I had the opportunity to live in Dubai for 3 years, so I can definitely say that it is one of the countries that you should visit at least once in your lifetime.
For those who are not familiar with Dubai, it is located on the southeast part of the Persian Gulf and is one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates. It is the home of the tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa (pictured to the left) and the world’s largest flower garden, Dubai Miracle Garden.
Dubai is a modern city that welcomes a lot of tourists and expats. However, let’s not forget that it is a Muslim city which means that there are a lot of things to consider when visiting.
Visitors should dress appropriately and modestly. Unlike other places in the Middle East, Dubai doesn’t require female visitors to wear abaya and hijab while walking around the city. However, women who are planning to visit mosques should be sure to wear loose-fitting clothes that cover shoulders, arms and legs; as well as a scarf to cover the hair.
Swimwear is allowed at the beach or around the pool but (women) going topless is strictly prohibited.
Alcoholic Beverages, Cigarettes and Drugs
Alcohol is not readily available in Dubai. It is only available in licensed restaurants, hotels & resorts, bars and night clubs. You cannot consume liquor in public places or carry it with you unless you have a license. Drinking and driving is also not tolerated in the Dubai.
Make sure to check first if you are in a designated smoking area before you take out and light your cigarette, because there are fines if you disobey the rules.
As for drugs, like in other countries, it is definitely a zero-tolerance issue which may cause you a death penalty if violated.
Public Displays of Affection
Holding hands is okay, but hugging and kissing in public is strictly forbidden. Even worse for unmarried couples.
If you are visiting during Ramadan, keep in mind that it is strictly unacceptable for anybody (even if you are a Non-Muslim) to eat and drink in public from sunrise to sunset as a respect to Muslim people who are fasting during that time.
Recommended Reading: Lonely Planet