Like in many Arabic countries, homosexuality is a massive taboo and is not accepted by society. Being openly gay in Dubai is therefore dangerous! Whether you're a local or a foreigner. The reality for gay tourists who wish to visit Dubai is that you are unlikely to encounter any problems as long as you avoid all public displays of affection with the same sex. Previous arrests of gay tourists in Dubai happened as a result of public occurrences. They were sentenced to 1 month imprisonment and subsequently deported. Therefore, if you are happy to accept going back into the closet, you will be fine in Dubai.
More recently, in March , Little Mix performed in Dubai under a giant rainbow flag for one of their songs without any problems. In a country where being gay is illegal, this is a big deal! Compare this to the Mashrou' Leila's concert in Cairo, Egypt where being gay is also very illegal when fans waved rainbow flags, the police ended up arresting 70 people! Despite this, it has a large gay population living here who mainly work in the big airlines like Emirates. It has one of the largest malls in the world, the highest building in the world the Burj Khalifa , many excellent beaches, exciting busy traditional souks and even a 7 star hotel.
It's also extremely safe with very low levels of crime. As a major transport hub, it's also a useful stop over for breaking up long trips. Dubai has a reputation in the Arab world for being a liberal urban haven, largely because there is a large international expat population. For example, out of the total 9. There are however, a few practical safety precautions that gay travellers to Dubai should take into account:. Whilst homosexuality is a crime in Dubai, there still exists an active underground gay scene thanks to the large expat population. In terms of outright gay bars in Dubai, there are none!
Gay parties in Dubai are usually only publicised via social media and word of mouth. Grindr is your best starting point for researching them.
The following are the main gay clubs in Dubai to check out, which may either host a gay event during the week, or will have a relaxed and liberal atmosphere. Just remember, always avoid public displays of affection to be on the safe side! Gay dating apps in Dubai are illegal and blocked.
You can get around this by getting a VPN which allows you use the apps anonymously. However, if you decide to get one, we recommend ExpressVPN , a reliable and inexpensive service, very easy to set up. In Dubai, some hotels may even require two men sharing a room to have an extra mattress added, or they will only allow you to book a room with twin beds. Yes it's sad that in this day and age there exists places where you can't be yourself and sleep with your partner in the same bed. We've listed our 3 favourite gay friendly places to stay in Dubai. If you're looking for more inspiration, be sure to check out our article about the top gay friendly hotels to stay in Dubai.
Our favourite hotel to stay in Dubai. Built in a Polynesian style, the hotel features low rise constructions and villas set amongst lush tropical gardens. The staff treated us with the upmost respect, without questioning our choice of a double bed. The resort is also home to 6 different restaurants as well as 4 bars and lounges.
There's a high-tech fitness centre and 6 swimming pools so you'll be able to work off the calories from all the amazing food! You can also enjoy many relaxing treatments in the So Spa which has 28 treatment rooms, seawater pool, sauna and massage rooms.
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Unlike on Airbnb, you know your host is gay, avoiding any nasty surprises when you check in. It is also a great way to meet gay locals and discover the underground gay scene. The Hilton is an international American chain, which is used to hosting gay travellers. We particularly love the Sky Lounge; one of the best rooftop bars in Dubai and perfect for a romantic sunset cocktail.
You'll also be able to relax in the spa and health club if you're tired and sore from all that shopping!
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Aloft is an Urban-inspired design hotel, bringing high comfort and high tech at an affordable price, ideal for the Millennial traveller. The rooms are spacious, offering a choice of different pillows and very comfortable beds. The pool is a great place to relax, with live DJs playing music every Monday and Thursday.
The Aloft Me'aisam is the ideal place for gay travellers to Dubai who are looking for a more affordable option without sacrificing comfort. Aloft is a young, chic and gay friendly hotel without the huge price-tag many resorts come with. You will, however, still be able to enjoy their on-site spa, international restaurant and the cool W XYZ bar.
There is no lack of options when it comes to fine dining in Dubai. Unfortunately, you will not find any restaurants in Dubai proudly hanging a rainbow flag. However, the huge expat population means there are many different types of cuisine to be found, from French patisseries to modern fusion, and everything in between. We have enjoyed trying out some traditional Arabian cuisine during our time in Dubai, as well as experiencing romance in decadent restaurants with stunning views.
Here are our five favourite restaurants in Dubai. For the ultimate experience in Arabian dining and entertainment, you have to go to one of Dubai's desert restaurants, of which there are quite a few to choose from. We loved Al Hadheerah , where you will enjoy a traditional feast of Arabic mezzah foods while watching belly dancers and listening to traditional instruments. They also have horse, camel and falconry shows as well as fireworks displays on Thursday and Friday nights.
If you're looking for something more modern, check out TOMO. Serving up authentic Japanese dishes with stunning views over Dubai creek, this is a great spot to go for a delicious dinner or even just sunset cocktails. Try the wagyu sukiyaki and watch it cooked beside your table. Don't forget to try a sweet dessert like their matcha green tea cake! TOMO is the perfect way to escape the hustle and bustle while still enjoying the twinkling lights from all those skyscrapers. Located at the end of the pier at Al Qasr Hotel, Pierchic is a Mediterranean seafood restaurant with captivating views across the Arabian Gulf.
This is the epitome of romantic fine dining. The high-end seafood dishes include such delicacies as seared king scallops with foie gras or gin-and-tonic cured salmon! Of course, with this level of decadence you can expect an equally impressive bill, but you can also feel good knowing that all the seafood is sustainably sourced and delivered fresh daily.
Another one of our favourite places to have authentic Emirati cuisine is the Arabian Tea House , a cafe and restaurant that strives to showcase traditional Arabic hospitality. The building used to be home to a pearl merchant but now gives off a secret garden vibe with cute wicker furniture in the leafy courtyard. They are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner but don't serve alcohol. Instead, sample some of their many loose-leaf teas or a refreshing smoothie along with the Emirati meal platters.
This urban retreat located on Jumeirah Beach Road offers classes for yoga and meditation, naturopathic wellness treatments, reiki or even aura and chakra readings. This is truly the place to come to find balance, peace and healing. While you're there you can also relax in the rustic garden and eat some delicious vegan food! Come here to feel well, inside and out. There are so many amazing things to do in Dubai that you could easily spend weeks having the time of your life.
These are our top ten favourite most romantic, exciting and can't miss experiences for gay travelers in Dubai. Can you think of anything more exciting and romantic than taking a helicopter ride over an amazing city like Dubai? There are so many stunning things to see in Dubai anyway, but seeing it from the sky on your own private helicopter ride is even better! This is definitely an unforgettable experience that will make you feel like a rockstar! This is also a great way to become acquainted with Arabian culture through food and dance.
We recommend this safari since it includes everything mentioned above as well as pick-up and drop-off from your accommodation, a makeover and photo with a falcon, and possibly even quad-biking! The Burj Khalifa is one of the most amazing and famous skyscrapers in the world, and a must-visit when exploring Dubai.
We think it's a good idea to book a tour which skips the lines so you can enjoy your time on the observation deck and learning about the history of the Burj Khalifa. When visiting the Burj Khalifa make sure to stop and experience the breathtaking fountain show that is located in the Dubai Lake. This is the largest choreographed fountain show in the world, with lights and water shooting up to feet into the air.
The show is accompanied by a mix of classical, contemporary and Arabian music. There are performances at 1: You can even watch the fountain show from a boat on the lake!
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Next to the Burj Khalifa and surrounding park as well as the fountain is the massive Dubai mall complex.
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