Dubai, a city in the emirate of the same name, has become a favored tourist destination in the UAE – make that Middle East as a whole. It is a country belted with religious and cultural tradition influenced by a more modern perspective. The reason it is known as a place or a city wherein the East meets the West. It is a place with state-of-the-art infrastratures, modernized transportation, and avant-garde cityscape bordered with strict rules and law you have to respect and follow. Whether you are going here for a vacation or seek employment, it is best that you know essential things before visiting Dubai.

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Here are some things to keep in mind (based on my experience) it may not include a complete set of rules but only facts I have observed.

CLIMATE Dubai has extreme weather conditions ranging from 10 degrees Celcius during winter up to a scorching hot of 49 degrees during summer. It is best to visit winter time during the month of November to March where the wind is chilly. It is also the best time to find a job and do walk-ins.

The weather that greeted us on our first month in Dubai. Summer starts in June and becomes extremely hot in August.

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TRADITION The UAE, including Dubai, grasps an Islamic tradition which is to be respected at all times. Ramadan is the fasting month for Muslims usually in the month of July to September. No one is allowed to drink, eat, chew, smoke or put anything in your mouth, including tourists, from sunrise to sunset in public places. You should also not take a photo of any woman without their permission because this is deemed unrespecful.

DRESS CODE Visitors are encouraged to dress appropriately. Clothing should not be transparent, statement shirts with offensive slogans are not allowed. Wearing shorts or skirts in Dubai are acceptable in some places, but when you’re in doubt just wear safe. At the beach, 2-piece and 1 piece swimsuits are accepted. Men are also not allowed to go out bare-chested.

Skirts and shorts are widely accepted, only in Dubai. There are other emirates that require below the knee skirts and sleeves elbow length.

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ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION It is only allowed to resident non-Muslims with an alcohol license. You can drink alcohol in licensed bars, restaurants or at home. Make sure to keep the receipt, just in case. Drinking and driving is a crime and you can get caught even with slightest amount of alcohol.

SMOKING It is widely accepted in many designated areas.

DRUGS Use of illegal drugs are strictly prohibited and can result to imprisonment and deportation. When buying over-the-counter or doctor’s prescribed medications, it is best to keep the doctor’s note and the receipt.

INTIMATE RELATIONSHIPS Sexual relationships, cohabiting or getting pregnant out of marriage is illegal. Public display of affection is not tolerated, kissing or hugging in public as such. Holding hands for married couples are permitted. I always bring our marriage license wherever we go, be it a shopping mall, restaurant or at the beach.

CAR LIFTS OR RENTALS If you will be staying for more than a month in Dubai, it is best to rent a vehicle or car lifts. Taxi fares are expensive, starting rate is 3.50 Dirhams and minimum rate of 10 Dirhams.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION Public Transpo is run by RTA, you need a NOL Card to ride a bus or the metro. Chewing gum, drinking or sleeping inside the bus or the metro are also prohibited.

Nol card

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The Metro (Green Line and Red Line)

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FOOD There is wide selection of food in Dubai, including Asian, (Indian, Chinese, Thai, Filipino) Arabic, American or anything you are craving for. There are Filipino supermarkets available which sells a variety of Pinoy food like rice, taro leaves (for laing), seafood and pork. Pork is sold in special sections. Fast food, diners including streetfood are also available. Shawarma and Indian food are among the favorites.

Indian Food

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Bulalo Steak

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Chicken Inasal

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LAW Offensive language, spitting, littering, jay walking, and foul behaviour are some of which against the law. The UAE law is very strict and should be abided both by locals and expats.

Dubai and their people is amaze, to ensure a memorable stay respect is the key. Now, enjoy!

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