Are you finally ready to book that trip to Dubai? Have you packed your bags and made your final travel checklist (while checking it twice)?
No matter what country you might visit, you can’t help but wonder how safe it is at that particular location. So how safe is Dubai for tourists?
Let’s find out in our guide below!
Is Dubai Safe for Tourists?
Dubai is one of the safest cities in the world for tourists because of its strict rules, dynamic police force and a generally safe environment.
Dubai Has a Very Low Crime Rate
Dubai ranks 7th in the world on Numbeo’s Safety Index by City 2023 with a score of 83.6. This means that it’s one of the safest cities to visit for tourists mainly because of its low crime rate.
Although Dubai isn’t free of offenders, these crimes are often just petty and non-alarming to the safety of tourists.
In fact, this year, the Dubai police reported a 25% decrease in alarming crime reports and a 7.1% in non-alarming crime reports in the first quarter of 2023.
Numbeo gives Dubai a 16.32 Crime Index, which is a lot lower than most cities its size. Here’s a closer look at the crime rates in Dubai:
|Home theft and burglary
|Physical attack due to ethnicity, gender, religion or skin color
Dubai also has a very high safety score for people walking alone during the day and night.
This is very important if you’re a tourist since most offenders in other cities attack tourists while walking alone during their trip.
However, Dubai still records some common scams and petty crimes that you need to avoid as a tourist:
- Taxi Scam
Taxi scams are common in almost every part of the world and Dubai is no exception.
While the city has licensed taxis that offer honest rates and good customer service, there are still a handful of taxis that scam tourists.
These drivers usually modify their meters to charge more than what the regular rates and some take tourists on longer routes, so they end up paying more.
To protect yourself from a taxi scam, it’s best to arrange for hotel transfers, book a ride through Uber or ride only in designated areas in the airport.
Violent crimes are very rare in Dubai because of its very strict rules.
But the city still experiences some cases of phone grabbing, purse snatching and pickpocketing, especially among tourists.
This usually happens in popular tourist spots like malls, museums, parks and the beach.
To protect yourself from being a victim of these offenders, it’s best to dress simply, avoid wearing flashy jewelry and showing off your gadgets.
If you’re renting a car, make sure to keep the doors and windows locked, and never leave personal items and documents inside the vehicle.
Dubai may have one of the strictest safety measures in place, but there are still some cases of ATM and credit card fraud in some parts of the city.
So, make sure to withdraw money only on ATM machines inside malls or areas where they are constantly seen by people.
It’s also best to avoid using your credit card if you notice something unusual with a store.
Dubai Has a Dynamic Police Force
The government has invested a lot in its police force, making the Dubai Police one of the strongest authorities in the Middle East.
The police force has more than 17,500 members and 15,000 highly skilled professionals who help maintain the peace and order in Dubai.
The Dubai Police has a Tourist Department
The Dubai Police also has a department that caters solely to the issues of tourists during their stay in the city.
You can reach this department by sending an email to [email protected], calling the 24-hour hotline 901 or downloading the Dubai Police app.
You can also dial 999 for the Dubai Police emergency hotline, 998 to call for an ambulance, 997 to reach the Fire Department and 996 to call the Coastguard.
The Dubai Police also has measures in place to cater to the needs of tourists.
For instance, English-speaking operators are always available to take calls from tourists who might have a problem during their holiday.
The city’s emergency call-in network also stores different international emergency numbers in case a tourist dials his local number in case of an emergency in Dubai.
For instance, if an American will dial 911, the call will still go through to the Dubai Police and Emergency Services.
The Dubai Police is High-Tech
The Dubai Police has also invested in technology that helps to prevent and solve crimes in the city.
For instance, the police force adapted three AI-powered products from Sprinklr: Sprinklr Service, Sprinklr Insights and Sprinklr Social.
These platforms will not only help the police force disseminate information faster to the public, but they also allow better connectivity between the police and the people it serves.
According to Major Khalid Al Marri, Director of the Social Media Section of the Dubai Police, the real-time data provided by Sprinklr has enabled the authorities to keep citizens safe and informed.
This tool has also allowed authorities to prevent potential crimes to reduce the city’s crime rates significantly.
Dubai Has a Safe Public Transportation System
Dubai has one of the safest forms of public transport anywhere in the world, and you’ll have plenty of options when it comes to going around the city including:
- Dubai Metro
The Dubai Metro is considered the cheapest and most accessible mode of public transport in Dubai.
In fact, you can ride a train from the Dubai International Airport and head straight to the heart of the city.
The different metro lines also traverse some of the key locations in Dubai, so you won’t have to worry about getting lost.
In terms of safety, the Dubai Metro has designated cabins for women and children.
- Dubai Bus
The Dubai Bus is another cheap and convenient mode of public transport in the city, with more than 1,500 units traveling across the metropolis daily.
There are also designated bus stops everywhere and waiting sheds where you can comfortably wait for your ride.
These buses are also well-maintained to make sure that they carry passengers safely to their destinations around the city.
- Dubai Taxi
You’ll find a taxi almost anywhere in Dubai and the minimum fare would be AED 12 with costs depending on where you’re going.
Taxis are also handled by the Dubai RTA, so you can easily call 800 9090 to book a ride.
Of course, there are ride-hailing apps like Uber and Careem as alternatives to booking a taxi that will safely take you to your destination in the city.
You also have the option to rent a chauffeured or self-drive car if you want to go around the city more privately.
But if you want to rent a self-drive car, you need to be 21 years or older and with an international driving license.
It’s also very important to know the rules for driving around Dubai to avoid any infractions.