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Before my trip to Dubai, all I heard about this cosmopolitan city is that, their law is extreme and can be cruel, especially towards women. Anything that does not go along with their religious teachings, a person can end up in the jail. You probably heard about the story of a British woman got jail time for drinking alcohol on the Emirates flight (though there are more to it than just that), a man got jail time for taking a photo of a government building, a woman reported a rape and she ended up being punished, etc. Those kind of news really make the world questions about how safe it is to visit Dubai? For visitors, jail is the last place on earth that they want to spend at on their vacation. Throughout my research before that trip, you have no ideas how many travel articles out there that warn visitor not to do this and that when visiting Dubai. I honestly felt overwhelmed about it all.
The main flagship carrier of Dubai is the Emirates. Many miles and points enthusiasts love to redeem award tickets for Emirates Business and First Class to experience their on-board shower and bar, or simply just want to visit Dubai. For whatever reasons, now that I have returned from Dubai, I thought it’d be good for me to express my opinion about Dubai’s safety, and hopefully reduce some concerns for those that want to see Dubai but afraid of their own safety while being there.
Is Dubai Safe to Visit?
Yes, Dubai is safe to visit. My answer is based on my observations when I was there and from my personal exchange with people that work there in the tourist industry. After all, that’s what Dubai is all about – tourism.
- Security: There are security guys in almost every corner at the tourist places. I have never seen a place that hire so many security people to monitor things around. That really made me feel safe the entire time there.
- Scams: Dubai is rich and so are their local people. Therefore, tricking or pick-pocketing tourist money is not their thing.
- People: You interact mostly with other tourists and non-local workers that go to Dubai to work. They are mostly from Philippines, India, Pakistan, etc. A taxi driver from Pakistan actually told me that, it is impossible to get Dubai’s citizenship. He’s been working there for 10 years and keeps renewing his work visa. So if any of these “foreigners” commit any crimes there, they will be deported and lose their income opportunity to work.
- Transportation: Taxi is very safe in Dubai. It’s government regulated so you won’t be tricked or ripped off. If you are a woman, they even have a pink color taxi with a woman driver that’s only available for female passengers. The same thing with the public metro, there’s section that’s mainly for women. Metro and station are also clean and safe.
- Crime: Because of how strict the law over there, it sure discourages people from committing any crimes. Through my conversation with a Philippine worker, she said that in Dubai, it’s very safe from crimes. The only crime that happens often is the traffic violation crime. Even so, driving under the influence (DUI) rarely happens.
All said and done, I think that Dubai is fairly safe as long as you don’t do any crazy things over there. Decency is all you need. In Dubai, you can only consume alcoholic drinks from a licensed places such as the bar, hotel, and of course the Emirates flight. However, if you involve in any arguments or cause any issues with alcohol involved, you are at fault. Public display of affection keeps it to a minimum if you can. Homosexuality is a crime. Certain drugs are not allowed…. the list can go on. As much as I also don’t like this type of politics, but it is their law. You either go visit and respect it, or don’t visit at all. In the end, it is what it is. But as far as safety goes in terms of crimes in Dubai, you shouldn’t let that stop you from traveling there to visit. Dubai is a city of United Arab Emirates, and the US Department of State currently notes the country as level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions, in other words it is safe to visit.