Dubai: If you are planning to come to the UAE it is very important to keep local sensitivities in mind and find out what is allowed and what is not, before you travel.

Some Emirates are more liberal regarding clothing so check out what restrictions there are before you embark on a trip here.

Detailed information can be found on your home country's embassy website, travel advice sections.

However, there are a few rules that apply in the UAE. It is not illegal to drink alcohol and hotels have licences in most of the Emirates, but it is an arrestable offence to be drunk in a public place.

There is zero-tolerance to drink driving and you will be in deep trouble if you are also involved in an accident.

It is acceptable to wear a bikini/swimming costume or swimming trunks for men on the beach, but it is an arrestable offence to go topless or wear a thong.

Swimming attire is fine for the beach under these rules, but it is not acceptable once you leave the beach; don't walk around the streets in a bikini.

However, Sharjah (the Emirate to the north of Dubai) holds different rules that prohibit women from wearing swimsuits on the beach.

It is also illegal for women to wear clothes that show their upper arms too much leg in Sharjah, and alcohol is strictly illegal.

Although non-Muslim women are not required to cover their heads in public, if you enter a mosque it will be required for religious reasons.

The Shaikh Mohammad Centre for Cultural Understanding organises tours of Jumeirah Mosque in Dubai. The website has more details about clothing requirements:

Holding hands in public is not illegal, but any shows of affection are frowned upon and can result in arrests for public indecency. This includes public places such as malls and beaches.

Most tourist guides have sections with these details.

Keep in mind

- Kissing in public and public displays of affection are frowned upon.

- Indecent gestures could land you in jail.

- Dress code is generally casual

- Since you are visiting a Muslim country, bikinis, swimsuits, shorts and revealing tops should be confined to beach resorts.

- Women are usually advised not to wear short skirts and to keep their shoulders covered.

- In Sharjah women are prohibited from wearing swimsuits on public beaches.

- In Abu Dhabi, visitors are advised not to wear excessively revealing clothing in public places, as a sign of respect for local culture and customs.

- This also applies to public beaches, where swimmers should avoid excessively revealing swimming suits.

- Most nightclubs require their guests not to wear shorts, caps or sport shoes on their premises.

- Details on clothing requirement for Jumeirah mosque visit at