L210 CONTEMPORARAY ISSUES OF TOURISM
The cultural differences for a tourist (British) travelling to an Islamic Country.
Dubai is becoming a popular destination for tourists. It is the second largest Emirate in the United Arab Emirates. Dubai is the United Arab Emirates, tourism capital. Dubai’s economy is largely based on trade, manufacturing and tourism and only 20% of the city’s revenue comes from the sale of oil. It is a very safe city with a low crime rate. There are stiff penalties for crime. Drug smuggling and rape are punishable by death. In the United Arab Emirates death is by firing squad unlike Saudi Arabia where they use the sword.
Temperatures range from 24C in January and up to 45C in July.
British citizens with the right to live in the UK may qualify for automatic 30 day visit visas on arrival, but current regulations should be checked before travelling.
With rising wages, long haul destinations are becoming attractive and more affordable but are peoples’ perceptions of Islamic cities such of Dubai correct. Do travel brochures give you enough accurate information on restrictions?
Cresta World Wide Travel 1st Edition Jan/Dec 2000
During Ramadan the sale of alcohol and cigarettes is restricted and you may be required to refrain from consuming theses items in public between sunrise and sunset. Ramadan is expected to commence 27th November and last for 30 days.
Thomas Cook Signature Holidays World Wide Faraway collection Jan/Dec 2000
No information given about restrictions
Tradewinds World Wide Holidays Edition 1 Jan/Dec 2000
The consumption of alcohol is permitted by non-Muslims in all the Emirates except for Sharjah. During Ramadan not all of the not all the bars and restaurants are fully operational or serving alcohol. Correct at time of going to press.
Hayes And Jarvis World Wide Oct99/Nov2000 2nd Edition
Visitors are expected to respect local customs and beliefs. Swimming costumes should be confined to beaches ; swimming pool areas. The annual feast of Ramadan is governed by the lunar calendar ; lasts one month(from approx 15th Dec 1999) During this period certain restriction apply. E.g Alcoholic beverage is prohibited and eating, drinking (alcohol or non alcohol) and smoking in public is not permitted during the day.
Although some of the information given is fairly accurate it is not adequate enough
Although Dubai is seen as the most liberal Emirate of the U.A.E, only restaurants and bars that are part of 4* and 5* hotelsare allowed a licence to serve alcohol. Also leisure and sports Clubs such as The Golf Club, The British Club and certain associations are allowed to serve alcohol. Restaurants and cafes that are not part of clubs or hotels are not allowed to serve alcohol. Some lower classes of Hotels do not have licences to serve alcohol.
With Dubai being Islamic, the alcohol laws are quite strict. Drinking alcohol in public places, driving or acting in a disorderly manner in public whilst under the influence of alcohol is forbidden and punishable by Sharia law ( Law according to the Quran)
It is only permitted to buy alcohol from off licences once you have a residency visa. The amount you are allowed to buy is compatible to the wages you earn. The average amount allowed for a British expatriate is 600 dihrams ( approx 100) per month. These windowless shops ( Spinneys, African ; Eastern) stock everything from cider to champagne and are tax free. However by law you are not allowed to buy alcohol for a U.A.E citizen.
Most Tourists think that because the United Arab Emirates has state of art architecture and looks modern, they can dress as they would in other hot climate holiday destinations. This is not the case as a visitor, tourists should be told that different codes of dress apply. Dubai is westernised and has a fairly relaxed dress code and western clothing is acceptable, however because it is part of an Islamic country respect should be shown to Muslim men and women who are generally conservative in their dress and behaviour. It is offensive to see too much exposed flesh which is against their moral beliefs.
Tourists are not expected to be fully covered, a few simple rules that should be followed are
? Revealing swim wear such as bikinis should be restricted to private beaches and hotel pools. If women wear skimpy clothing in public or bikinis on public beaches, it will attract unwelcome attention. Going topless is forbidden.
Most of the 4* and 5* Hotels have private beach clubs. They have a daily rate of about 10 per person per day. The British Club has a private beach, it also has daily rates.
? Men should avoid walking around public places and streets without a shirt on.
2. Embracing in public is not acceptable behavior.
3. Women should not first offer their hand for a handshake, but if offered, should shake hands gently.
5. During the Holy Month of Ramadan, absolutely no eating, drinking or smoking are allowed in public during daylight hours. Meals will be served in the hotel areas or your hotel room.
4. Never take photographs of local citizens, especially women, without asking permission
It is a widely held belief in many non-Muslim countries that tourists must be fully covered whilst in Dubai. This is not the case as Dubai has a relaxed dress code. Western style clothing is quite acceptable, however, respect should be shown for local cultural ; religious practices. Therefore, revealing clothing is not recommended and swim wear should be restricted to the beaches and pools. Furthermore, men (and women!) should refrain from walking around the streets without a shirt on.
The UAE’s official language is Arabic, however, English is widely understood and spoken.
Local people, especially the women, do not take kindly to being photographed without their prior permission. In general, it is best to avoid taking photographs (or video footage) of any individual in a National Dress.
Islam is the official religion of the UAE and Mosques (places of worship) are dotted throughout the city. It is not acceptable for a non-Muslim to visit a Mosque.