Welcome to the golden sands and luxurious living of the UAE, where tipping etiquette is as rich as its seven-star hospitality.

From valet drivers to spa therapists, tipping is more than a simple thank-you; it’s a cultural practice.

But don’t worry!

This guide is here to illuminate the often murky waters of gratuity practices in the UAE.

So, strap in and get ready to navigate the world of tipping in the UAE with ease and confidence!

For this article, we will be talking about Dubai, as it is the most famous city in UAE.

Dubai is a city where everything is available for a price, every service too. People are used to fine experience and extraordinary service levels; hence, the concept of tipping is equally essential. 

Tipping For Hospitality 

Waiters

Dubai offers some of the finest dining experiences. From extravagant displays of live cooking to fine intimate restaurants, you will see almost everything in the UAE!

As in any part of the world, when the bill is presented to you after a meal, it usually contains the amount of taxes, gratuity fees, and service charges added to it.

However, most of that money will go to the restaurant as a whole and not your waiters.

Hence, diners in UAE prefer to pay a tip to their specific waiters based on their service and attention.

A figure of 10-15% of your bill would be enough in this case. 

Spa And Salon Therapists

Spa and Salon Therapists usually love a good tip due to the nature of the service they provide.

Some of the best spa and salon centers will advise you to tip your therapist about AED 5 to around AED 10-15% of the total bill if the service was good and you had a good time.

However, the tip is also dependent on the services offered to you.

Tips for procedures like manicures and pedicures are significantly less than haircuts and massages since those are more complicated tasks given to more trained workers.  

Valets

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Tipping your valet drivers and bellboys at hotels in the UAE is important.

The UAE has some of the best hotels in the world and the world’s only Seven Star Hotel as well! Hence, the staff is professionally trained and highly skilled in what they do. 

Hence, you should tip the valet drivers and bell boys around AED 5 or more depending on the fact that if your luggage was too heavy or you had a lot of luggage sets.

Concierges

Concierges in the UAE are not accustomed to being tipped for their services.

The hotel industry in the UAE is excellent, and hence you will not need to tip them for their services.

They will be more than happy to help you with your stay without expecting anything in return.

However, as a nice gesture, make sure to be kind towards them and thank them for their services.

Transport

Taxi Drivers

Taxis are the most affordable and widely used source of transportation in the UAE; hence, you will be using them a lot during your stay as an expat.

We would recommend you tip them AED 5-10, depending on how long your travel was and if the driver was friendly enough to make any stops or change any routes for you for any given reason.

Alternatively, you can round the fare and let them keep the change. 

Tour Guides

Since the UAE thrives on tourism, tourist guides are very well compensated everywhere.

Tour guides in the UAE are offered lucrative tips in exchange for outings, tours, and other activities they can help organize. It is customary and essential to tip your local guide.

Most people from outside the UAE will tip their guide around AED 100 after a full day’s worth of outings. However, you can tip as much as 20% of the total tour price! 

Porters Airport

Porters at Airports do some of the most tiresome jobs of carrying your luggage to your transport. This means that they do deserve to be tipped generously.

Usually, UAE airports have a fixed cost of AED 40 for a trolley and AED 100 for a flatbed trolley service.

However, most of that money will go to the airport, not the staff. Hence, you should always tip AED 5-10 to the actual porters, which will be a lovely gesture. 

Yacht Crews 

Dubai and the UAE are known for their exquisite beaches and amazing boat rides. You can charter many different types of water transport during your holiday. Among tourists, yachts are chartered quite frequently. 

The average tip for a yacht crew is around 5-10% of the total money you paid for chartering the crew.

However, you can change the rate based on the service, the type of boat, and other things.

You must pay the tip to the captain at the end of your trip so that he can distribute the tip among the crewmembers. 

Convenience

Delivery Guys 

Delivering things is a massive concept in the UAE; hence, you will see people get almost everything delivered to their door, from groceries to fast food.

Hence, it is essential to tip your delivery guy since it’s quite a tough job with odd hours. People usually order their food late at night or during rush hours, making delivery toughs tedious and challenging. 

It is customary in the UAE to tip the delivery riders in a subtle way. People often round the order price and do not take the change back.

There are two reasons for this; the first is that showing your gratitude is a nice gesture.

Secondly, it would be time-consuming and tedious on the part of the rider to find a change for your order.

Additionally, you can tip the riders extra if your food is served hot or if they served it to you during intense weather, such as a thunderstorm.

Make sure to say thanks and pay your respects to these delivery people since being on the road all the time is no fun! 

Supermarket Packers

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Supermarket packers are very friendly and helpful in the UAE; hence, you must show them the same gratitude you show other people working hard shifts.

You can tip the supermarket, packers the change and they will be happy about that. However, if you have bought a lot of things and your cart is heavy, and you ask them to get it dropped to your car, make sure to tip them AED 5-10

Conclusion

Whether you’re an expat or a tourist, understanding and respecting the UAE’s tipping culture is integral to your experience.

In most places in the UAE, a tip of around AED 5-10% or AED 10 will do.

With your newfound knowledge of what to tip, from supermarket packers to yacht crews, you’re now equipped to show your appreciation in a way that is both respectful and supportive of the hardworking people who make your UAE experience unforgettable.

We hope that you find this article helpful as an expat.  Make sure to let us know in case we missed anything!