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Tipping in Dubai - how it works!

Tips in Dubai

Tipping in Dubai works like in most other places in the world. In a restaurant, you give ten to fifteen percent of the bill if you are satisfied, unless the service is already included in the bill.

If a service charge is added to the bill, which is common nowadays, it is shared by the entire staff of the restaurant at the end of each month. People in managerial positions often receive a little more than kitchen and serving staff. So if you want to make sure that your particular waiter gets a personal tip, it's best to give it in cash at the table. A few dirhams is enough to show your appreciation.

Taxi drivers usually don't expect a tip, but feel free to round up a few dirhams. Maybe to the next even bill.

If you need help with your bags up to your room at the hotel, it is customary to tip 10 dirhams.

Tipping not a must - but do it anyway

So there is no widespread drinking culture, as in the US for example. Rather, Dubai can perhaps be compared to Sweden. But with one big difference.

People working in service occupations are often immigrants with low pay and harsh working conditions. So for their sake, and to make a small difference, please feel free to leave a tip. What is change to you, can make a big difference to a taxi driver from Pakistan with a family to support from afar.

Respect as important as tipping

And remember! Be friendly and respectful to the person who drives your taxi, carries your bags, serves your food, or packs your groceries when you go shopping. These people are - unfortunately - often treated quite badly in Dubai.

A hello, a thank you, and a smile show that you are paying attention to them and their efforts. It can sometimes be as important as leaving a tip.

(Page updated 2015-08-27.)


  1. Patricia Preciga

    Hello, what does a taxi cost approximately, wherever cheapest, but a 15 minute car ride may think? or can you check this? Yours sincerely: Patricia Preciga


      Paid about 310kr from the flight to the Palm. It is a journey of about 30 minutes.


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