I’m back from my break in Dubai. I had a wonderful week there and got to see a lot of the culture and the way of life and I want to use this weeks blog to say we could really learn a lot from this country.
The first thing I noticed was how multi cultured the country was. I think most continents were evident there. but what was lovely to see were everyone, it didn’t matter which country or what religion they supported, everyone without exception got on.
Now a big part of the reason for this is that in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and I think all over the UAE you are NOT allowed to argue over religion in public. so the evidence that I saw were Muslims and Sikhs working happily alongside each other. and many other religions. This is a law that should be enforced all over the world. I watched a TED speech not so long ago and it said we are all human. We are only different shades of colour because of where we originated from. but we are all still man or woman.
Some other laws that we could learn from are. Being Drunk and Disorderly in PublicOne of the fastest ways to bring your Dubai stay to an early end is to be drunk and/or disorderly in public. It is legal for non-Muslims to consume alcohol in Dubai, so long as they’re drinking in a licensed venue (typically attached to a hotel, or in the home of a non-Muslim resident who has a liquor license). Once you’re outside of these venues, however, if you’re seen to be drunk or causing a raucous in public, you could land yourself in jail.
Drink Driving. The official legal alcohol limit for drivers in Dubai is zero—there’s no leeway here, so ensure you’re completely sober before getting behind the wheel. The police must be called to all car accidents, including single vehicle incidents. The age of legal drinking in Dubai is 21.
Drugs-Dubai has a zero tolerance policy on drug possession and trafficking, with some offenses punishable by death or lifetime imprisonment. Even prescription medicines that are legal here in the UK or in your country may be illegal in Dubai.
Offensive Language or Hand Gestures-Many of Dubai’s laws and customs are rooted in showing respect for one another. It is, therefore, an offense to use rude language or aggressive hand gestures, including while driving. Feeling frustrated that someone just cut you off on the road? A toot of the horn is about as far as you can go here. Swearing on WhatsApp. Swearing in public is completely prohibited in the UAE, with the use of the F-word being a crime, as it “disgraces the honour or the modesty” of a person, according to Article 373 of the UAE Penal Code. Swearing is punishable by up to a year in prison and a fine as high as 10,000 dirhams (£2,157). Flashing your middle finger, which is considered an “indecent gesture” that breaches “a victim’s pride, privacy and/or modesty”, will result in deportation.
This extends to your online activity; using swear words in WhatsApp messages, or on any social media or messaging platform for that matter, breaches UAE’s cyberlaws. This includes sending emojis of the aforementioned indecent gestures. You can face a fine of up to 250,000 dirhams (£53,928), a prison sentence or deportation.
Eating or drinking on public transport- Eating and drinking is completely banned on all forms of public transport and their stations, from metros and buses to pedestrian crossings. Getting caught consuming food and beverages can make your wallet 100 dirhams (£22) lighter.
Having a dirty car- With the frequent sandstorms in the UAE, you would think you’d be forgiven for having a dusty car. However, dirty cars are seen to be “disfiguring the city image and public health”. As a result, they are routinely towed away, with owners being slapped with fines and impound fees of 3,000 dirhams (£647).
Washing your car- While not washing your car can get you into serious trouble, washing your car “incorrectly” can, too. You are prohibited from washing your car in residential areas or employing labourers to wash your car. These casual car washes “distort the city’s beautiful image” as well as being environmentally hazardous, as the dirty water pollutes the streets and sewers. Instead, you have to take your car to proper facilities, such as those at petrol stations and the car parks of shopping malls.
Taking photos of people without their permission- This is a very serious offence that has caught out many people in the past. The UAE is very strict about preserving the privacy of individuals, and taking a picture of someone without their knowledge or consent is taken very seriously. This is further exacerbated if you post these images on social media platforms. According to the cybercrime laws, you can be fined up to 500,000 dirhams (£107,816) and jailed for six months for the offence, although in practice the sentences are much harsher, with various visitors having been deported.
Making and spreading rumours- Possibly the most ambiguous offence on this list, anything construed as a rumour is punishable under UAE law. Gossiping, especially on social media, can result in a three-year jail sentence and a fine of up to 1 million dirhams (£215,754). Intending to crack down on those who “damage the social peace and public order” and pose a threat to “national peace”, the UAE has very strict laws about the spreading of news online.
This was brought to light after the 2016 floods, when photos and videos of the damage caused by the heavy rain and strong winds were circulated widely on social media platforms. These were denounced as rumours, and it was declared that discussing the storm and sharing negative photos was illegal.
the crime rate in Dubai is so very low as the punishment is so high, education is free, healthcare is free and both the women and the men receive money to marry.
It truly was an eye opening holiday. I will be going back at some point but for now my batteries are recharged and I’m ready to get back to work.
Normal service will be resumed very soon.
Until next time. Have a great week.