Can you hold hands in Dubai? - Combadi - World Travel Site (2023)

Can you hold hands in Dubai? - Combadi - World Travel Site (1)
The Dubai Code allows holding hands between couples. But this is only limited to couples that are already married. Public displays of affection are offensive acts to the public when in Dubai. It is wise to avoid PDA when in the country.

I would have to make this clear.

In theory, men and women holding hands in public in Dubai are fine. This act will never lead to a problem unless it is the season of Ramadan. The same should also pose a problem in Sharjah.

In Dubai, you can easily see couples walking in malls and other public places holding hands.

You see them in malls. You see them in shopping centers. You see them in parks and all other public places. Everywhere, you will see couples of the opposite sex holding hands.

However, there is something that you should know.

Public display of affection is offensive to the locals of Dubai.

You can hold hands, yes. But you risk offending the locals.

As you can see, the Dubai Code allows such acts only to married couples.

There is a certain level of tolerance for unmarried ones. But if I were you, just do not run the risk of offending the locals.

And yes, holding hands as unmarried couples is offensive.

List of Contents

  • Can I share a room with my boyfriend in Dubai?
  • Can you kiss in a bar in Dubai?
  • Can I bring a girl to my hotel room in Dubai?
  • Is dating allowed in Dubai?

The laws in Dubai do not allow unmarried couples to live together. It is also the same when unmarried couples share a hotel room. If there is something to note, unmarried individuals of the same sex cannot stay in hotel rooms together.

Remember that only married couples can share a room when you are in Dubai.

The only time two people of the opposite sex can share a room is when they are family members.

In theory, if you are an unmarried couple staying in a hotel room together, you are breaking the law. Although, I should also emphasize that they rarely prosecute tourists.

But would you run the risk of being on the wrong side?

I would not.

This is an important aspect for anyone planning to take a trip or a vacation with their significant other in Dubai. I highly suggest that you have separate rooms to stay in the city.

Unless, of course, you are already married.

The laws in Dubai forbid unmarried couples to stay together in the same home or hotel room.

As mentioned, they rarely prosecute tourists. But there can be arrests and jail time for the offenders when word gets out.

And as vacationers, I am sure you would not want this to happen.

Can you kiss in a bar in Dubai?

There are many acts not allowed in Dubai. The worst of its kind is kissing in public. It does not matter whether it is a peck on the cheek or a short smack on the lips. As long as it is in public, the law forbids it. Do not kiss in public when in Dubai.

Remember holding hands as a public display of affection that can offend the locals?

It is something I do not encourage that you do when in Dubai.

But there is something else you should not do. That is kissing in public.

As I mentioned earlier, kissing in public could be the worst of its kind when in Dubai.

It is something they forbid in public in Dubai.

Even a simple peck on the cheek or a smack to the lips can land you in jail in Dubai.

And no, that is not how you spend your vacations.

Can a woman hug a man in Dubai?

Holding hands is acceptable for married couples in Dubai. Kissing or hugging in public places is unacceptable.

When you compare Dubai with the other states of the UAE, Dubai is more liberal.

Despite its liberal approach, you should always recognize that they still observe Islamic law in the state.

The power of tourism, however, is vital.

And every year, you could see millions of tourists from all over the world arrive in Dubai to visit. And yes, a large percentage of these tourists are not married.

Hotels in Dubai can perhaps turn a blind eye to this.

But as an unmarried couple visiting Dubai either for vacation or for work, you should always take the necessary precautions.

Islamic Law on Unmarried Couples

As you already know, Islamic law does not allow unmarried couples to live together.

The same rule applies to unmarried couples sharing a hotel room.

In theory, you should also know that hotels are not allowed to hail a cab for you to be alone with somebody of the opposite sex. It is also the same when booking tours. Hotels are not allowed to secure you a tour with somebody of the opposite sex.

The regulation has its basis on the Tawajed clause. The Tawajed clause is specific to people of the opposite sex.

Such a clause states that people of the opposite sex can never be alone together. There is an exception to this rule. And that is if they are family or married.

Luxury Hotels and Ex-pats

Despite the law, most hotels in Dubai do not enforce this.

For instance, luxury hotels that usually cater to foreigners and ex-pats do not enforce the “only married couples” rule in Dubai.

And so, when visiting Dubai, you will never have trouble booking a room.

Upon checking in, expect the front desk officer to require you to show your passports. And as an unmarried couple, you will, of course, have different last names.

It will never be an issue, especially with luxury hotels.

Married women in Dubai can always keep their last names.

Yes, an unmarried couple can check-in in Dubai, especially in luxury hotels. But do I recommend it?


When in Public

Public displays of affection are offensive acts in Dubai.

Locals do not quickly receive such acts.

Holding hands, as earlier mentioned, are acceptable for married couples. But kissing and hugging in public places is not permitted.

Bear in mind that the police can quickly stop you in the streets.

And if the police happen to stop you because you are holding hands and are not married, this might spell trouble for you.

The most common areas where the authorities can stop you would be in malls, shopping centers, and restaurants. When in these places, always be aware of your surroundings.

The police may not quickly stop you when you are on the hotel premises unless you stay at a hotel with many Muslim guests.

In such cases, some guests can alert the police for inappropriate conduct in public. And if the police find out that you are not married but are staying in the same room, you will get in trouble.

Added Precautions

I do not recommend unmarried couples to stay in the same hotel room when in Dubai.

But if you want to push through with booking in the same room, there are some added precautions that you can take.

When in public, you can refer to each other as your “husband” or “wife.”

As much as possible, avoid referring to the other as your “boyfriend,” “girlfriend,” or “fiance.”

Refer to your significant other as your husband or your wife. Doing so can minimize the risk.

Can I bring a girl to my hotel room in Dubai?

Suppose in a bar in Dubai, and you met a girl you would like to invite to your hotel room. You know that this is against Dubai Laws. But as mentioned, most hotels turn a blind eye to this, especially luxury hotels. Just make sure to be aware of your surroundings.

Now, suppose you are planning to travel to the United Arab Emirates. Suppose you are planning to move there to work.

You need to remember a few things when in the country.

Dubai, a state in the UAE, is predominantly Muslim.

As such, there are traditions and laws that you need to know. These traditions and laws are those that you should come to respect, just like you would when in another country.

To avoid trouble when in Dubai, there are a few rules you need to know.

Intimate Relations

As you already know, sexual relationships among unmarried individuals are illegal in Dubai.

This reason is why the laws in Dubai are specific for unmarried couples not to be alone together.

Living together, including in hotels, is also not allowed in Dubai.

But as you know, most hotels in Dubai, especially luxury hotels, turn a blind eye to the “only married couples” rule of the land.

The lenient treatment of the law is mainly because foreigners and ex-pats frequent these luxury hotels.

The only requirement upon check-in is a passport.

Even different last names do not raise eyebrows in these hotels as women in Dubai commonly retain theirs even when married.

Most unmarried couples refer to their partners as their husbands or wives as a precaution. Nowhere would you hear these unmarried couples refer to their partners as their girlfriend, boyfriend, or fiance.

Doing so can invite trouble, hence, husband and wife use.

Also, acts of homosexuality are not allowed in Dubai.

The Dubai authorities can deport you when caught engaging in homosexual acts while in the state as a traveler.

While it is rare for the authorities to raid a room, it is best to always be on your best behavior when in the state.

Public Display of Affection

Even married couples have limitations when it comes to PDAs in Dubai.

As a married couple, you can do most in public to hold hands. Kissing or hugging is not allowed. Doing so can mean trouble.

If you want to know, kissing or hugging in public can mean you pay a fine. It could also mean imprisonment for some.

Sexual Harassment

Males should never address Emirati females in public when in Dubai. I should also highlight that this applies to females you do not know.

As a male, you cannot just address any Emirati female in public.

You are also not allowed to follow a female or take photos without her permission.

Doing so is an act of disrespect to the Emirati female.

This act is also unacceptable behavior.

Is dating allowed in Dubai?

Dubai allows dating. You can see men and women on dates in public places like malls or restaurants. Dubai is quite different from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where women are not even allowed to stand next to men. In Dubai, dating is possible.

The thought that dating is not allowed in Dubai is false.

Who said you cannot?

Yes, Dubai allows dating between couples.

But during dates, you should respect the guidelines and traditions of the state.
Dating in Dubai is common.

When in malls and restaurants, it is common to find men and women on dates.

If you are dating somebody in your ex-pat community, nobody cares. Even if they know that you are dating, it is still okay.

But know that dating rules can differ depending on which community you are in.

Muslims are conservative. They have conservative and traditional views about dating.

And just the same, dating rules also differ from one workspace to another. In some offices, they allow dating between employees. Other offices do not allow interoffice romance.

Another important reminder is that the concept of boyfriend and girlfriend does not exist in Dubai.

You can go out on a date with the opposite sex.

You can go out for coffee, lunch, or dinner.

It is fine.

But what you do during these dates matters.

As mentioned earlier, holding hands is not an option. And as you already know, neither should kissing or hugging be your options when in public.

So again, you can have coffee or dinner. But that’s the most that you can do about it.

Dating Sites

In other countries, dating sites are popular.

It is a great and easy way for people to meet up.

However, in Dubai, these sites are inaccessible. The government blocks them because most use these sites to promote pornography and prostitution.

And so, when you are looking for dates in Dubai, you’re on your own, buddy.

Good luck!

Related posts:

Is Dubai the richest country in the world?Is Israel in Asia or Africa?Can you eat bacon in Dubai?What time is check-in at hotels in the USA [Best Guide]


Can tourists hold hands in Dubai? ›

In Dubai, holding hands, hugging, and kissing in public is considered socially unacceptable and if caught indulging in such acts, you might land up in jail. Many foreigners have already suffered the consequences. Do not join the bandwagon. This is considered one of the most important things not to do in Dubai.

Is it okay to hold hands in Abu Dhabi? ›

Men and women holding hands is a public display of affection which in theory could result in a problem but is unlikely to, unless it's Ramadan, where we all must be even more observant of the laws.

Can married couples kiss in Dubai? ›

“Holding hands for a married couple is tolerated but kissing and petting are considered an offence to public decency,” it adds. “Public displays of affection, as well as sexual harassment or randomly addressing women in public places, is liable to be punished by imprisonment or deportation.”

Do they still cut hands off in Dubai? ›

Criminals who escaped a hudud punishment could still receive a ta'zir sentence. In the 21st century, hudud, including amputation of limbs, is part of the legal systems of Brunei, Iran, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

Can tourists wear sleeveless in Dubai? ›

You don't have to be completely covered up, but women should avoid wearing short skirts, short shorts, and any revealing or see-through dresses. It's okay to wear sleeveless tops if the neckline isn't too low. It does get chilly in the desert after sunset, so it's better to wear a bit of sleeve.

Can you put your thumbs up in Dubai? ›

Some hand gestures are considered offensive in Dubai. Showing a thumbs-up sign is equivalent to flipping the bird and the “ok” hand sign indicates the devil's eye. Any obscene or rude hand gestures will put you in jail.

Can you show your arms in Dubai? ›

Visitors, both men and women, are encouraged to wear clothes that covers their shoulders, arms and legs.

What are the rules in Dubai for tourists? ›

Important things to know before you visit Dubai
  • Check your prescriptions. ...
  • Avoid PDA. ...
  • Unmarried couples cohabiting is illegal in Dubai. ...
  • Dress conservatively in public spaces. ...
  • Avoid swearing in public . ...
  • No being drunk in public spaces. ...
  • Don't take photos of people without permission. ...
  • Abide by the rules of Ramadan.

Is it illegal to share a hotel room in Dubai? ›

It is illegal for muslims to cohabit before marriage. It is therefore against the law in Dubai to share a room if you are not married, HOWEVER, it is one of the laws that a blind eye is turned to for the tourist trade and therefore it will not be an issue - no one will ask yoiu they will just assume you are.

Is Dubai strict for couples? ›

Heterosexual couples who were not married were not allowed to live under the same roof. This law was based on Emirati culture and the Muslim religion, which forbids sexual relations outside marriage. However, Dubai remains one of the most tolerant cities in the United Arab Emirates and has revised its law.

How safe is Dubai for females? ›

February 24, 2022. Is Dubai safe for solo female travelers? Yes, Dubai is definitely safe for solo female travelers, and it is the perfect destination for solo female digital nomads!

Can you wear leggings in Dubai? ›

Can I wear leggings in Dubai? Yes, in most situations, it is OK to wear figure-hugging leggings in Dubai. We would suggest it's appropriate to wear a long top to cover your bottom in some public settings, though not essential. Many ladies wearing shorter dresses or skirts like to wear leggings underneath.

Is tattoos allowed in Dubai? ›

Of course, this then leads many expatriates to ask are tattoos allowed in Dubai and the UAE. Having tattoos is perfectly fine and legal. And if you're asking can you show tattoos in Dubai? Yes you can.

Do you have to wear socks in Dubai? ›

There are no restrictions on shoes. Only in mosques, shoes must be off, so if you're heading there, it would be a good idea to wear socks as well. Yes.

Do you still wear masks in Dubai? ›

The wearing of masks is only mandatory in medical facilities and centres for people with disabilities. Wearing of masks is optional for all other open and closed facilities and spaces. Further information is available on the Emirates News Agency website. The AlHosn app is the UAE's official app related to COVID-19.

Do you have to cover your skin in Dubai? ›

Dress code in public places in Dubai

To be respectful of the UAE culture, it is best to remain covered from shoulder at least to the knees. For instance, although T-shirts (preferably with sleeves covering at least upper arm) are fine, spaghetti tops for women may not be appreciated in public places.

Do you have to wear long pants in Dubai? ›

The rules might be enforced more strictly if you visit during the Ramadan, so keep this in mind. Most upmarket restaurants require that men wear long trousers and closed shoes; women can wear sandals at any time. Beachwear is only for the beach, so don't go to a restaurant wearing only a bikini or swimming shorts.

What do female tourists wear in Dubai? ›

If you plan on visiting either, remember to wear loose-fitting and conservative clothing, so avoid shorts and keep ankles covered. Women should also cover their head and arms before entering. You can bring a shawl of your own, but some mosques also let visitors borrow abayas.

Can tourists wear ripped jeans in Dubai? ›

Most public places in Dubai will accommodate decent ripped jeans. For example, you can wear them in the desert, old Dubai, public transport, and shopping malls. However, if they are extremely ripped, avoid wearing the jeans in such places. Wear such in hotels, party brunches, beach clubs, and bars.

Can you wear a cross in Dubai? ›

Yes, you can wear a cross necklace in Dubai. People from all walks of life go to Dubai because of its international atmosphere. Due to the many different cultures and religions represented there, it is typical to see people dressed in ways that show their ethnic or religious identity.

Can you take deodorant to Dubai? ›

Liquids in hand luggage FAQs

Aerosols and roll on deodorants are classed as liquids, so any containers larger than 100 ml will need to go in your luggage in the hold. Containers smaller than 100 ml are accepted if in a clear plastic bag.

What medications are allowed in Dubai? ›

Which medications can I take into Dubai? You are free to bring any non-prescription, non-controlled medication into Dubai. This includes medicine such as Paracetamol, Ibuprofen, travel sickness medication, and Calpol.

Can you chew gum in Dubai? ›

Gum is banned from sale in Dubai, making this a major prohibition. You'll have to carry your gum from abroad to indulge in the habit. However, medicated gum could be available at some drugstores and specialist shops.

Can you show your stomach in Dubai? ›

Showing cleavage is somewhat frowned upon, and it's also best to avoid wearing any tops that show your underwear underneath. Instead, go for t-shirts and tops that cover your upper arms – strappy tops and those that show off your midriff are considered offensive.

Can I show my feet in Dubai? ›

Showing the soles of your feet – In Dubai, it is deemed rude to show people the soles of your feet. This is because the foot is deemed the dirtiest part of the body. Wear sandals or other shoes when you are out in public.

Is it allowed to take Selfies in Dubai? ›

Privacy is a huge matter in the UAE, and taking pictures of people without permission is illegal. Article 378 of the UAE Penal Code (Federal Law No. 3 of 1987) states that taking a person's photo without his/her consent is an invasion of privacy, and thus punishable by law.

Do you need a Covid test to pass through Dubai? ›

All the passengers travelling to Dubai are no longer required to present COVID-19 vaccination certificates or negative PCR test results.

Do you need a Covid test to travel from Dubai? ›

Travel requirements for UAE citizens

present a valid negative result of an RT-PCR test for COVID-19 if not vaccinated. The test result must have been issued within 48 hours from the time of sample collection and the time of boarding the aircraft.

Do I need Covid test when travelling to Dubai? ›

All other passengers, including those who are visually impaired, have a hearing impairment or are physically challenged, must hold a negative COVID‑19 RT‑PCR test certificate as per the requirements. There may be specific test exemptions in your country of origin and final destination.

Can you share a bed in Dubai? ›

Sharing accommodation in Dubai is not permissible unless the landlord approves it. According to Article 24 of Law No. 26 of 2007, the tenant cannot sublease the property without the landlord's permission unless it is specifically mentioned in the Dubai tenancy contract.

Can I share a room with my girlfriend in Dubai? ›

According to the law, it's illegal for unmarried couples to stay in the same room during a holiday in Dubai. In reality, this is not strictly enforced and it's unlikely you'll be challenged on it. Many unmarried couples visit Dubai every year without issue.

Is the tap water in Dubai safe to drink? ›

To sum it up, you can drink tap water in Dubai as long as you ensure that necessary steps have been taken to eliminate the potential risks of drinking Dubai's tap water stored in your water tanks. A lot of people simply boil tap water in Dubai before drinking it.

Can boyfriend and girlfriend sleep in the same room in Dubai? ›

Unmarried couples in Dubai

Sexual relationships or unmarried couples cohabiting is illegal in Dubai. Cohabiting, including in hotels, is also illegal, however most hotels in Dubai do not enforce an 'only married couples' rule. The luxury hotels which mostly cater to foreigners are especially relaxed.

Can I stay with my girlfriend in a hotel in Dubai? ›

According to the law in Dubai, it is illegal for an unmarried couple to stay together in a hotel room. This is due to the Islamic beliefs of the country, which forbid unmarried couples from engaging in sexual activity outside of marriage.

Can I stay in a hotel room with my boyfriend in Dubai? ›

Most Dubai hotels don't enforce the “only married couples” rule. Luxury hotels, which often cater to foreigners, are especially relaxed, so chances are you won't have trouble booking a room. At check-in, you'll be required to show your passport, but having different surnames won't raise any eyebrows.

Are Americans welcome in Dubai? ›

Exercise increased caution in the United Arab Emirates due to the threat of missile or drone attacks and terrorism. Country Summary: The possibility of attacks affecting U.S. citizens and interests in the Gulf and Arabian Peninsula remains an ongoing, serious concern.

Do ladies drink free in Dubai? ›

The Public House. The deal: Three free drinks for ladies. Every Sunday, ladies can unwind and enjoy some well-deserved fun at Public House in Al Barsha with a night filled with free drinks, and music.

Can you shake a woman's hand in Dubai? ›

Physical interaction between men and women is more conservative. Male visitors should not take the initiative to shake hands with an Emirati woman; she will make it clear if she expects a handshake. Likewise, some Arab men may not wish to shake hands with women. Of course, a smile is universally accepted.

What should I wear on a plane to Dubai? ›

Light, comfortable clothing, shorts or trousers are best depending on the time of the year. If you're going in the cooler months take a jacket, because nights in the Arabian Desert can get cold, believe it or not!

Is Dubai cheap or expensive? ›

Dubai isn't actually much more expensive than London, New York, and other big cities. However, Dubai's not a very walkable city. Jaywalking is illegal, and crossings are few and far between. Taxi prices aren't too expensive but taking them often can add up.

What language do they speak in Dubai? ›

What is the official language in Dubai? Dubai's official language is Arabic but there are many variations prevalent in the city. Standard Arabic – the modernised, literary version – is the one you'll encounter in all legal, administrative and government texts, as well as books and newspapers.

Can you hold hands in Dubai airport? ›

Do Not Indulge In PDA. There are certain things you can't do in Dubai and PDA is one of them. In Dubai, holding hands, hugging, and kissing in public is considered socially unacceptable and if caught indulging in such acts, you might land up in jail.

Can you smoke in Dubai? ›

The UAE's law prohibits sale of tobacco and tobacco products to children. Smoking in public transportation, private vehicles and indoor places in the presence of a child is also prohibited.

Can you wear piercings in Dubai? ›

Are piercings illegal in Dubai? No, piercings are not illegal in Dubai or the UAE. However, heavily pierced individuals may be faced with problems when entering the country at the airport, due to the wrong assumption that they are associated with black magic.

Do people wear jeans in Dubai? ›

Women can wear shirts, tops, t-shirts, skirts, shorts, trousers, jeans, and dresses in Dubai. Women can wear swimsuits and bikinis on the beaches. They can also wear the traditional dress of their country or culture, such as saree or salwar kameez, as long as it is modest.

Are you allowed to show affection in public in Dubai? ›

Offensive behaviour

Swearing and making rude gestures (including online) are considered obscene acts and offenders can be jailed or deported. Take particular care when dealing with the police and other officials. Public displays of affection are frowned upon, and there have been several arrests for kissing in public.

Can you show physical affection in Dubai? ›

Dubai is a country known for its strict laws when it comes to public displays of affection, specifically "Public Display of Affection" laws. These laws prohibit any physical contact between people who are not married to each other in public. Violators can be punished with fines, jail time, or both.

Do tourists have to cover up in Dubai? ›

Tourists can wear anything they wish as long as they abide by the general dress code of covering the shoulders and knees. Since it is very hot, cotton, linen, or breathable material is preferred for clothes.

What is the dress code in Dubai? ›

The general rule regarding dressing in public in Dubai is to wear clothing that covers your shoulders and your knees. It's best to refrain from wearing clothing that is too tight or too revealing for both men and women. It's a good idea to carry a light sweater or shawl when going out in public places.

Can I sleep with my GF in Dubai? ›

Unmarried couples in Dubai

Sexual relationships or unmarried couples cohabiting is illegal in Dubai. Cohabiting, including in hotels, is also illegal, however most hotels in Dubai do not enforce an 'only married couples' rule. The luxury hotels which mostly cater to foreigners are especially relaxed.

Can I share a bed with my boyfriend in Dubai? ›

Unmarried couples are not allowed to share a hotel room or bed in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. This is because of the country's strict Islamic laws and cultural norms. Hotels in Dubai are required to ask for proof of marriage before allowing couples to share a room.

Can you share a hotel room with your boyfriend in Dubai? ›

It is illegal for muslims to cohabit before marriage. It is therefore against the law in Dubai to share a room if you are not married, HOWEVER, it is one of the laws that a blind eye is turned to for the tourist trade and therefore it will not be an issue - no one will ask yoiu they will just assume you are.

Can a man get a massage from a woman in Dubai? ›

Here are some key regulations regarding massage services in Dubai: Licensing: Massage therapists and establishments providing massage services must have a valid license issued by the DHA. Gender-specific: Male therapists can only treat male clients and female therapists can only treat female clients.

Can I wear skinny jeans in Dubai? ›

Can I wear skinny jeans in Dubai? Yes, in most situations, skinny jeans, like leggings, are absolutely fine. The only place this may not be appropriate is a religious building. We would suggest ladies place an abaya on top of their outfits.

Should you wear a mask in Dubai? ›

Do I need to wear a face mask in Dubai (UAE)? Wearing face masks is required in some public places.

Are you allowed to walk in Dubai? ›

Dubai is often said to be a very car-focused city but much of it is extremely walkable, helped by the fact that the city is almost completely flat.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Nathanael Baumbach

Last Updated: 07/12/2023

Views: 6292

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (75 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Nathanael Baumbach

Birthday: 1998-12-02

Address: Apt. 829 751 Glover View, West Orlando, IN 22436

Phone: +901025288581

Job: Internal IT Coordinator

Hobby: Gunsmithing, Motor sports, Flying, Skiing, Hooping, Lego building, Ice skating

Introduction: My name is Nathanael Baumbach, I am a fantastic, nice, victorious, brave, healthy, cute, glorious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.