Living somewhere abroad is quite a nice dream. Being independent and striving for success in another country is an adventure many would like to take.
But setting foot in new territory comes with many risks. One of these concerns is safety, especially with women, as they face more incidents aimed at them.
Continue reading to learn about the different aspects that can make living in Dubai safe for women!
Is it safe for women to live in Dubai?
According to Gallup Global’s 2021 Law and Order report, the city is very safe for women, earning a score of 95% on a recent study.
With the government’s efforts to build separate sections for women in public transport as well as implement laws that punish discrimination and harassment, women can be at ease while living in Dubai.
How safe is it for women to live in Dubai?
Dubai in general is viewed to be quite safe in terms of its crime rate. According to the data from the city police, crime rates are usually at 0.1 to 10%.
The table below shows some of the common crimes that occur to women in the city. We’d like to note that the values here are percentage corresponding to per one hundred people:
Data from Dubai Police
As you can see, the most common crimes that happen are theft and robbery, which range from 1.6 to 22%. This percentage is quite low on the scale, which is something we applaud the city for.
Women-related crimes such as assault, rape, and abduction happen rarely in the city. Still, this doesn’t mean that we encourage people to stay complacent.
The percentages just show that Dubai can be quite safe if we’re looking at how frequent crime-related incidents can happen in the city.
Is it safe for a woman to walk alone at night in Dubai?
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Dubai is home to different activities at night that women can safely enjoy. In an article published in the Khaleej Times, several female residents in the UAE stated that it is quite safe to walk around at night.
The police can quickly respond to emergencies at any time of the day, which gives residents a sense of reassurance. Additionally, there is a nationwide surveillance system implemented not just in Dubai, but all other cities in the Emirates.
Moreover, the government has strict and very punishing laws against harassment and female-related crimes, which discourage people from doing things against women.
These steps taken by the authorities make the current female residents in the city feel safe so they can happily go do their business even in the early hours of the morning!
We do recommend carrying some safety tools with you for extra security.
What laws or policies are there to protect women in Dubai?
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The 2021 Women Peace and Security Index’s Community Safety Survey ranks the Emirates among the highest in the world. The country has a safety index of 0.856 (which is around 85.6%).
Another aspect of why cities in the UAE have such a high safety rating for women is because of their strict local culture and laws. Let’s take a look at some of those in the next section.
Government Policies for Women
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The UAE has carried out changes in its laws to give more respect, rights, and safety to the women who live in the region.
Some of these include prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex and gender. The government has also offered protection for women who would wish to obtain restraining orders against abusers.
Additionally, the government has provided designated women-only areas in different public transportation such as the metro, tram, and buses.
Women’s Rights in Dubai
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Apart from prohibiting discrimination between genders and ensuring equality in the workplace, Dubai provides different rights for women in the city.
One of the rights available is voting rights. For expats who will gain citizenship in Dubai, you can cast votes for candidates of your choice.
Additionally, women can also work in the country’s parliament or hold public offices. Women hold two-thirds of public sector jobs in the UAE, and at the moment there are 9 women serving in the UAE cabinet.
Speaking of work, female residents and expats have access to any field of work they wish to take. What’s great is that women are guaranteed to have equal pay with respect to their male coworkers in the private sector.
Ladies living in the city also can own and inherit property. They also can own a vehicle, which they can drive around at any hour provided that they have a driving license.
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The city has a lot of public and private medical centers for women’s healthcare.
To help residents (whether citizens or expatriates) in shouldering the costs needed for medical services, the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) created a legislation that requires companies and individuals to get health insurance policies.
For women’s reproductive healthcare, the government provides healthcare e-services for expecting mothers. The city is also home to multiple hospitals that cater to the care of women during this particular period.
Aside from that, there are female-only clinics for those who wish to see a practitioner of the same gender.
We also like that medical centers will actually respect your wishes to see a female doctor, especially for sensitive medical fields such as gynecology.
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Part of ensuring personal safety is to follow the law.
It’s important to note that while the city is more liberal and progressive compared to other areas in the Emirates, it still has some strict local policies that women need to follow.
One of these policies relates to how people dress. The city encourages modest dressing outside of women’s homes.
Clothes should cover the arms and legs. Additionally, women should also avoid wearing vulgar or offensive designs.
If you want to wear a dress or a skirt, we advise you to make sure that the hemline will not be too high. Below-the-knee skirts would do nicely.
Women are allowed to wear swimsuits, such as bikinis only on beaches and swimming pools.
Considerations for Women in Different Establishments
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Different establishments in the city also help create an environment where women can feel more at ease. These usually come in the form of gender exclusivity, where they can feel safe with people of the same gender.
Amusement parks, cinemas, nightclubs, and bars, all have their own version of Ladies’ Days and Ladies’ Nights. These promotions not only encourage women to be together in one location, but they also offer discounts or free treats as well.
So not only do you feel at ease with other women in the room, but you’ll also get some good deals, which we think is neat.
There is also the existence of Dubai’s Pink Taxis. These known transportation vehicles are cabs driven by women, for women.
Most of the experienced travelers and ex-pats in Dubai recommend women take this mode of transportation, especially after a night of partying and they’ll be alone. You can find these taxis around airports and other hubs around the city.
Personal Safety Tips For Women
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While the city implements laws and regulations that help keep women safe, there is no harm in further practicing personal safety measures.
Here’s a few recommendations for women during their trip or move to the big city:
- Try bringing an anti-theft purse or bag anywhere you go
- Segregate your cash and valuables in different bags and pockets
- Bring enough money for the day only.
- Keep extra copies of your documents and identification in your home
- If you’re going out at night let somebody else know of your plans
- Always carry your phone with you
- Have the GPS on your phone activated whenever possible
So, Is it safe to live in Dubai as a woman?
We believe that due to the many different laws and considerations made by the UAE government, Dubai offers a safe environment for women to live in.
While there is always room for improvement, especially in the laws concerning marriages and domestic abuse, we believe that in the general look of things, especially for single women who wish to move to the city for better opportunities— the area is quite safe to live in.