Dubai gives you a mixed vibe of different cultures through the city’s lifestyle, cuisine, customs, dance and music. Experience a perfect blend of Arabian, Islamic and Persian heritage in Dubai’s culture and traditions through our Dubai tour packages.
Keep reading to learn further about the rich heritage and culture in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
During your Dubai travel, you will find the locals sometimes dressed in traditional clothes with a style influenced by Islam. As one of the cultural things to do in Dubai, most men and women wear clothes from head to toe, symbolising modesty and conservativeness.
- Women are seen wearing the Abaya, a traditional long black cloak paired generally with a Niqab and Gafaaz. Women also wear a Burqa, an outer clothing piece that covers their whole body and face when heading out in public.
- Men in UAE generally wear a long, white and loose-fitting robe called the Kandura, the length of which often determines the person’s status. The Kandura gets typically paired up with a headscarf known as Ghutrah, tied in various styles.
- As a visitor, you need not follow the local dress code and can wear modest clothing in most places. Some public or government places might require you to cover up, but mostly you will find youngsters, visitors and ex-pats wearing western clothing items.
Customs and Traditions
Dubai is known globally for its rich culture and heritage. Some of the unique Dubai traditions and customs that you may come across are as follows:
- You will be served the Arabic coffee in a pot called Dallah as a symbol of hospitality. You must accept the coffee to honour the customary welcoming gesture as a guest.
- One of Dubai’s culture and traditions that reflect the Bedouin’s centuries-old customs is Falconry, where the Bedouins used falcons to help capture prey. The Falcon, also known as ‘Saqr,’ is considered a symbol of bravery, resolution, strong will, elegance, and contentment. Nowadays, Falconry is more ceremonial, but you can try it to experience the bird’s power, grace and beauty during the desert safaris through our Dubai honeymoon packages.
- One of the essential traditions in UAE is the marriage ceremony which involves several rituals and a feast. Among the essential customs practiced, the Laylat Al Henna or Henna night is meant mainly for the bride, the women in the family and female friends. The hands get decorated in henna designs by an artist.
Dubai has the most beautiful landmarks throughout the city, including malls and hotels greatly influenced by Persian, Arabian, and Islamic architecture. Most structures display architecture that reflects Dubai’s culture and heritage through its age-old customs, traditions, and lifestyle. You will notice a typical Iranian element, the ‘Barjeel’ or ‘Wind tower,’ in buildings that the local architects utilize to serve a dual purpose of natural ventilation and privacy.
The diverse culture of the UAE gets reflected in its cuisine, which dates back hundreds of years. The delicious aroma of the local spices and ingredients like cloves, cardamom, saffron, cinnamon, dates, etc., will always surround you during your trip with our Dubai tour packages.
- A speciality served during festivals like Eid and Ramadan is Harees, a meat and cracked wheat preparation.
- Kabsa is another local dish made of rice dishes with meat and vegetables.
- Maqluba is another popular dish where meat, vegetables and rice are cooked in a pot and later turned over to invert the layers.
Dubai Business Culture
The customs and traditions of the UAE do display their influence on Dubai’s business culture. You must adhere to certain etiquette while conducting business as a guest or visitor.
- Always respect the culture and law and be aware of the local customs and heritage of the place. Dubai is part of an Islamic nation; hence the local traditions and sensitivities differ from those in India.
- When conducting business in Dubai, ensure that you dress modestly. You can choose to wear your traditional or formal attire consisting of a business suit for men and women; a modest dress/suit covering the arms, legs and shoulders is considered professional.
- As a mark of respect to Dubai’s culture and traditions, you may use the customary greeting in Dubai, “As-salam Alaikum,” meaning peace to be upon you, to which the reply is “Wa Alaikum as-salam” translating to and upon you be peace. The men generally begin their meeting with a handshake but avoid shaking hands with a woman unless she chooses to extend hers.
- Follow a general protocol of minimal or no touching between men and women during the meeting.
- For an immersive experience of Dubai’s culture and heritage, visit the Sheikh Mohammed Center for cultural understanding. You can participate in various activities, including Arabic classes, a heritage tour and a guided mosque visit.
Visit the Hatta Heritage Village during your cultural trip in Dubai to explore the Arabian people’s history and heritage and understand how the locals lived in the old days up to 3,000 years ago.
Whether you visit Dubai for business or leisure, the incredible architectural sightings and the delicious cuisine will give you an insight into its rich heritage and culture. Please choose from our extensive Dubai travel packages soon to experience Dubai’s culture and traditions. Follow our Instagram profile to know about the latest offers and discounts.