If there are any vacancies in Dubai

10 things to know before visiting Dubai for the first time

Dubai is a rapidly growing metropolis on the Arabian Gulf and very western oriented, but you shouldn't forget that you are in a different cultural area. I'll try to answer a few questions with the following tips.

1. What is a dirham and what is its value?

The national currency of the United Arab Emirates is the dirham. A dirham is 22 cents or 1 euro is 4.77 dirhams. This can vary slightly according to courses. For us Europeans it is therefore easy to calculate with 1: 5. 1 euro = 5 dirhams. By the way, 1 dirham is 100 fils. In supermarkets, however, they are usually rounded, so small coins are rather rare.

2. Do I need a visa?

As a German citizen you can get a tourist visa at the airport in Dubai / Abu Dhai / the UAE. At the passport control you get a 30-day visa stamped, as you might know from other countries outside Europe.

3. How far can I get with English?

Almost everywhere. Arabic is the official language, but with over 90 nationalities in Dubai alone, English has simply established itself as a commercial language.

4. How do I dress?

Since you move in an Islamic environment, please also adhere to “their” rules. This means that you are covered from shoulders (including) to your knees. A few centimeters are not important (for men), but with spaghetti top and hotpans the external embarrassment factor is already very high - it is considered offensive. After all, you are a guest. In the neighboring emirate of Sharjah (which is often sold as a “Dubai vacation”) clothing is not a recommendation but a law.

5. How do I get around?

Those who dare take a rental car. A driving license for the non-EU country is recommended, even if you do not always need it. If you get lost, you will have a lot of fun especially in Dubai - at least if you want to get to know the city or the Emirates. I can only recommend it to you if you are there for a longer period of time to drive to Abu Dhabi or the other emirates by rental car. Fill up for 20 euros.

Public transportation is dirt cheap. This is because the liter of super on the Golf costs 39 cents and the taxi companies (RTA) are run by the state. 30km cost about 50 dirhams (10 euros), but then you have to want to go from the marina to the Dubai Mall.
The day ticket for the metro costs 16 dirhams (3.20 euros) in normal (2nd) class and 30 dirhams for gold class (1st class) -per day!


6. What about alcohol / cigarettes?

You won't find alcohol in the supermarket. To purchase, you need an ID card that authorizes you to purchase. It is impossible for tourists to get this card (waiting time> 3 months). Alcoholic drinks are usually available in the hotels at the bar. But be careful - those who are picked up on the street while drunk can expect severe penalties.

Smoking is similar to that in Germany. Usually not in closed rooms. And if you don't smoke but have friends - the bar costs around 10 euros (yes, bar not box).
Other drugs (grass or the like) are not recommended.

7. How much do I tip?

There is no rule, but the rule of thumb should be “in case of doubt 10%”. We have always done well with it at least Tip 10%. In the hotel, please put a small bill (e.g. 10 dirhams) on the bed before room service comes.

8. Why do the taxis have different colored roofs?

The taxis are divided into different companies. Actually, the color of the roof doesn't matter. Actually. A pink roof is not intended for male passengers. It is also driven by a lady. Rosa = taxi for women.

9. How do I behave as a couple?

Men can breathe easy - no caresses in public. A kiss as a greeting is ok, anything about it is not so welcome and is punishable by law.

10. What can I photograph?

In principle, pretty much anything that you would otherwise photograph. The same applies to people as in this country - in case of doubt, ask beforehand and leave it at that in the case of a refusal. Veiled women are not photographed. Likewise government buildings, property of the sheikh family (Bin Rashid Al Maktoum), military installations. The ban on photography at the port and airport has theoretically been lifted, but in order not to have to worry about explanations, one should refrain from taking photos of military facilities here as well.


In principle it is like in any other vacation: As a guest you try to adapt to the local conditions. If you don't overdo it as a woman with tight clothing, there shouldn't be any problems. The Burj Al Arab is only possible in long trousers and closed shoes (no sneakers!) - the same applies to the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. At the Emirates Palace you will have to turn around at the entrance gate!

A nice holiday!

Author Kai Thrun

Hello, my name is Kai - the author of this blog. I am a content creator with explanatory disorder, which led me to start this blog in 2009. I am writing here about my private thoughts, encounters with people or marketing campaigns that I find remarkable.

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