Friday, February 20, 2009

DUBAI - Tourist Guide

After fighting recession in the placement season, its time for the much awaited study tour at National Insurance Academy School of Management. As a part of their curriculum, the students visit an Asian country and try to understand the insurance practices in those markets. Last year, my batch visited Bangkok to know more about the Thai insurance market, and this year my junior batch is going to Dubai to learn about Middle-East markets.

Out of my curiosity, I happened to check various Dubai tourism sites and here are some of the tourist suggestions had I came across :

* Respect local cultures and traditions of UAE and never try to make a mockery of local traditions. Avoid commenting on dress of the local people.

* UAE is an Islamic country and so avoid tight and exposing clothing. Women should particularly wear modest clothes. It is not appropriate for men to walk along the street bare-chested. It is very advisable that females avoid wearing very short skirts or revealing top. It is advisable not to wear thongs as it may cause distress to the locals.

* Don’t eat in public places during Ramadan. During Ramadan all Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, and eating, drinking and smoking in public areas during daylight hours should be avoided.

* Don’t carry any drugs in the UAE; with the slightest amount of any substance you could face the death penalty.

* Always drink bottled water that is easily available everywhere in UAE. Tap water is desalined and safe for drinking, but drinking bottled mineral water is advisable.

* When taking a photograph in Dubai, please bear in mind local people wearing national dress may take exception if photographed without their permission. Please avoid taking pictures of women.

* Don’t swear- as you can get fined and sent to jail !

* Homosexual practices are prohibited.

* Don’t touch anyone’s head as it is considered offensive in UAE

* It is against the law to walk in the street drinking alcohol or to be drunk in a public place.

* Indulge in some haggling while buying goods without price tags whenever you go shopping in UAE.

* Don’t be too passionate in public with your partner. Kissing and other public displays of affection – may get you in trouble with the police.

* Don’t make rude hand gestures if you're driving. Venting your frustrations either physically or verbally can result in your arrest.

* Don’t use your left hand while greeting or handing over things to people.

* Use sunglasses and sun cream, as sunburn is common in UAE and the heat sometimes can be unbearable.

* Don’t expect taxi drivers to carry change. Many struggle to provide change for any note greater than AED 50.

* Don't overstay your visa period, as you will be charged per day.

There are some of the Do's and Dont's specific to UAE, apart from the usual tourist guidelines with respect to their passports, visas, medical insurance, safety etc.

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