Can You Have Tattoos in Dubai? [Explained]

Tattoos are allowed and legal in Dubai and the UAE as long as they are not deemed offensive or go against UAE standards. However, public displays of affection, such as holding hands, kissing, or hugging, are frowned upon and can lead to arrest.

It is important for tourists to be aware of cultural norms and to avoid such actions in public. Additionally, for those planning to get a tattoo, it is recommended to do so outside of Dubai to avoid any potential issues with visa renewal.

Non-Muslim tourists with tattoos can visit the Middle East without any issues, as Islamic Shariah Law prohibits Muslims from having tattoos but not non-Muslims.

Can You Have Tattoos in Dubai

Understanding The Legality Of Tattoos In Dubai

Having tattoos is perfectly fine and legal in Dubai and the UAE. Despite being an Islamic country, Dubai is incredibly open-minded and accepting of tattoos. There are no specific laws prohibiting tattoos in Dubai, but it is important to be mindful of the cultural norms and potential sensitivities.

While tattoos are generally accepted, there are certain practices and considerations to keep in mind. The Dubai Health Authority must approve tattoo services, ensuring they meet health and safety regulations. Additionally, it is advisable to avoid offensive or explicit tattoos that may go against UAE standards.

For individuals with tattoos, there is generally no requirement to cover them up in Dubai. However, it is always best to be respectful of the culture and surroundings, especially in more conservative areas or during religious occasions.

If you are planning to visit Dubai and have a tattoo that may impact your eligibility for visa renewal, it is recommended to get your tattoo done outside of Dubai to avoid any potential issues.

Tattoos In Dubai – Not Illegal, but Unwelcome┬á

Tattoos in Dubai are not very common because they go against Islamic teachings. The Official Fatwa Center at the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments has said that getting tattoos is considered a form of hurting yourself.

A “fatwa” is like a legal opinion in Islamic law. Since Islam is the main religion in Dubai, people follow its teachings, which include taking care of the body that God created.

Having permanent tattoos is seen as trying to change what God created, so many people don’t like it.

Dubai also has a strong emphasis on modesty and traditional values. This means that showing off tattoos, especially if they are seen as disrespectful or too bold, might not be accepted well.

But things are changing. Dubai is becoming more diverse with people from all over the world, and more tourists are visiting. This is making the stigma around tattoos slowly go away. The younger generation is also becoming more open-minded about personal forms of expression.

Can I get a tattoo in Dubai?

Getting a tattoo in Dubai isn’t against the rules, but it’s not the safest or most accepted thing to do.

In Dubai, tattoo shops aren’t officially licensed and don’t have the same rules as in many other places. Still, there are professional tattoo artists working there. The Health and Safety Department does check these shops to make sure they follow the necessary safety and cleanliness rules.

However, tattoos are often seen as not cool for cultural or religious reasons. So, it’s a good idea to cover them in public, especially if they are big or easy to notice. This is even more important when you go to places like beaches, baths, mosques, or other religious sites.

The meaning of your tattoo matters too. If your tattoo is offensive or goes against Islamic beliefs (like showing nudity or profanity), you could get into trouble with the law.

Some companies have rules that say employees, especially those dealing with customers, should hide their tattoos. If your tattoos are obvious, it might be harder to find certain jobs.

Even though it’s not against the law to get a tattoo in Dubai, it’s crucial to know about these cultural rules and laws to avoid potential problems.

Tips for Visitors with Tattoos in Dubai

Dubai is known for being friendly and welcoming to tourists. If you have tattoos, here are a few things to keep in mind to make sure your visit goes smoothly and respectfully:

  • Know Cultural Sensitivities: While tattoos are not strictly forbidden in Dubai, the acceptance level is different from some other places. Tattoos with political or religious symbols may be considered offensive. To be on the safe side, it’s advisable to cover up your tattoos in public.
  • Cover Up in Public: Especially if you plan to visit religious or government buildings or areas with conservative locals, covering up your tattoos is a good idea. You can use clothing, makeup, or temporary tattoos to hide them.
  • Understand the Laws: Dubai doesn’t have specific laws against tattoos, but there are certain regulations to be aware of. Offensive or obscene tattoos are illegal, and if you’re caught with one, you could face consequences such as arrest or deportation. It’s essential to respect local laws and customs during your stay in Dubai.


In Dubai, having tattoos is perfectly fine and legal, and you can proudly show them without any issues. However, it is important to be mindful of the cultural norms and ensure that your tattoo is not offensive or goes against UAE standards.

If you plan to get a tattoo in Dubai, make sure it is pre-approved by the government to avoid any complications with visa renewal. So, embrace your tattoos and enjoy your time in this vibrant city.

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