Dubai has surged in popularity with Mancs looking for a sunshine-getaway. In October it was named the most popular destination from Manchester Airport, beating the likes of Tenerife and Antalya.

Airport bosses even cited the rise in travel to the Middle-eastern destination as one of the key factors behind the airport’s passenger levels returning to pre-pandemic levels. Part of the United Arab Emirates - which also includes Abu Dhabi - Dubai is known for its luxury shopping, resorts and glorious weather.

It’s a favourite with expats and many Brits have chosen to settle there. However, Dubai does have strict laws and customs, which many travellers fall foul of each year.

READ MORE: UK Foreign Office issues travel warning for USA and Canada

READ MORE: Mum goes on £45 Lanzarote holiday as 'it's cheaper than going to my local'

If you’re travelling to the UAE these are some of the rules you need to be aware of. It’s also worth checking the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office for the latest guidance before you go away.


Tourists in Dubai can obtain a temporary liquor licence, which can last for a month, from the two official liquor distributors in Dubai. You’ll be provided with a code of conduct document, which details the rules and regulations regarding alcohol in Dubai.

It is a punishable offence under UAE law to drink or be under the influence of alcohol in public, British nationals have been arrested and charged under this law, often in cases where they have come to the attention of the police for a related offence, such as disorderly or offensive behaviour.


The UAE has a zero tolerance for drugs-related offences. There are severe penalties in place for trafficking, smuggling and the possession of drugs (including residual amounts).

Some prescription medicines, skincare products and E-cigarette refills may also contain ingredients, such as CBD oil, that are illegal in Dubai. UK travellers are advised by the Foreign Office to check with the UAE Ministry of Health website to ensure that their products are allowed in the country.


While temperatures can soar in Dubai, you need to dress modestly when in public areas and clothes should cover the tops of the arms and legs, and underwear should not be visible. Swimwear should only be worn on beaches or at swimming pools. Cross-dressing is illegal.


Homosexualtiy is illegal in Dubai and same-sex marriages are not recognised. Thee have been reports of individuals being punished for homosexual activity, particularly where there is any public element, or the behaviour has caused offence.

Offensive behaviour

You can be jailed or deported for swearing and making rude gestures (including online). The Foreign Office advises travellers to take particular care when dealing with the police and other officials. Public displays of affection are frowned upon, and there have been several arrests for kissing in public.

Posting material online which is critical of the UAE, government, companies or individuals may be considered a crime punishable under UAE law.


Be careful when taking your holiday snaps as you can’t photograph people without their permission. Photography of certain government buildings and military installations isn’t allowed and hobbies such as bird watching and plane spotting, particularly near military sites, government buildings, and airports can be misunderstood.

For more of today's top stories, click here.