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I am going to Dubai next week with my boyfriend and staying in Jumeriah beach area. We are sharing a hotel room which I have been told is illegal but will say we are married if asked. Anyone have any advice regarding this?

Also what is acceptable to wear, can I wear shorts, bikini etc?

Asked by via Site_iconWorldNomads.com

19 Answers

  • +1

    Sarah, There is no reason to panic.Dubai is very free and what you have been reading is bad press. If you are going around in public,be a little conservative in dressing and in attitude. Respect other people's privacy and your privacy will be respected.Do not wear clothes that says- I can do and wear what I want.There is no reason to have a fright !!! over 6 years ago

    Answered by manoj padhi via Site_iconTravellr.com
    • And yes,you can wear a bikini in the pool...no sweat .Shorts not acceptable in Malls and Public places. manoj padhi over 6 years ago
  • 0

    From my experience with conservative societies, sometimes it's just easier to say you're married to your travelling partner / boyfriend in social situations, such as when you're staying at a guesthouse, or invited into a home. Use your intuition on this one. Hotels should be fine, as are other establishments that are accustomed to foreign tourists. over 6 years ago

    Answered by Ros Hodgekiss via Site_iconTravellr.com
  • +1

    Sarah
    just how conservative/cautious you should be depends on where you're staying in Jumeriah beach. Is it a fully westernised hotel or a more local establishment?
    If it's the full western experience then bikini and shorts by the pool is fine and no-one will care if you're married or not. But if you stay in a local hotel (and I did on a business trip a few years back - no mini bar!) you need to tone it down significantly.
    Generally those couples you've read about getting into strife for being un-married were causing trouble in some other way first, and the authorities 'threw the book' at them. So, don't get drunk in public, don't get so rowdy that local authorities have reason to suspect you're abusing alcohol (regardless of how few drinks you've actually had), keep yourself 'nice' and you'll have a great time.
    I really like Dubai, great spot.
    Phil over 6 years ago

    Answered by Ask Phil via Site_iconWorldNomads.com
  • +1

    Hi Sarah,

    I've been twice in Dubai with my girlfriend, and at the first time we had the same fear. The second time, we knew that there was no problem in Dubai, but got worried cause we were told that in Abu Dhabi, which we also visited then, it was illegal for non married peopel to share a hotel room.

    Both times i stayed in hotels from international chains (one of then also in Jumeirah Beach), and nobody ever asked if we were married.

    When having conversation with locals, since we were a couple, they usually assumed we were husband and wife. They never asked, actually, and there's no reason to frustrate their expectations. So, if anybody wants to know, you're married.

    Dubai is an island of freedom compared to middle east standards, but it's not as if you're in the western world. You have to respect their dress code in public places. It includes restaurants, shopping centers, malls, markets. So, when in public, women should not let their knees and shoulders uncovered. Kissing and walking hands in hands in public are also considered offensive, but it's ok for a couple to walk with arms crossed to one another.

    In night clubs frequented mostly by foreign people, the dress code is relaxed, but in this case, pick a taxi straight from the hotel to there and back again.

    It's ok to wear shorts and bikinis at beaches and water parks. But, for a matter of convenience, prefer the hotel beaches instead of the public ones (if your hotel doen't have its own, there are ones that give you access to their beach for a small fee). It's only because public beaches are crowded with men who seem like they never saw women in bikinis, and they can be really annoying.

    Hope you have a nice trip to the beautiful place that Dubai is.

    When in doubt, be conservative. over 6 years ago

  • 0

    When you visit Dubai it is important not to wear transparent clothing or really short trousers or skirts. If you are dressed decent it is not a problem visiting Dubai. Enjoy your stay at Dubai! over 6 years ago

    Answered by Laura & Susanna via Site_iconTravellr.com
  • 0

    Claiming you're married seems like a sensible precaution to take. If either of you wear rings, you might consider shifting them to the "wedding ring" finger.

    As for dress standards, play it safe. over 6 years ago

    Answered by via Site_iconWorldNomads.com
  • 0

    Trust me their not going to ask u if ur married or not. over 6 years ago

    Answered by Nk Sb via Site_iconAsk a Nomad iPad app
  • 0

    Go to Palm Jumeira !!
    Have fun..! over 6 years ago

    Answered by Lama BMG via Site_iconAsk a Nomad iPad app
  • 0

    Just back from Dubai. No need to say your are married at all. Me and my boyfriend held hands in public and acted the way we do at home and everyone was smiles. People that have got in trouble have been people not couples who had sex on the beach in full view of the public,not something than would go down well at home me thinks. Enjoy Dubai and don't bother lying. No way are they going ask if your married x almost 6 years ago

    Answered by Elle via Site_iconWorldNomads.com
  • 0

    My girlfriend is work in Dubai, this coming August I go to Dubai to see my gf it's ok me and my gf are check in the hotel over 4 years ago

    Answered by Jacob via Site_iconWorldNomads.com
  • 0

    For most people who travel to the UAE, they have a positive experience. But, you have to know that the law forbids people of the opposite sex who are not married or blood related to live together or share a room. There are hotels that will ask you, but the general attitude is that most hotels turn a blind eye unless something goes wrong!

    Holding hands and public displays of extreme affection can get you into trouble. Being drunk in public can get you into trouble. Drink driving is not tolerated. Dressing immodestly will cause offence and has been known to cause problems, so be modest and to be honest, in the malls and restaurants you will want to cover up as its cold due to the fierce AC !!

    As in any country, you should be aware of the local laws and customs and act accordingly. I have found during my 7 years here that the tolerance has become much better, and you may see things that you wouldn't just a few years ago. This doesn't mean the laws have changed. over 4 years ago

    Answered by Sam Richards via Site_iconTravellr.com
  • 0

    my boyfriend is arab muslim and has just moved to Dubai for work. i am contemplating going over to visit in the next month so have been researching the dos and don'ts. in the main it seems to be that if you are unmarried you can get away with staying together as long as you keep your heads down and act respectfully. However, do you think that being a mixed race couple - from different countries will attract more attention? I am a white british Christian. i know i could just book myself in to a hotel and stay separately but that is far from ideal when we have such limited time together. ideally i would like to stay in his apartment but at the moment am very concerned about the risk i may take. one of his friends has a girlfriend that stays over, they are both arab muslims. over 4 years ago

    Answered by via Site_iconWorldNomads.com
  • 0

    Your answers are helpful guys. Thanks. almost 3 years ago

    Answered by Joseph via Site_iconWorldNomads.com
  • 0

    I have a question too! :)
    This is our situation.. We are a young couple. I don't think anyone would believe that we are married if we said so. :) We are visiting his uncle and his girlfriend in Abu Dhabi. They have their own place there. So I guess there is no problem if we share a room, right?
    And should we be even more careful about public affections, since we are students? or less? I mean I plan on being really respectful towards their culture, but it kind of scares me a bit. :) almost 3 years ago

    Answered by seaseasea via Site_iconWorldNomads.com
  • 0

    i mean about showing affection in public :D almost 3 years ago

    Answered by seaseasea via Site_iconWorldNomads.com
  • -1

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    Answered by rehan via Site_iconWorldNomads.com
  • 0

    As I mentioned, it is illegal for you to stay together, but it is very rare that there are issues. I have been asked once to produce a marriage certificate when checking into a 3* hotel in Dubai but when I questioned it, they changed their minds.

    Dont be scared about coming over - it really is a very tolerant place and you will see young locals holding hands etc, but just be aware. Dont get drunk and loud in a public place, dont flaunt your relationship with huge displays of affection, dont wear really revealing clothes in public spaces. You will be fine.

    Have a great time. over 2 years ago

    Answered by Sam Richards via Site_iconTravellr.com
  • +1

    I doubt if a lot of the people answering this question have never seen much of Dubai beyond the glitzy towers and the shopping malls.

    As an Australian who's been living here for 15 years, I can tell you this: UAE law forbids sexual intercourse between people unless they are married, and that includes sharing the same hotel room. Now the general Joe on the street isn't going to do much about it even if you told him that you aren't married, and the hotel, desperate for your business will not bother to even ask. However, should you run into a police officer, and he gets a whiff that you aren't married, he can (and frequently will) detain you in a station until you can furnish a marriage certificate or a photograph of your marriage. If you can't, its a straight trip to separate lock ups, and the next you'll see your girlfriend/boyfriend is back home after the two of you have been deported (presuming there is no intervening jail time).

    So simply put - have fun in Dubai, but just don't make a police officer suspicious. Cops here don't see a lot of action, and are usually desperate for something to liven up an otherwise monotonous beat. over 1 year ago

    Answered by Roper James via Site_iconWorldNomads.com
  • 0

    Any tips for newly married. We are planning to go to the Dubai for honeymoon. I just want to be extra careful. 8 months ago

    Answered by Louise via Site_iconWorldNomads.com

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