tipping in Dubai

People visiting Dubai for the first time often face difficulty in understanding the tipping etiquette there, namely, who do you tip and how do you tip? Tip too little and you get a grunt of disapproval. Tip too much and it’s considered wasting money. Generally, Dubai is a fairly unique local – full of myriad people whose job is to make our lives easier. So, the rule of thumb is to tip whatever you deem appropriate.

The reason for this is: residents in Dubai hail from all over the world. So, their expectation of what is appropriate in regards to tipping varies massively. Even though workers earn minimal wages, they will never demand or expect a tip from you. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t help them out. So, although it is by no means mandatory in Dubai, tipping proves to be a generous act.

For more information, let’s take a look at this tipping guide below:

tipping in hotels in Dubai

in Dubai Tip 10-15% at Hotels

Restaurants and hotel bars include a service charge usually of between 10%-15% on their bills. However, oftentimes this cash goes straight into the company’s pocket rather than those serving you. Consequently, if you are particularly impressed with the service you have received, you will need to tip in ‘cash’ on top of this.

You can tip porters 5-10 Dirham’s or so, as you might do so for valet parkers. For maids or cleaners of rooms, it is best to leave at least 20 or 30 Dirham’s altogether in your bedroom at the end of your stay (if not daily). The concierge or hotel portiere too will never expect a tip, but you can of course reward them for good service.

tipping customs for restaurants in Dubai

At a restaurant Tip 10-12% in Dubai

In addition to the 10% service charge added to your bills, restaurants in Dubai also add an extra 6% tourism fee. Many venues claim these charges are divided between staff, you can sometimes assume your waitress or waiter won’t see any of it. Consequently, if you have received particularly attentive service, make sure to reward the worker.

Of course, these charges may put a bit of a sting on your bill. And, we don’t want to lay a guilt trip on you. Therefore, in the end the decision is completely under your discretion whether you want to by all means dig deep or not. So, if you can afford it and were incredibly pleased with the service, leave behind a 10% tip of the total bill. It might just help someone out!

Conversely, if there is no service charge included in the bill and the meal was good, you should tip more generously and leave behind a good tip.

tip etiquette at barman in Dubai

In Dubai don't tip at a bar

Tipping in pubs and bars in Dubai is usually not expected and workers may not accept tips. However, oftentimes a good tip can get you speedier, prompt service with a huge smile for the next round. Again, it isn’t necessary to tip, but might be worthwhile to do so if you actually have table service.

In other circumstances, if you receive good service and the barman fills several big orders, you can offer them a drink. The barman or barmaid may pour themselves a drink on the spot and have a little chat with you or will probably put the money aside to have a drink later.

should you tip your taxi driver

When taking a taxi Round up the fare in Dubai

Taxi drivers too don’t ask passengers for a tip and neither do they assume they can keep your change (something common in the US). However, it is common for people to tip taxi drivers by rounding up to the nearest 5 Dirham’s. For other services, such as carrying bags to your room, or having your petrol pumped it is usual to tip between AED 10 to AED20.

Nevertheless, if your driver was driving recklessly or speeding, you can always choose to just pay your basic fare. The rule of thumb here is: if the driver gets you there without scaring you to death with his road maneuvers or has been friendly, it’s alright to leave behind a tip (but that too under your discretion).

should you tip tour guides in Dubai

Tip tour guides Tip £5-£10 in Scotland

Tour guides are perhaps the only industry in Scotland where individuals actually expect a tip. But the amount you are supposed to tip usually depends on the type of tour you are taking. For instance, if you are taking a small walking tour, it would be nice to leave a tip of around £5. Conversely, if you are taking a tour around the entire city of Scotland or ask your tour guide to show you or visit extra places, you may want to tip them 10% of the bill.

should you tip your hairdresser

in Dubai don't tip at a hairdresser

Again, places providing personal services such as spas, salons, barbers do not usually expect a tip. But, since the service industry in Dubai doesn’t actually earn well, giving an extra 10 Dirham’s or so won’t to help them won’t harm you in any way.

Conversely, if you aren’t exactly happy with the work done or service provided, you can always choose not to leave behind a tip. At the end of the day, tipping is completely under your discretion.

should you tip tour guides in Dubai

In Dubai don't tip your taxi driver

Tour guides in Dubai are usually expensive. This is mainly because there is so much to look at and explore! Every day the city brings something new for its tourists to see. Therefore, depending on the type of tour and your group size, it is completely under your discretion whether you want to tip or not and how much is appropriate.

As you can see, a tip will never be badly received in Dubai. So, if someone did a great job, give as much as you see fit.