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HOW TO TIP IN THE UAE

The questions `when?` and `how much?` that surround tipping can leave some travelers confused, as the practice varies. This guide attempts to cover most situations that you, as a tourist, will encounter. Hopefully using these `tips` will provide a smooth experience when interacting with locals in restaurants, bars, hotels, tour operators, and taxis.

In the United Arab Emirates tipping is always appreciated, the country is world renowned for extraordinary service and it is customary to tip but not mandatory.

Currency: Can I pay in U.S. dollars?

The official currency in the UAE is the Dirham also referred to as the prefix AED (Arab Emirate Dirham) or abbreviation Dhs which would follow the numeric amount. The dirham and the US dollar exchange rate is fixed at US$1 = Dhs 3.67. US Dollars are not accepted, you must exchange your USD for AED before or upon arrival.

Restaurants, Cafes, and Bars: When should I tip? How much is customary?

There is a 10% service charge added to bills in restaurants and bars in UAE, most places will display this surcharge clearly on your bill. It is still common to leave an additional tip as the service charge is mostly for the restaurant and may not be divided up or shared with the staff that waited on you. An additional 10 - 15% is customary, but is also a reflection of the service you received.

Hotel Staff: Who should I tip?

A service charge of 10 - 15% can be added to your bill in a hotel restaurant or bar; it is un-common to tip other hotel staff. However, the valet drivers and bellman usually get AED5.00 - 10.00.

Taxi Drivers: Should I tip?

A common practice in Dubai to tip a taxi driver is rounding up your fare to the nearest AED5.00 - AED10.00 ($1.36 - $2.72). It is not mandatory to tip taxi drivers.

Tour Guides: Is a tip required?

Taking a tour in the UAE can be very expensive, to begin with, if you wish to leave a tip on top of the fee you paid for your tour it is entirely up to you.

Miscellaneous: Is there anyone I should tip that I would not normally?

At a spa`s in the UAE, it is common to leave 10 - 15% of the treatment value, smaller amounts for smaller treatments like a manicure. Tips are not expected but appreciated for good service.

Final Thoughts:

Remember that it is perfectly okay to abstain, especially if you are not happy with the service provided. This is also true for hotel staff, however if you should encounter a problem with the service within the hotel, we highly recommend speaking with the manager. When paying for services in cash (which we generally recommend for services other than your hotel) remember to take your receipt. This is important for two reasons; If you leave a tip on a credit card, the person providing the service may not always get it, and if there is a discrepancy it is important to have your receipt to settle it with the manager of the establishment and to prove that you paid for the service.

When paying for services in cash (which we generally recommend for services other than your hotel) remember to take your receipt. This is important for two reasons; If you leave a tip on a credit card, the person providing the service may not always get it, and if there is a discrepancy it is important to have your receipt to settle it with the manager of the establishment and to prove that you paid for the service.