Dos and Don’ts when visiting Abu Dhabi

The Manhattan of the Middle East… This is how Abu Dhabi is known. Throughout the years, this capital of the United Arab Emirates has become a major hub for tourists, popular for its cultural attractions, architectural masterpieces, luxurious resorts, massive shopping centres and theme parks. Who would have thought it was a fishing village? While it is a treat for tourists, it has its own culture and set of norms, values and behavioural habits that everyone should be aware of. That is why it is important to do some research about the Dos and Don’ts in Abu Dhabi when planning to visit there. This article has you covered. 

Dos when visiting Abu Dhabi

  • Apply for the e-Visa online: when planning your trip, make sure to apply for the UAE e-Visa. The process is easier and faster and you can get the necessary document in 3 days only. 
  • Dress appropriately: Wearing modest clothing is important in Abu Dhabi. You do not have to wear maxi dresses at all times. However, clothes that are too tight and are revealing are frowned upon.
  • Greet others either in English or Arabic: greetings are a strong tradition among the locals. 
  • Respect Islam and other related traditions: Islam being the major religion, you should respect traditions related to it. For instance, respect prayer times and do not eat in public when the locals are fasting during Ramadan. 
  • Use your right hand: when accepting a gift or when eating. 
  • Indulge in the food: make sure to try both the street food and the restaurants
  • Keep your valuable and other important documents safe.
  • Always carry your important travel documents with you.
  • Follow traffic rules if you are driving: heavy fines are imposed on those who break the law in Abu Dhabi.
  • Wear protective clothing and sunscreen to protect you from the sun.
  • Drink a lot of water to keep you hydrated

Don’t: what not to do when visiting Abu Dhabi

  • Do not cohabit, share a room with, or have sex with someone you are not married with. Not only is this frowned in Abu Dhabi, but it is also illegal. 
  • Do not be overly affectionate with your partner in public. Holding hands is acceptable between couples but hugging or kissing in public is not. 
  • Do not drink and drive. Abu Dhabi has zero tolerance for people who drink while driving. There should not be one drop of alcohol in your system while you are driving. 
  • Do not drink alcohol in public. Alcohol is sold and consumed only in licensed bars and authorised restaurants. 
  • Do not take pictures of strangers without their permission
  • Do not shake hand with someone of the opposite sex if the handshake has not been initiated first. 
  • Do not dance in public
  • Do not use rude or offensive language 
  • Do not wear swimwear if you are not at the pool area or the beach
  • Do not take, distribute or have drugs on you. This is considered a serious offence and can even lead to jail time. 
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