prohibited public behaviour

prohibited public behaviour

I have blogged about elements of this before, but today I received an email from a colleague, supposedly issued by the Dubai Authority, that contains an list of prohibited public behaviour for the Emirate. I am not sure how recent this is, I think it was probably originally written after the sex-on-the-beach Britons scandal, but its still relevant, quite interesting, and rather hectic, take a look..

Playing loud music, dancing, nudity, kissing and even holding hands in public is considered inappropriate behaviour under new guidelines laid down by the authorities of Dubai, according to a press report on Saturday.

The Dubai Executive Council issued a list of public behaviours that requires Dubai residents and visitors to respect the customs of the Muslim country and avoid what the council considers inappropriate behaviour, according to the Arabic-language daily Al Emarat al-Youm.

“Pants and skirts have to be of appropriate length, and outside clothing should not expose body parts indecently and should not be transparent” (Dubai Executive Council).

The rules, which apply to all public places, include a ban on all forms of nudity, playing music loudly and dancing, exchange of kisses between men and women—and even on unmarried couples holding hands.

Any breach of the guidelines, by nationals or expatriates, carries a possible prison penalty, the paper wrote.

The order also requires all visitors of public places, such as government buildings, shopping malls, streets and restaurants to dress in “appropriate” clothing, otherwise they would be denied entrance to those areas.

“Pants and skirts have to be of appropriate length, and outside clothing should not expose body parts indecently and should not be transparent,” the guidelines stipulate under section “public behaviour,” the paper wrote.

In addition, the council ordered that anyone caught under the influence of alcohol—even a small amount—outside designated drinking areas is liable to being fined or imprisoned.

Dubai, a member of the seven-emirate United Arab Emirates, has a diverse culture as it is home to a foreign population made up mainly of low-skilled workers from Asia and Western white-collar professionals.

Unlike most of its neighbours in the conservative Gulf region, the emirate tolerates a relatively relaxed dress code and hosts dozens of hotels that have bars and clubs, where alcohol is legally served.

And because Dubai IS so liberal compared to other places in the region I do tend to forget sometimes, living here, that I am in a Muslim country. Always good to be reminded!

Source: picture and quoted text from an email doing the rounds, original source unknown.

One Response to prohibited public behaviour

  • Seabee says:

    A couple of bloggers have posted the full English version of the Executive Council’s Code of Conduct. It was published a couple of weeks ago.

    Just about all of it is what was always considered the right way to behave by expats here – before the explosion of population and tourism brought in far too many people who don’t know how to behave. Sadly that means it’s become necessary to publish a code of conduct.

    You can check it out at

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