Living in Dubai

Find Homes in the UAE

Get a UAE Golden Visa

Culture in Dubai

Islamic and Arab culture

Learn Dubai Culture

Welcome to our guide on culture in Dubai! Dubai is a melting pot of different cultures, with a rich history and diverse population. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Dubai’s culture, including its art, music, cuisine, festivals, and more.

Dubai Culture and Customs:

The below table provides a general overview of some cultural aspects and customs in Dubai. However, it’s important to note that Dubai is a diverse city with residents from various nationalities, so cultural practices can vary.

To fully understand and appreciate Dubai’s culture and customs, it is recommended to respect local traditions, be open-minded, and engage with locals to learn more about their customs and traditions.

ReligionIslam is the official religion of Dubai, and Muslims make up a significant majority of the population.
LanguageArabic is the official language, but English is widely spoken, especially in business and tourist areas.
Traditional DressEmirati men often wear a “kandura” (a long white robe) and a “ghutra” (a white headdress).
 Emirati women commonly wear an “abaya” (a black cloak) and a “sheila” (a black headscarf).
GreetingsGreeting with a handshake is common, and it is polite to address people using their title or honorific.
 It is respectful to greet older or more senior individuals first.
CuisineEmirati cuisine is a blend of Middle Eastern and Asian influences, with dishes like “shawarma” and “machboos.”
 Local hospitality is important, and it is customary to offer food and drinks to guests.
Social EtiquettePublic displays of affection should be avoided. Dress modestly, especially in religious or conservative areas.
 It is customary to remove shoes before entering someone’s home.
RamadanDuring the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn to sunset. Non-Muslims should be respectful of this practice.
 It is important to refrain from eating, drinking, or smoking in public during daylight hours.
FestivalsDubai celebrates various festivals, including Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha, and the Dubai Shopping Festival.
 These events feature cultural performances, music, traditional food, and fireworks.
Business CulturePunctuality is valued, and it is customary to exchange business cards. Building personal relationships is important before discussing business matters.
 Dress code for business meetings is usually formal, with men wearing suits and ties.

History, Traditions, and Landmarks

Dubai is a dynamic and vibrant city that blends tradition and modernity. Understanding the culture and traditions of Dubai is essential for anyone who plans to live or work in the city. 

This web page provides an in-depth look at Dubai’s rich culture, including its history, traditions, cuisine, festivals, and more.

Dubai is a city with a vibrant cultural tapestry, blending traditional Arabic heritage with modern influences. 

Its history, traditions, and landmarks showcase the city’s unique identity. The table below highlights some key aspects of Dubai’s rich culture:

HistoryFrom a small fishing village to a global metropolis
TraditionsBedouin values, Islamic influence, and strong community
LandmarksBurj Khalifa, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Creek, and more
FestivalsDubai Shopping Festival, Dubai Food Festival, and more
CuisineArabic, Middle Eastern, and international flavors
DressBlend of traditional attire and modern fashion


Bedouin Traders to Global City

Dubai has a rich history that dates back to the Bedouin traders who inhabited the region centuries ago. 

The city’s strategic location on the Arabian Gulf made it an important center for trade and commerce. Dubai’s modern history began in the early 20th century when oil was discovered in the region. 

Today, Dubai is a global city that is known for its iconic landmarks, including the Burj Khalifa and the Palm Jumeirah.

Dubai is a cosmopolitan city known for its modern infrastructure, luxury lifestyle, and cultural diversity. 

The city offers a variety of attractions, including iconic landmarks like the Burj Khalifa and Palm Jumeirah, world-class shopping malls, and beautiful beaches. 

With a blend of traditional Arabian heritage and modern innovations, Dubai provides a unique experience for visitors from around the world.

LandmarksBurj Khalifa, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Fountain, etc.
ShoppingDubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates, Souks, etc.
BeachesJumeirah Beach, Kite Beach, La Mer, etc.
DiningDiverse culinary options from global cuisines
Cultural EventsDubai Shopping Festival, Dubai Food Festival, etc.

Please note that this is a simplified table and does not cover all aspects of Dubai.

Dubai Culture: Islam

Islam is the dominant religion in Dubai, and its influence is evident in many aspects of daily life. The call to prayer can be heard throughout the city, and mosques are an important part of the cultural landscape. Ramadan is the most important month in the Islamic calendar, and its observance is a significant part of Dubai culture. Visitors to Dubai should respect local customs and traditions, including dress codes and dietary restrictions during this holy month.

Dubai’s culture is deeply rooted in Islam, which plays a significant role in shaping the city’s customs and traditions. With a predominantly Muslim population, Dubai embraces Islamic values while also respecting the presence of diverse cultures and religions. Here is a simplified table highlighting the role of religion in Dubai culture:

Official ReligionIslam
MosquesMajid Al-Futtaim Mosque, Jumeirah Mosque, and other prominent mosques
Prayer TimesAdherence to five daily prayer times
RamadanMonth of fasting and spiritual reflection
Islamic FestivalsEid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha, and Islamic New Year
Modesty and RespectDress modestly, respect Islamic customs and practices

Please note that this is a simplified table and does not cover all aspects of the role of religion in Dubai culture.

Traditional Dress

Dubai’s traditional dress reflects the region’s history and culture. Men typically wear a Kandora, a long white robe that is loose-fitting and comfortable in the hot desert climate. 

Women wear an Abaya, a long black robe that covers the body and head. While traditional dress is still commonly worn in many parts of the city, modern fashion has also become popular in Dubai.

Dubai’s traditional dress reflects its rich cultural heritage. Here’s a simplified table on the traditional attire in Dubai:

AbayaLoose-fitting, black outer garment worn by women
KandoraWhite, ankle-length robe worn by men
GhutraWhite or red checkered headdress for men
ShelaBlack or colored headscarf for women
BishtDecorative cloak worn over the Kandora
AgalBlack cord worn to secure the Ghutra

Please note that this is a simplified table and there may be variations in traditional dress styles within Dubai and the broader UAE region.


Dubai Cultural Cuisine

Dubai is a food lover’s paradise, with a wide variety of cuisine available from all over the world. Emirati cuisine is characterized by its use of spices and herbs, with dishes such as Machboos (spiced rice with meat or fish) and Luqaimat (sweet dumplings) being popular. Visitors to Dubai can also enjoy international cuisine from all over the world, including Indian, Chinese, and Italian.

Dubai’s culinary scene offers a delightful fusion of flavors from Emirati delicacies to international cuisines. Here’s a simplified table highlighting Dubai’s diverse cuisine:

EmiratiMachbous, Harees, Luqaimat, and other traditional dishes
ArabicHummus, Falafel, Shawarma, and mezze platters
IndianBiryani, Butter Chicken, Dosas, and flavorful curries
AsianSushi, Noodles, Dim Sum, and Thai curries
InternationalItalian, American, French, and other global cuisines
Street FoodShawarma, Samosas, Grilled Corn, and local street delicacies

Please note that this is a simplified table and Dubai’s culinary scene is diverse, offering even more cuisines and specialties.

Festivals and Celebrations

Dubai is known for its vibrant festivals and celebrations that blend tradition and modernity. Eid al-Fitr is a significant holiday in Dubai, marking the end of Ramadan.

 Other festivals include the Dubai Shopping Festival, the Dubai International Film Festival, and the Dubai Food Festival. Visitors to Dubai can experience the city’s cultural diversity and traditions through these festivals and celebrations.

Dubai is known for its vibrant festivals and celebrations that combine tradition with modernity. Here’s a simplified table highlighting some of Dubai’s prominent festivals:

Dubai Shopping FestivalRetail extravaganza with discounts, fireworks, and entertainment
Dubai Food FestivalCulinary delights, food trucks, and celebrity chef events
Eid al-FitrCelebrating the end of Ramadan with feasts and festivities
DiwaliHindu festival of lights celebrated with fireworks and music
Dubai Jazz FestivalShowcasing international jazz artists and live performances
Dubai International Film FestivalA platform for regional and international films

Please note that this is a simplified table and Dubai hosts a wide array of festivals throughout the year, catering to various cultural and artistic interests.

Multicultural Society

Dubai’s population is incredibly diverse, with people from over 200 different nationalities living and working in the city. This multicultural society has created a unique blend of traditions, customs, and languages that make Dubai a truly global city. 

UK Expats to Dubai can experience this diversity through the city’s many cultural events and festivals.

Dubai’s multicultural society is a vibrant melting pot of nationalities from around the world. Here’s a simplified table highlighting the diversity of Dubai’s population:

EmiratisIndigenous population and custodians of local traditions
IndiansLargest expatriate community contributing to various sectors
PakistanisSignificant workforce in construction and service industries
FilipinosStrong presence in healthcare, hospitality, and domestic work
BritishExpats occupying diverse roles in business and finance
EgyptiansActive in education, healthcare, and professional services

Please note that this is a simplified table and Dubai is home to a multitude of nationalities, creating a dynamic and inclusive society.


Dubai Smart City

Dubai’s future is defined by its ambition and drive to be at the forefront of technological innovation. The city is investing heavily in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and renewable energy. Dubai’s smart city initiatives are designed to make the city more efficient, sustainable, and connected. As a result, Dubai is poised to be a leader in the 21st century’s digital economy.

Dubai is a city that embraces innovation and aims to be at the forefront of technological advancements. Here’s a simplified table showcasing Dubai’s future-oriented initiatives:

Dubai Autonomous MobilityTesting autonomous vehicles for smart transportation
Dubai Blockchain StrategyIncorporating blockchain technology for secure transactions
Dubai Smart CityUtilizing IoT and AI to enhance efficiency and sustainability
Hyperloop OneDeveloping high-speed transportation systems
Dubai Flying TaxisExploring aerial taxi services for urban mobility
Dubai RoboticsPromoting the use of robots in various industries

Please note that this is a simplified table, and Dubai’s commitment to technological advancement is reflected in numerous other initiatives aimed at shaping the city’s future.


  • What is the official religion of Dubai?

    The official religion of Dubai is Islam.

  • What are some traditional Emirati dishes?

    Some traditional Emirati dishes include machboos, luqaimat, and balaleet.

  • What is the most popular sport in Dubai?

    Football (soccer) is the most popular sport in Dubai.

  • What is the traditional dress for men in Dubai?

    The traditional dress for men in Dubai is the kandura (also known as a thobe).

  • What is the traditional dress for women in Dubai?

    The traditional dress for women in Dubai is the abaya.

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.