Do's and Don'ts for travelling to the Middle East
Travelling to a new country with a different culture can be daunting, but doing research and checking facts is the best way to make sure your travel and transition is smooth. Check out our tips and advice.
1) Using your left hand – when greeting, eating and opening doors it is advised to avoid using your left hand as this is considered unhygienic.
2) Loud music – pumping up the volume in certain areas may not be a good idea especially during Ramadan.
3) Eating in public during Ramadan – Of course you are allowed to eat, however it is advised to find a secluded spot or a designated spot to eat your lunch.
4) Taking pictures – Taking a snapshot of a sunset is permitted as long as there are no pictures in your camera roll of people that have not given consent, especially of children without the consent of the parents.
5) Public display of affection - It is advised to keep your affection down to a minimum with your significant other in public.
6) Smoking – There are designated areas where you will be permitted to smoke. If you are not sure you should ask around or look out for signs that advertise a smoking area.
7) Medication – This can be a scary topic when you are not sure, so it is best to ask your doctor to do more research for you as well. You may take prescription medication, but you must have the original script with you. Should you need this medication in the future it is a good idea to take future-dated original scripts with you but make sure your doctor has noted any name change that might be relevant if your medication is marketed under a different name in your destination country. It is also important to check to see what ingredients are banned in the UAE – check this with your GP.
Over the counter medication is permitted, however triple-checking your facts is advised. Attached is a PDF document to help you in this research. See here for more information on Medicine laws in the AUE.
8) Explore – You must visit the massive malls, amazing architectural buildings and beautiful mosques. The Middle East is filled with rich culture and so many activities that can keep you very busy on weekends and on your days off.
9)Dress Code- It is not necessary to throw out all of your clothes and buy everything the locals will be wearing, but it is important to dress modestly and respectfully. Here is a link with a checklist to cover all bases. If you want to learn more details on the dress code you can visit our previous blog post on this topic. Click here to read more.
10) Respecting the rules and laws within the UAE is important to avoid any trouble. Just remember to do your research if you are not sure what the rules are or simply ask a colleague, staff member or friend that is from the area.