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Safety in Dubai

There are so many reasons to holiday in Dubai, from year-round sunshine and iconic attractions to Michelin-starred restaurants and world-class live entertainment. But did you know that Dubai is also one of the world’s safest cities? Bring your loved ones to the ultimate family-friendly destination and enjoy an unforgettable vacation, where your safety, security, and happiness are paramount.

Dubai Police has a dedicated department to address any issues that tourists may face during their stay, such as lost mobile phones or bags. You can contact Dubai Tourism Police by calling the 24-hour hotline on 901, emailing, or downloading the Dubai Police app (IOS and Android), where you can also discover more about the UAE’s laws and guidelines.

In the meantime, here’s our guide to staying safe during your time in Dubai.

Staying safe on Dubai’s roads

If you plan to drive a car during your time in Dubai, it’s vital to know the city’s road safety laws. To rent a car, you must have an international driving license and be aged 21 or older. Seat belts are mandatory for everyone, while kids up to four years old must be placed in a child safety seat. There is a zero-tolerance approach to drink-driving and it is important that you remain calm while behind the wheel. Do not swear or make rude hand gestures at other drivers, as road rage incidents such as these can become a police matter.

Staying safe in the Dubai sea

It is very safe to swim in the sea in Dubai. Nonetheless, you should take the necessary precautions when going for a dip. Firstly, before you get in the water, look out for one of three colored flags – a red flag means it is not safe to swim, a yellow flag means you should swim with caution and a purple flag means that harmful creatures such as jellyfish have been spotted. It’s also recommended that you only swim when a lifeguard is present; you’ll find them across the city’s public and private beaches from sunrise to sunset every day. In 2023, three beaches in Dubai opened for 24/7 swimming, which means you can safely enjoy a well-lit swim at the atmospheric spots in Jumeirah 2, Jumeirah 3, and Umm Suqeim 1. Aside from these beaches, you’re advised not to go into the sea after sunset.

Staying safe while hiking in Dubai

Head out of the city and discover a different side of Dubai with a hiking trip to Hatta. Be sure to bring a lot of water (it’s better to have too much than too little), prepare your route beforehand, and always travel in a group. It’s best to hike during the winter when the weather is cooler, and always wear proper hiking boots. Sunscreen and headgear are highly recommended too.

Staying safe in the Dubai desert

A trip to the majestic desert is a memorable part of any Dubai vacation, but it’s important to come prepared. While the desert is often hot and sunny during the day, temperatures can drop sharply once evening arrives – so it’s best to bring plenty of warmer clothing if you’re staying overnight. Bring lots of water and snacks too, plus a first aid kit. It’s also best to book your trip with an established tour operator, to ensure everything goes smoothly.

Protect yourself from the sun

Make sure you enjoy Dubai’s year-round sunshine to the fullest by always wearing sunscreen, drinking plenty of water, and taking regular breaks in the shade. It’s also advisable to wear a hat and sunglasses to further protect your skin, and during summer be aware that the sun is strongest between 11 am and 3 pm.

What to do in a medical emergency

Dial 998 for a medical emergency that requires an ambulance or an air ambulance to take you to the nearest hospital. If you don’t know your exact location, try to identify a nearby landmark to help the ambulance arrive as quickly as possible. The emergency response team speaks a wide variety of languages, reflecting Dubai’s multicultural population, so let it be known if you would prefer to use your native language.

Tips for first-time visitors to Dubai

  • Dress modestly in public areas (e.g. swimwear and bikinis are fine to wear at the beach, but not in a shopping mall)
  • Refrain from excessive displays of affection in public
  • As with anywhere in the world, be kind and respectful to those around you.