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United Arab Emirates Culture

  • Traditional Dhows sailing in the Arabian Gulf, off Dubai, at sunset
  • Display in gold market
  • Close up of spices for sale at the spice souk, dubai

Social Conventions

The United Arab Emirates is an Islamic country, however, it has fairly liberal attitudes. Foreign women are allowed to dress however they want, but it is important to show respect and therefore cover one's knees and shoulders. (Especially if visiting places of religious significance).

During Ramadan, it is illegal to eat, drink or smoke in public during daylight hours as these are considered fasting hours. On days of national importance, alcohol is not sold. Non-Muslims are permitted to buy and drink alcohol in the UAE.

Shaking hands is the most common greeting in the country, however, most Arab women do not shake hands with men. Visitors should not approach Arab women unless they have been introduced. Eating should always happen with the right hand as the left hand is deemed unclean. One should never show the soles of their feet or shoes as this is offensive, implying that someone is dirt. Shoes should always be taken off before entering a house and visitors should never enter a mosque without permission.

Homosexuality and adultery are both illegal in the UAE.



The official language of the United Arab Emirates is Arabic, however, English is the language of business and commerce. Hindi, Urdu and Farsi are also commonly spoken.



While practicing freedom of religion, the majority of the population of the UAE is Muslim and the official religion is Islam.



United Arab Emirates Travel Information

At Goway we believe that a well-informed traveller is a safer traveller. With this in mind, we have compiled an easy-to-navigate travel information section dedicated to United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Learn about the history and culture of UAE, the must-try food and drink, and what to pack in your suitcase. Read about UAE's nature and wildlife, weather and geography, along with 'Country Quickfacts' compiled by our travel experts. Our globetrotting tips, as well as our visa and health information, will help ensure you're properly prepared for a safe and enjoyable trip. The only way you could possibly learn more is by embarking on your journey and discovering UAE for yourself. Start exploring… book one of our United Arab Emirates tours today!


Extend Your Trip

After your United Arab Emirates tours, why not consider one of Goway's Europe Tours



Book your UAE tour with Goway! 

AfricaExperts is the exclusive division of Goway that specializes in planning and organizing United Arab Emirates tours and experiences. Choose from a simple city stopover, a stay of distinction, a locally escorted tour, an independent travel module and more. We want to be your first choice when next you go globetrotting to United Arab Emirates.

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