8 Reasons Why Abu Dhabi Could Get You Blacklisted

Posted on Jan 2 2015 - 9:15am by Lily Berns


Decided to visit Abu Dhabi? But do you know that UAE has strict rules for tourists? If your answer is «no», be careful! Read this info attentively and try to remember every detail!

We will try to elaborate on how to behave in the UAE. Discover what is forbidden and what is allowed, how to communicate with the locals, and how not to amass a problem at the time of the vacation and until the end of your life. 


Most of the prohibitions, according official religion of the country, are related to alcohol. Drinking alcohol is forbidden for all Muslims.

But, despite this, the non-Muslim tourists have several options regarding the use of alcohol.

Firstly, you can bring your own alcohol (for example, bought in Duty Free), but remember that you cannot drink it in public places and in the presence of Muslims.

Secondly, alcohol is sold in bars and restaurants with appropriate license. But remember, never appear on the streets and in public places being intoxicated!

The sale of alcohol, in bars and restaurants of the UAE, is banned for persons who are less than 21 years old. So, if you want to buy alcohol, you should have a copy of your passport or other documents that prove your age.


Did you know that during the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims do not drink and do not eat from sunrise to sunset? They are also forbidden to smoke and to chew the bubble gum. Non-Muslims should respect religion, traditions and feelings of Muslims.

So try not to eat, drink or smoke in public places. It is advisable to wear buttoned up and not bright clothing.

Noncompliance of these simple rules of behavior in the United Arab Emirates during Ramadan may entail administrative and even criminal liability.

During Ramadan the non-Muslim tourists can eat and drink only in bars and restaurants of the hotel.

Remember, you are not allowed to visit the mosques. The only exception is the tourist visiting of the Grand Mosque, in the allotted hours, and the Jumeirah Mosque.

Respect the locals

When you communicate with the locals show respect and courtesy, do not touch people, do not try to play with children, do not stare at the local women, keep the distance!

When you enter in the Arab house, take your shoes off, firstly greet the older people, then others one by one, do not bring alcohol or pork products as a gift.

Try to give and to take everything with your right hand (the left hand in the Muslim world is considered to be «dirty»). Also European women should not shake hands of a Muslim man! Girls, try to control yourself!

Taking a photo

Like taking pictures during the trip? Be careful! Abu Dhabi is not a safe place for this hobby!

Taking photos of Muslim women is unacceptable – it may cause an arrest for 3 days. Before photographing a Muslim man, better ask him for permission. It is also forbidden to take pictures of sheikhs’ palaces and military installations of the UAE.

Traffic laws

Traffic laws in the UAE do not differ significantly from other countries. Just like everywhere: do not drive drunk or drugged, buckle your seat belt, do not talk on the phone, do not exceed speed limits.

If, due to some circumstances, you are forced to have a dialogue with the authorities of the UAE, in any case, do not offer a bribe! It can cause irreversible consequences for you!

Abu Dhabi is famous for its luxury cars. That’s why you shouldn’t miss the chance to rent a car and to enjoy the speed. You can easily do it online, just choose the car rental serviceand pick the car of your dream.

Protect the nature

Regarding the rules of safety in the UAE, you are not allowed to swim in prohibited areas and while the black flag is raised (warning of danger), never go to the desert without a guide, don’t touch wild animals, do not disrupt plants and don’t damage the corals.

Also, we do not recommend to bring pets to Abu Dhabi. Almost all hotels do not allow to live with pets, even if they are small and are not dangerous for society. 

Love is….

If you are traveling with your beloved one, you should know one strange but really important rule!

Men and women are not allowed to kiss or hug in public places. Regarding the law, cohabitation of man and woman, who are not married, is also prohibited.

Of course, the hotels are often loyal to the tourists who are in a civil marriage. But if you start a romance with a local man or woman, you should definitely wait for troubles.


You do not have to wear same clothes as locals, but you should follow certain rules.

In public places (shopping centers, markets, streets, museums, etc.), we recommend to wear the clothing covering the shoulders and forearms, chest, back and legs.

So, during the day at the hotel, near the pool and on the beach you can wear your beachwear. The only thing that must be remembered – it is strictly forbidden to be topless!

If you are planning to go for a long excursion, we recommend you to wear pants and a light jacket with long sleeves, first of all to protect your skin.

Wear simple and modest clothes, and you will not have any troubles!

All these rules may sound strange to you, but if you follow them carefully, your vacation in Abu Dhabi will become a real paradise. Try to relax and you will feel all the magic of this city.

About the Author

Lily B. is an adventure-traveler and writer. She uses every chance she gets to travel around the world with her family and friends.For the very best deals on renting a car for your trip, she recommends using uae.rentalcars24h.com