In the travel circuit, there’s a saying that goes: “their country, their rules”. It means that as a visitor, you must leave your sensibilities at home and open your mind to the culture of the country you are staying in.

For expats in Dubai, the period of adjustment can get a little overwhelming, what with traditions and taboos imposed as a result of the majority of the city population’s religious and cultural beliefs. During Ramadan, for example, non-Muslims are not allowed to drink or eat during the entire day in public and in front of Muslims. Public displays of affection are not tolerated, and sex outside of marriage is illegal. Drinking liquor in one’s home without a license is also not allowed. Moreover, swearing is a criminal act, and taking photos of people without permission is considered an offense.

Dubai, however, has plenty to offer despite its tight grip on certain practices. After all, it’s a growing world-class metropolis with numerous attractions and developments that cater to its multi-ethnic population. In order to survive this wondrous city in the desert, read guidebooks or consult the tourism website to have a clearer picture of its landscape. Don’t forget to take heed of the following tips on how to survive in Dubai as well:

Beat the Heat

Dubai weather can be unbearable with temperatures rising above 40 degrees Celsius. Though most places are air-conditioned, don’t disregard the possibility of suffering from heat stroke especially if you’re out exploring. To avoid dehydration and the ill effects of the heat, wear loose (yet appropriate) clothing and drink plenty of water. And if you want stay outdoors, head out to the various water parks including Wild Wadi Water Park for a refreshing swim.

Dress Appropriately

Just because Dubai’s weather can be scorching hot doesn’t mean you can walk around the metropolis wearing skimpy clothes. Both men and women are required to dress properly and conservatively especially when visiting sacred places. For those questioning swimwear, there’s a right place for it – the beach. But going around the city means following rules on dressing sensibly.

Illegal Drugs Can Land You in Jail

Aside from respecting culture, it is imperative to understand certain laws in Dubai, especially those that cover the pharmaceutical spectrum. Even if a certain medication is legally prescribed in your home country, it can still be deemed illegal in Dubai. If apprehended possessing or using illegal drugs, you can be fined or imprisoned.

Learn the Official Language

English is practically understood in Dubai, but it’s always good to learn a few Arabic words. As the official language, a phrase or two might come in handy especially if you’re about to shake hands with a local.

Rent or Purchase a Home

To save money on accommodation, it’s best to either rent or purchase a home in Dubai by consulting a reliable real estate broker like For Est Real Estate. Its comprehensive database will give you the options and information you need such as price range, location information, area dimension, property types, and more.