Tipping in Dubai
Tipping is always a tricky practice to navigate in a new country, and in a place like Dubai – where you’ll be waited on, pampered, and attended to by a whole host of service people – you’re likely to wonder when it’s appropriate or expected to leave a gratuity. Read on for our failsafe guide.
To tip or not to tip in Dubai? All your questions answered.
Who to tip and what to tip? All your questions answered here
The thing that really makes Dubai a cut above the rest is the quality and sheer abundance of quality service available. Car valets, petrol pump attendants, spa and beauty therapists, taxi drivers, waiters, hotel bellboys, delivery drivers, supermarket bag packers… the list goes on. Of course, with the battalion of service staff comes the question, “To tip or not to tip?”
Tipping varies from profession to profession and is also largely down to personal preference. While it is customary to tip in most cases in Dubai, it isn’t compulsory. Here is a rough guide to help you out during your visit.
While the majority of restaurants will note at the bottom of the menu that taxes and service charge have already been included in the bill, it is still common among most diners in Dubai to tip the service staff. A figure between 10 and 15 per cent is customary, but this is dependent on the quality of service.
Taxis in Dubai are cheap and plentiful, and therefore tipping the driver is a common occurrence. Usually a small tip of AED5 to AED10 is given, but generally passengers will just round the fare up to the nearest note and allow the driver to keep the change.
Spa & beauty therapist
Depending on the particular treatment, tips will vary from AED5 to 10 to 15 per cent of the treatment value. Smaller treatments such as manicures would warrant a smaller tip, whereas a bigger tip would usually be given for a haircut or massage.
Supermarket bag packer
Small change. The bag packer will serve a new customer every few minutes so would not expect a large tip from every customer.
For takeaways or grocery deliveries, a token gesture of allowing the driver to keep the change to the nearest note is customary. Not only is this a show of gratitude, but it also makes means the driver doesn’t have the inconvenience of finding change.
Things to remember
While tipping is always appreciated in Dubai, it is rarely expected, and no matter if one per cent or 50 per cent is given, the most important thing is to treat service staff with respect. A smile and a “Thank you” goes a long way.
Dubai Corporation of Tourism & Commerce Marketing