Muslims are united in their belief in God, bound together by religious practices like Ramadan, yet have differing views about many other aspects of their faith, including how important religion is to their lives. So my first and most significant tip is to acknowledge the need to be sensitive to local customs and manners.
My very first trip to a Muslim-majority country was Cairo, Egpyt. Egyptian capital is home to Africa's oldest monastery and mosque on earth. And to hear the Call to prayer five times a day (Fajr (dawn), Dhuhr (midday), Asr (afternoon), Maghrib (sunset), Isha (night), Eid prayers, Taraweeh, Salatul Janazah.) was calming, astonishing, and one of the most memorable moments during my stay in Egypt. Despite the lovely experiences in a Middle East country whenever there's tension in these countries, there's an advisement to proceed with caution, or they go on the no-go list. Is it safe to travel to Middle East countries like Dubai due to the current tensions? According to the U.S. State Department, U.S. citizens are strongly encouraged to maintain a high level of vigilance and practice good situational awareness. At the time this blog is written, the only countries bordering the Gulf that are on the Foreign Office "no-go" list are Iran and Iraq (plus, on the Arabian peninsula, Yemen).
The U.S. State Department recommends you to take the following additional safety precautions:
"Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.
Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
Review the Crime and Safety Report for the UAE.U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergencies."
In my opinion, all these precautions should be taken for any travels and not just countries with security warnings. The "Life Hacker" blog, says there isn't a high relationship between the number of travel warnings and the chances of an American being killed.
While Dubai is one of seven (UAE), it's surprisingly diverse, and it's the city to host the World Expo in 2020. Since the discovery of oil in the 1960s, Dubai has become synonymous with spending. They're rich in history that will give any visitor a feel of the traditional Arabic culture, and the skyline is ridiculous.
Many foreigners often find themselves on the wrong side of the law for things they wouldn't think twice about doing at home.
When visiting Islamic country such as Dubai the Broke BackPacker blog advises the follwoing travel tips:
Be conscious of Ramadan - it's a time of spiritual reflection, self-improvement, and heightened devotion and worship.
Keep away from any drugs – Serious consequences could be the result.
No pornography and no pork products – Both are illegal. Low crime doesn't mean any crime to be mindful of your belongings and surroundings.
Alcohol must be drunk in licensed venues and do not be drunk in public – Hotels, restaurants, bars, etc. Anywhere else and you could face arrest.
Get the approval of banned substances before you go – Some medication might contain "drugs," so you must get pre-approval.
Don't swear in English or gesture obscenely – Again, you could go to prison, and this includes online behavior.
Sex outside of marriage is illegal – If the UAE authorities find out, you might get arrested or deported.
Don't criticize or ridicule the UAE – Online or otherwise. Not just the government, but UAE organizations. People have been detained and prosecuted under this law.
For any travel, you should always be vigilant about your safety. When visiting countries like UAE, India, Uzbekistan, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Senegal at times of security concerns, keep an eye on the State Department site and local news reports for advisement.
One of the first things I learned during my stay was that the And praying five times a day is one of the requirements of Islam and can be quite beautiful.