We are al here to work and make an honest living. But this is another country and the rules and culture of each country is different and we need to respect those rules.
Here are some common Social Conduct Rules you should follow while you are here in UAE:
- Men should always show respect to women, general courtesy should be applied.
- Men should never visit, attend or go to places that are marked 'For Ladies Only'.
- As a male, do not stare at or compliment females.
- Do not enter an elevator if you are a male and a single female is inside.
- Men can shake hand while greeting with a male, but never with a female, unless she offers her hand first. Females usually also shake hand between themselves.
- Keep in mind that the concept of personal space is different than in the West. A man should not be surprised if he is touched, hugged or kissed by other men. Although this concept does not apply to male'female relation, and any public physical contact between the two should be avoided!
- Remember that holding hands by two men is a sign of brotherly bonding, not that of a homosexual tendencies. Friends of the same sex kissing on the cheek, doing 'nose kissing' or hugging in public is normal, it is a sign of friendship.
- Bear in mind that people of different sex should never kiss in public. It is socially unaccepted and also against the UAE law.
- Remember that sexual relations outside of marriage are illegal and carry a prison sentence.
- Do not comment or criticize Islam, ruling families, local dress or traditions of the local people.
- Try not to express admiration for another person's possessions as an owner may offer this item to you. This situation may oblige you to present something in return.
- Do not point the sole of your foot in the direction of an Arab, or other Asian for that matter. The foot is considered dirty and this gesture is highly offensive.
- Do not turn your back on someone who is speaking to you. It is seen as rude.
- Do not swear in public and do not show any threatening gestures, especially your middle finger, as it is punishable by law.
- Do not lose your patience or temper in front of an Arab; it is a sign of being rude and of a weak character.
- A hand signal such as fingers joined together with a thumb means 'wait a minute', or it can also be a sign of impatience.
- Remember to touch, pass or accept anything only with your right hand. The left hand is considered dirty. Also, eat with the right hand only.
- Accept hospitality by accepting offers of drink or food. Leave a little food on your plate if you are a guest, as a sign that you had enough.
- Remove your shoes when entering an Arab house.
- Remember that after the meal, if coffee is served it is a sign that it is time to go.
- Do not enter a mosque and do not touch the Qur'an if you are not a Muslim.
- In case you are allowed to enter a mosque (two mosques in the UAE are open to the public), you should attend in proper clothing. Long sleeves and trousers are appropriate for a man. Women should be completely covered including their hair.
- Do not eat, drink and smoke in public in the day time during Ramadan.
- While on the public beach, all swimmers should wear conservative swimwear. Topless and bikinis are not proper. Never wear swimwear in streets or other public places.
- Dress code: both women and men should refrain from wearing very short pants in public. Women should not wear any shorts or skirts that are above the knee. Do not wear clothing that exposes stomach, shoulders or back, or is tight and transparent.
This article was originally published on Expat.com.