Dubai
Do as the long-term expats do: dress modestly if you want to be accepted and value the opportunity to befriend locals. Women should wear skirts to the knees or longer, tops with sleeves, and nothing too tight or revealing. Men should wear long pants and tops with sleeves, no matter what the weather. Leave the swimsuits, shorts, and tanks at the hotel. You’ll see some foreigners wearing less, but this is highly offensive to Emiratis. Never shake hands with an Emirati woman unless she offers her hand first, and don’t photograph women without permission. Also don’t photograph sheikhs’ palaces, police stations, military buildings, ports, or airports—although this has more to do with security than culture or religion. Avoid public displays of affection, especially during Ramadan, as you run the risk of being fined. If you are visiting someone’s home, remove your shoes at the door, don’t show the soles of your feet when sitting down, and avoid eating with your left hand. Don’t use rude gestures or swear in public, no matter how angry you might be with the guy who just cut in front of you!