Friday 21 November 2014

You can't drink alcohol in Dubai and other myths I'm exploring

When we moved to South Africa, everyone and I mean everyone whether they'd lived here, visited there or watched a programmes about Africa told us all about the negative stuff, mainly the dangers.

We're flying out to Dubai tonight to find somewhere to live and for hubby to process his work and residency visa applications. We will also receive 'localised' training on rules for entering certain places, travel on public transport, which will effect hubby more than me in regards to 'woman only' compartments at certain times and days, as it won't matter if I travel in a 'mixed' carriage on a train, but could end up getting hubby in serious trouble if he fails to follow the laws.

According to other people and the internet the following apply:
  • We can't buy or drink alcohol in Dubai
  • I won't be able to buy a swim suit, let a lone wear one in a public place
  • Hubby cannot go into a department store without me
  • I have to have my head covered when I go out
  • I won't be able to drive
  • I'll have no rights as a woman
  • You can't buy pork products
  • It is illegal to eat, drink, smoke or chew gum in public during Ramadan, inc inside a car
  • You can't take a bible into Dubai, you cannot discuss Christianity in public and there are no churches
I went to Dubai in January and walked around on my own, sat on the beach, swam in the sea and drank alcohol at a bar. I didn't get arrested or even told off.

I spent a day on a public beach wearing my swim suit.
I ordered a glass of wine with my lunch in the hotel.
I wore shorts, T-shirt and sandals and travelled around Dubai on public transport.
I had bacon for breakfast in the hotel.

I need to check about eating in public during Ramadan and I know hubby can enter a department store, I think it's ladies underwear shops that he can't go into (not that he would anyway).

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