Tipping in Dubai – Is it Customary to Tip in Dubai?

Tipping in Dubai

Dubai is one of the most fascinating places on Earth, where soaring skyscrapers meet traditional souks, all set within a shimmering desert oasis. But, amidst the opulence of Dubai, there’s one thing that often leaves visitors confused – tipping culture. At Crown Currency Exchange, we believe that your holiday should be as stress-free as possible, which is why we’ve put together this guide to tipping in Dubai, where you’ll learn everything you need to know!

What is the Tipping Culture in Dubai?

In Dubai, tipping is appreciated, and while it isn’t mandatory, it is often expected in various service industries, reflecting the city’s diverse and cosmopolitan culture. As such, you should be prepared to tip restaurant servers, hotel staff, and taxi drivers as a way of showing your appreciation for good service.

Why is Tipping so Common in Dubai?

Why is Tipping so Common in Dubai?

Tipping in Dubai is so common because it is deeply tied to the city’s culture, economy, and commitment to providing excellent service. There is also a strong emphasis on hospitality and service in Dubai, and tipping is viewed as a way of acknowledging and rewarding exceptional service providers.

Another reason why tipping is so common in Dubai is that the city is known for its high standards of living, and service industry workers often rely on tips to supplement their income, which helps to bridge the gap between basic wages and the high cost of living.

There’s a motivational reason behind tipping in Dubai, as well. As the city strives to maintain its reputation for opulence and world famous exceptional service, tipping plays a role in ensuring that service providers are motivated to consistently deliver amazing service to visitors.

When Should You Consider Leaving a Tip?

When Should You Consider Leaving a Tip?

As tipping in Dubai is common practice, there are several situations where you should consider leaving a tip as a gesture of appreciation for good service, including:

Tipping Waiting Staff

You will be expected to leave a tip for restaurant staff and cafe waiting staff in Dubai, especially if the service is satisfactory. In some cases, you may find that a service charge has already been added to the bill, but it is common to leave an additional tip on top of this.

What is a Fair Tip for Waiting Staff in Dubai?

A tip of around 10% of the overall bill is generally expected in Dubai’s restaurants and cafes. This means if you spend د.إ300 AED ($125 AUD), a tip of د.إ30 AED ($12.50 AUD) should be left.

Tipping Hotel Staff

It is customary to tip hotel porters, housekeeping staff, and concierge in Dubai hotels. However, as with hotels in most other countries, the amount you tip will vary depending on who you’re tipping.

What is a Fair Tip for Hotel Staff in Dubai?

A tip of around د.إ10-5 AED ($2-$4 AUD) per bag should be given to porters and bellhops, while housekeeping staff should be tipped د.إ20-10 AED ($4-$8 AUD) should be left for housekeeping staff. There are no guidelines for tipping concierge, and the amount you tip will depend on the service you asked for and the discretion with which it was delivered.

Tipping Taxi Drivers

It isn’t mandatory to tip your taxi driver in Dubai, but it is appreciated, especially if they’ve provided extraordinary service levels like bringing your luggage into your hotel. Valet drivers should also be tipped if you have rented a car and have left it with them to park.

What is a Fair Tip for Taxi Drivers in Dubai?

Taxi drivers can be tipped by rounding up to the nearest AED, although an additional small tip as a gesture of appreciation is also acceptable. Valet drivers should be tipped around د.إ10-5 AED ($2-$4 AUD).

Tipping Tour Guides

You’re also expected to tip tour guides and excursion leaders in Dubai, especially if you received a private tour, or the service quality was particularly exceptional.

What is a Fair Tip for Tour Guides in Dubai?

For a full-day tour, you should tip your tour guide between د.إ100-50 AED ($20-$40 AUD) per person on the tour. So, if you’re in a group of four, the total tip amount should be up to د.إ400 AED ($167 AUD).

Tipping Salon and Spa Staff

Tipping at salons and spas in Dubai is also common, and if you receive services from different people you should tip each individual rather than leave a standard tip at the end of the service.

What is a Fair Tip for Salon and Spa Staff in Dubai?

A tip of around 10%-15% of the total cost of the services received should be given to each member of the salon and spa staff who treated you.

Tipping Delivery Drivers

It is also common to tip for delivery services received in Dubai, including food delivery and courier services.

What is a Fair Tip for Delivery Drivers in Dubai?

There isn’t a hard and fast rule here, and a small tip is considered enough for delivery service drivers.

Dubai Tipping Etiquette: How to Give a Tip?

Dubai Tipping Etiquette

While tipping in Dubai is commonplace, it is still best to be discreet when giving a tip, and you should avoid drawing attention to the fact you are tipping somebody as this is considered rude and runs the risk of embarrassing the recipient.

You should also tip in cash, as this ensures the tip goes directly to the intended person, and it’s also nice to thank them using an Arabic phrase if you feel comfortable doing so. The best thing to say when handing over your tip is “Shukran”, which simply means “Thank you”.

Top Tip: As tipping in Dubai is best done using cash, you’ll need to make sure you have plenty of Emirati Dirhams on you throughout your visit to Dubai. Get the best rates on AUD to AED here.

Are There Any Cases Where You Should Avoid Tipping in Dubai?

You don’t need to worry about tipping in fast food restaurants in Dubai, as these are considered self-service establishments, and as there isn’t any table service provided, tipping here is not expected.

There’s also no need to tip when using public transportation in Dubai nor for any informal transactions, such as shopping at local markets or souks.

Heading to Dubai? Get the Best Rates of Emirati Dirhams at Crown Currency

It pays to be as prepared as possible when visiting Dubai, especially since tipping is such a large part of the city’s culture. Head to Crown Currency Exchange to grab your spending money, and you will be offered the best rates on AUD to AED with zero commission fees and no hidden costs. Find your nearest Crown Currency Exchange store here!

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