The UAE, particularly Dubai, is a safe place to visit. It is designated as one of the safest holiday destinations by the international travel industry. However, it is wise to carry travel insurance and follow normal precautions to safeguard yourself and your valuables.
Some emergency numbers are given here:
Dubai police hotline (Al Ameen service) - 8004888
Ambulance - 998 or 999
Fire - 997
Police - 999
Coastguard - 04 3450520
On dialling 999 or 04 2821111, during an emergency, Dubai Police guarantee that a police helicopter will be there within 8 minutes at the location.
For non-emergency cases such as traffic queries, complaints or suggestions, general information like address or location, and police events, call 901 in Dubai.
Due to the low crime rates in Dubai, it ensures a trouble-free stay for visitors. Nevertheless, you are advised to take care of your valuables in busy public places and when using the public transport. Further, due to the present international scenario, visitors to Middle Eastern nations are advised to remain vigilant due to threat of terrorism. Special care is required when visiting entertainment venues that are largely western-oriented. Further, avoid participating in any sort of political gathering or demonstration.
Tipping during Dubai Excursions
Although tipping is not expected, it is a common practice to do so. For the staff at hotels, gratuities are given based on one’s discretion. Majority of the restaurants include service charges to the bill. In case this is not included, you may add 10percent of the total to the bill value. However, taxi drivers do not expect to be tipped. Supermarket baggers, bag carriers and windscreen washers at petrol stations are generally given Dh.2.
The films are readily available, and so are the processing facilities and colour prints. It is better to ask people before photographing. Avoid photographing Muslim women. Avoid taking photographs of docks, airports, government buildings, and telecommunication equipment, military and industrial installations.
Alcohol is permitted in Dubai. It can be purchased at the Duty Free Shop at the airport (limit per person is four bottles), as it cannot be purchased in the supermarkets or liquor stores here, unless you are a Dubai resident with an alcohol license. Dubai does not allow consuming alcohol on the streets. Drinking and driving is strictly prohibited. Also, no alcohol will be served on public holidays, periods of mourning, or in public places.
Dubai has absolutely no tolerance towards drug offences, and you may face serious consequences if caught. Dubai has its own regulations regarding controlled drugs. So, if visiting with prescription medicine, it is better to verify if your medicines have any particular restrictions. For instance, Tylenol 3 is restricted due to the presence of codeine in it. So it is best to check before travel. Also, if you are travelling with prescription medicine, it is better to carry only the amount required for your travel.
Public display of affection should be avoided, as it is considered offensive. Dubai follows the Sharia law, and hence, unmarried couples who are travelling together will have to look for separate accommodations. Homosexuality is also not permitted in any part of the UAE.
It is best to check with your local embassies for visa requirements, as they are likely to change often. Majority of nationals enter Dubai on a tourist visa for nearly 60 days. Some are not permitted entry without a valid visa on arrival. Check with your travel agent and confirm the visa requirements for your country, before planning your trip to Dubai.
When on a visit visa, you are allowed to use International driving license. But, when you are a resident, you will have to apply for a Dubai driving license. Dubai sticks to left-hand driving. Drinking and driving can attract huge fines, imprisonment, lashing or deportation. In case of any accident, remain there with your car, and call the police, who will handle it as per the local laws. Speeding is common in Dubai, and therefore, if you do not follow traffic rules, the chances of you being knocked out are also common. Taxis are expensive in Dubai, and therefore, renting a car is considered a better option.
UAE, being tax-free country with little import duties, there are few restrictions on the items that you are allowed to bring in and take out of the country. Dubai is liberal about the duty-free allowances, wherein nearly 2000 cigarettes, 400 cigars and 2kgs of tobacco are permitted. Alcohol is allowed to be imported only by non-Muslims.
Dubai forbids import of firearms or dangerous weapons, religious propaganda, unstrung pearls, and raw sea food.