10 Travel Tips for the Middle East

Tropical climates, intensive shopping, rich cultural history rich with ancient cities and monuments and extraordinarily lavish lifestyles are just some of the most exciting reasons to pay a visit to the Middle East, and especially United Arab Emirates (UAE). For those that have been, most are amazed by this astonishing beauty of this region, and for those that do enjoy the finer things in life, there isn’t much that you couldn’t enjoy in UAE.

Before setting foot in the country however there are some very specific rules and laws that must be adhered to when there, and if you make the mistake of ignoring these rules and laws, the consequences can be calamitous.

The culture and customs are unique to this amazing place, and you must ensure that you don’t offend or insult the locals. There’s loads of advice for travellers when it comes to visiting the Middle East and here are some of the most important ones.

  1. Be very respectful of holy places, like mosques and take off your shoes and completely cover your legs and shoulders when visiting.
  2. In Saudi Arabia alcohol is illegal, as are drugs.
  3. In the Middle East you must dress conservatively, particularly if you are female. Loose pants, scarves covering chest and neck areas, and long sleeved shirts are best and will help you blend in. Some areas may also require women to cover their hair.
  4. You should refrain from physical contact with Middle Eastern females, no matter who you are. This act is considered highly offensive.
  5. In some areas of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan, you must ask for permission to take pictures of some buildings and people, especially anything military related.
  6. Don’t be offended if a local won’t shake your hand. Physical contacts like holding hands is not accepted so don’t make any physical contact, and always use the local’s full names.
  7. Don’t travel at night.
  8. If you are female, absolutely do not travel alone.
  9. For the ladies as well, it’s a good idea to mention your “husband” if you get into a sticky or uncomfortable situation even if you’re not married, and if you are travelling as a couple, refer to your partner as your husband, not your boyfriend or partner.

Now although these are some pretty scary sounding tips, it UAE really is a beautiful place to visit. What will make it even more amazing, is if you know the rules you need to follow that will keep the unwanted attention away from you. Take it all in, and enjoy this remarkable place.

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