Travelling to UAE for either work or holiday is very common these days. However, you must be aware of the laws of the country you are travelling to, especially if you are a visitor from a western country. We list out a few facts and pointers which one must keep in mind before visiting the land of the Sheikhs.
Alcohol in UAE
Consuming alcohol is allowed in most western countries, however, the same cannot be said about UAE. In order to consume or possess alcohol, one needs to take permit from the Ministry of Interior liquor; not doing so, may invite trouble in the form of arrest and/or fines and imprisonment. Alcohol is served at bars in a majority of hotels but beware, it is intended only for the guests of the hotel. Those who are not the guests of the hotel are required to have their own personal liquor license which is only issued to non-Muslim. Another point worth noting is that consuming alcohol is outright prohibited in the emirate of Sharjah.
Food in UAE – Ban on Certain Food Items
Poppy seeds, although used in several cultures for culinary purpose, falls under the banned category in UAE. The possession of poppy seeds in any or all forms and even in small quantity, is strictly prohibited. Likewise, carrying any pork item or electronic cigarettes within the emirate is not allowed.
UAE Tourism – Dressing and Code of Conduct
Being an Islamic country, the dressing and code of conduct is conservative when compared with the western countries and visitors to UAE are advised to keep this in mind. Female travellers are recommended to dress modestly. Public display of affection is considered bad conduct and can invite trouble.
Take care while taking photographs as clicking pictures of certain government buildings and military installations isn’t allowed. Also, it is recommended to not take photographs of people without permission as men have been arrested in the past for photographing women on beaches.
Eating in public during the month of Ramadan
Eating and drinking during the month of Ramadan is forbidden between sunrise and sunset. Non-Muslims are also expected to follow the same rule in public. Western hotels are an exception to this rule and offer services to cater to non-Muslims during this time.
While travelling in UAE, don’t forget to buy SIM card for international travel to keep in touch while roaming.