Posted by / Category Cultural Differences /

In my resort and more generally in Dubai, there is a specific etiquette, and I am slowly getting to grips with it. I still have so much to learn…but here is what I found out so far. Feel free to add to the list:

1. Little girls (age 2 to 10) must wear both parts of their bikini or even a one-piece swimsuit. Even if there is absolutely nothing to hide, all little girls -except maybe a Russian one I saw this morning-, wear both parts. Obviously, unlike the France of my childhood, nobody is tanning topless. The #FreeTheNipple campaign hasn’t reached Dubai just yet, and probably never will. No such rule applies to men. Some things never change.
2. There is an important British community over here. That said, believe it or not, they are not into beer. Or not as much as in London. And they have a well-mastered ritual at the resort: everyday at about 6pm, the Brits gather for the happy hours of the downstairs bar and start drinking for the next couple of hours. And they are into whiskey, I can tell from the smell of strong booze that’s coming from the bar. They have clearly upped their game.

3. If you are a woman, you can cut the queue. Yep, you read that well. In the Dubai mall yesterday, I was queuing with my daughters for a taxi to go back to the hotel. The security guy saw us and made us jump the queue. I didn’t understand why and felt like a fraud. Then, I was explained that women take priority in lots of places, including clinics. And do you know what? You might call me old-fashioned, but I find it very nice. Especially with all the shopping bags we had.
4. Although in the resort you can pretty much wear whatever you like and behave the way you want, in the city there are a few rules to follow. I am especially pleased with the no-Public-Displays-Of-Affection rule. Because in London, things were getting a bit out of control, and I got tired of seeing people eagerly kissing on the street and in coffee shops.
5. French tourists have a specific way to recognise themselves: they shout at each other when visiting the souk. This allows fellow French tourists to join the conversation and make like-minded friends. I pretend that I don’t understand.
Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London