Mi’raj.

Customs and Traditions of United Arab Emirates

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