While there is inherently no fault in looking like a tourist during your vacation to a foreign country, it does have its disadvantages. For one, you can get treated differently by locals and can be an obvious target for sales scams. From our experience, we would say it’s better to blend in a little to the culture rather than asserting yourself. By doing this, you can easily transition from a spectator to an observer. If you are a tourist whose planning his vacation in the UAE, then read through our handy list of tips to avoid looking like a tourist in the country.
As a rule of thumb, do not handle large sums of money in the public. Not only will this help you avoid sales scams, but it can also help you to prevent the attention of thieves. Only keep small amounts in your handbag or wallet and always keep them in a way where you can reach them easily. Additionally, make yourself aware of the local coins and currencies to avoid confusion when it comes to paying. Lastly, if you are stopping by one of Dubai’s Souks as like in Deira, be sure to bargain as much as you can to get the best price.
Firstly, pack for your vacation by considering the weather within the country. For example, you don’t need to carry winter jackets with you if you are visiting the UAE. Additionally, look at what the locals are wearing and simply copy their style. If you do not see men wearing shorts, do not wear them! Also, try to avoid bright colored clothing if you wish to avoid drawing attention to yourself.
Before visiting any country, it is vital to make yourself aware of the local customs and rules. Whether it's clothing, how you eat, or specific actions and gestures, learn about the customs that are considered as impolite and avoid doing them.
A camera around your neck is a clear sign of telling the world that you are a tourist. If you are not using it, keep it away from sight. Also, avoid walking around with other tell-tale signs such as maps, guide books, and backpacks, among other commonly used tourist accessories.
You do not have to be an expert but being able to understand the basic terms and knowing key phrases and sentences can go a long way in helping you to avoid attracting attention to yourself. As mentioned, make yourself aware of any hand gestures that may be deemed offensive and avoid doing them in public. Lastly, if you are in a restaurant, feel free to take your time to make the concerned personnel know what you want to have to avoid any embarrassment in this regard.