UAE is a haven of a diversity of heritage, traditions and customs. These are taken seriously by locals, and tourists should be aware of these in order to respect them. Some customs include actions which need to be followed by tourists, like the do’s and don’ts of the country. Respecting the customs and traditions is necessary in avoiding conflicts or arrests in extreme cases. Here is a list of 6 traditions and customs tourists should know.
Attire or clothing is expected to be modest according to the country’s dress code. Not following this could cause distress. The traditional clothing for men is a Kandura or full robe usually white in color. For women, it is an Abaya, a black colored robe. It represents the heritage of the UAE through its simplicity yet fine fabric quality.
The first interaction between locals and tourists starts with a greeting and knowing the correct way for that is important. It displays respect and builds trust between the two groups. Emirati greetings usually involve genuinely warm welcomes including handshakes, embraces and generous praise. With women, let the local women initiate the greeting and follow suit. More conservative greetings between men and women are still widely practiced, so when in doubt, just smile. Locals highly regard it when you pay attention and respect these small things.
Rules of how to behave in public may be the biggest difference in the culture between locals and tourists. Public displays of affection are frowned upon and regarded disrespectful to the Emirati customs and culture, due to religious differences. Taking pictures of people in public is not tolerated, especially of women, military or government facilities, unless at a tourist location.
Staying on our best behavior, especially in public, is a very important part of the heritage of UAE. You would be able to see that once you become a part of any of our tour packages with Heritage Express and enjoy Emirati hospitality and culture at its warmest.
A major role of UAE’s tradition and customs is played by religion. As tourists, you are expected to respect the religion of the locals who are mostly Muslims. Prayer times must be respected, dress modestly if visiting a mosque, refrain from eating publicly in Ramadan during fasting hours and avoid the consumption of pork or alcohol in public.
These are some of the general customs and traditions that tourists must know of. Giving respect and importance to these small things will make their UAE trip a pleasant experience and hopping on one of our buses at Heritage Express will make it even more enjoyable.