Burj Al-Arab, Dubai
aerial photography of concrete buildings on the middle of the sea
Burj Al Arab

Is Dubai Safe?

Dubai is generally safe for tourists, with low crime rates and strict laws. However, be cautious of petty crimes like bag snatching. Terrorism remains a risk, though authorities have strong security measures. Respect local customs, especially during Ramadan, and dress modestly. Heat and air pollution can pose health concerns. Utilize reliable transportation options like metro and taxis for safety.

Download Vigilios

Your Pocket-Sized Travel Safety Guide

A phone displaying the Vigilios app and it's safety features.
App Store

Safety & Security

Dubai in the United Arab Emirates is generally considered a safe destination for travelers. However, it's important to be aware of certain risks and take necessary precautions.

  • Crime: While the overall crime rate is low, petty crimes like pickpocketing and bag snatching can occur in crowded areas. Remain vigilant and keep valuables secure.

  • Civil Unrest: The UAE is a politically stable country, but occasional protests or demonstrations may take place. Avoid areas of civil unrest and follow local news for updates.

  • Terrorism: The UAE has a low risk of terrorism, but the threat cannot be completely ruled out. Be aware of your surroundings and follow the advice of local authorities.

  • Scams: Exercise caution when dealing with strangers, especially in tourist areas. Common scams include overcharging for goods or services, and fake tour guides or taxi drivers.

  • Disputes: Respect local laws and customs to avoid disputes or misunderstandings. Public displays of affection, consumption of alcohol outside designated areas, and criticism of the government or religion can lead to legal issues.

  • Dress Code: Dress modestly, especially in religious or government areas. Revealing clothing may be considered offensive and can attract unwanted attention.

While Dubai is generally safe, it's advisable to exercise common sense, be aware of your surroundings, and respect local laws and customs to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip.

Health & Medical

Dubai in the United Arab Emirates is generally a safe destination for travelers in terms of health risks. However, there are a few important considerations:

  • Vaccinations: Routine vaccinations like measles, hepatitis A/B, and COVID-19 are recommended. Yellow fever vaccination may be required for some travelers.

  • Air Pollution: Dubai can experience high levels of air pollution, especially during sandstorms. Those with respiratory issues should take precautions.

  • Heat Exhaustion: The extreme desert heat poses a risk of dehydration and heat-related illnesses, especially during summer months. Staying hydrated and avoiding excessive sun exposure is crucial.

  • Medical Facilities: Dubai has excellent private medical facilities, though they can be expensive for those without travel insurance. Public hospitals may have long wait times.

  • Insect-Borne Diseases: There is a low risk of insect-borne diseases like dengue and malaria in Dubai, but precautions like using insect repellent are still advisable.

  • Food and Water Safety: Tap water is generally safe to drink, but bottled water is widely available. Avoid undercooked food, especially from street vendors.

Overall, with proper precautions and awareness, most travelers can enjoy a safe and healthy trip to Dubai. Consulting a travel health professional before your visit is recommended.

Natural Disasters

Dubai, located in the United Arab Emirates, is generally not prone to major natural disasters. However, travelers should be aware of the following potential risks:

  • Sandstorms: Dubai experiences occasional sandstorms, especially during the summer months. These can reduce visibility and disrupt transportation. Travelers should stay indoors and follow local advisories during severe sandstorms.

  • Extreme Heat: With temperatures often exceeding 40°C (104°F) during the summer, heat exhaustion and heatstroke are potential risks. Travelers should stay hydrated, limit outdoor activities during the hottest hours, and seek air-conditioned environments.

  • Flash Floods: While Dubai is located in a desert region, heavy rainfall can sometimes lead to flash floods, particularly in low-lying areas. Travelers should exercise caution and avoid areas prone to flooding during heavy rain.

  • Earthquakes: Although not a major risk, Dubai is located in a seismically active region. Tremors from earthquakes in neighboring countries can occasionally be felt in the city. Travelers should familiarize themselves with safety procedures in case of an earthquake.

Overall, the risk of natural disasters in Dubai is relatively low compared to many other destinations. However, travelers should remain vigilant, follow local advisories, and take necessary precautions to ensure their safety.

Transportation

Dubai offers a modern and efficient public transportation system, making it relatively easy and safe for travelers to navigate the city. The metro system is clean, air-conditioned, and reliable, connecting major areas like Dubai Marina, Burj Khalifa, and the airport. Taxis are also widely available and regulated, with meters ensuring fair pricing.

  • Road Safety: While driving in Dubai is generally safe, be cautious of aggressive driving habits and sudden lane changes. Pedestrians should exercise caution when crossing roads, as drivers may not always yield the right of way.

  • Public Transportation: The metro and tram systems are well-maintained and secure, with security personnel present at stations. Taxis are metered and regulated by the government, reducing the risk of scams or overcharging.

  • Ride-sharing Services: Popular ride-sharing apps like Uber and Careem are widely used and considered safe options for transportation, especially for solo travelers or at night.

  • Water Taxis: For a unique experience, water taxis (abras) offer a safe and affordable way to cross the Dubai Creek, with designated boarding and disembarking points.

While Dubai's transportation infrastructure is generally safe and efficient, it's always advisable to remain vigilant and take standard precautions, such as avoiding isolated areas at night and keeping valuables secure.

Cultural Norms

Dubai is a cosmopolitan city that embraces modernity while respecting its Arab culture and Islamic traditions. As a traveler, it's essential to be mindful of local customs and cultural norms to ensure a respectful and enjoyable experience.

  • Dress Code: Modest clothing that covers the shoulders and knees is recommended, especially when visiting religious sites or traditional neighborhoods. Revealing or tight-fitting attire should be avoided.

  • Ramadan: During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn to dusk. Visitors should refrain from eating, drinking, or smoking in public during this period out of respect.

  • Public Displays of Affection: Overt displays of affection, such as kissing or intimate physical contact, are generally frowned upon in public spaces.

  • Alcohol Consumption: While alcohol is available in licensed venues, public intoxication and drinking in unauthorized areas are strictly prohibited.

  • Photography: Exercise caution when taking photographs, especially in residential areas or near government buildings, as some locals may object to being photographed.

  • Respect for Religious Sites: When visiting mosques or other religious sites, dress modestly, remove shoes, and follow the guidance provided by local authorities.

By respecting local customs and cultural sensitivities, travelers can immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of Dubai's heritage while fostering mutual understanding and appreciation.

Emergency Services

Emergency services in Dubai are generally reliable and well-equipped to handle various situations. The city has a robust infrastructure and resources dedicated to ensuring the safety and well-being of residents and visitors alike.

  • Ambulance Services: Dubai has an efficient ambulance service operated by the Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services. Ambulances are well-equipped and staffed with trained medical professionals.

  • Police and Security: The Dubai Police Force is highly professional and maintains a strong presence throughout the city. They are equipped with modern technology and resources to respond promptly to emergencies and ensure public safety.

  • Fire Department: The Dubai Civil Defence is responsible for fire and rescue operations. They have well-trained firefighters and state-of-the-art equipment to handle fire emergencies and other rescue situations.

  • Tourist Police: Dubai has a dedicated Tourist Police unit specifically trained to assist and support tourists in case of emergencies or any other issues they may face during their stay.

  • Medical Facilities: Dubai boasts several world-class hospitals and medical facilities that provide high-quality healthcare services to both residents and visitors. These facilities are equipped with advanced medical technology and staffed by experienced medical professionals.

It's important to note that while emergency services in Dubai are generally reliable, visitors should still exercise caution and take necessary precautions to ensure their safety during their stay.

Frequently Asked Questions

A colorful illustration with three people and the letters "FAQ" representing a Frequently Asked Questions section

Is Dubai safe for tourists?

Dubai is generally safe for tourists, with a low crime rate and strict laws. However, visitors should respect local customs, dress modestly, and avoid public displays of affection. It's also important to be aware of the hot climate and take necessary precautions.

Is Dubai safe for solo female travelers?

Solo female travelers in Dubai can feel relatively safe, but should take precautions such as dressing conservatively, avoiding isolated areas at night, and being aware of cultural norms. It's advisable to research local laws and customs before traveling.

Is Dubai safe for families?

Dubai is a family-friendly destination with plenty of attractions and activities for children. However, parents should be mindful of the conservative culture, dress modestly, and supervise children closely in public areas. The heat can also be challenging for young children.

Is Dubai LGBTQ+ friendly?

Same-sex relationships are illegal in the UAE, and the LGBTQ+ community faces discrimination. Public displays of affection between same-sex couples are strictly prohibited and can result in legal consequences. LGBTQ+ travelers should exercise caution and discretion.

Do you need a visa to go to Dubai?

Most visitors from Western countries can obtain a free visa on arrival in Dubai for stays up to 30-90 days. However, it's essential to check the specific visa requirements for your nationality and ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months from the date of entry.

Can you drink tap water in Dubai?

Tap water in Dubai is generally safe to drink, as it undergoes desalination and treatment processes. However, some visitors may prefer to drink bottled water, which is widely available, especially during the hot summer months.

What is the currency in Dubai?

The official currency in Dubai is the United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED). Major credit cards are widely accepted, but it's advisable to carry some cash for smaller purchases and tips.

United Arab Emirates Travel Advisory

The following government travel advisories provide additional helpful resources for your destination to stay safe and informed.

Download the App

Map, Insights & Support - Vigilios is your Personal Safety Companion

A phone displaying the Vigilios app and it's safety features.
App Store QR LinkApp Store
Google Play QR Link
Coming soon to Android
Google Play