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Who to tip and what to tip?

Dubai is world famous for its extraordinary service levels. In a city where even McDonalds can be delivered comes the age-old question: To tip or not to tip? The short answer is, there are no rules when it comes to tipping in Dubai. How much you tip varies from profession to profession and is also largely down to personal preference. It is customary to tip in most cases, but it certainly isn’t compulsory. Here’s a rough guide to help you out during your visit.

Waitstaff

Waitstaff

While most 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. Often rounding up to the nearest figure in your bill could suffice.

Taxi driver

Taxi driver

Taxis in Dubai are cheap and plentiful, and therefore tipping the driver is a common occurrence. Usually a small tip of AED5-10 is given, but generally passengers will just round the fare up to the nearest note and allow the driver to keep the change.

Valets and bellboys

Valets & Bellboys

Again, it is customary to tip hotel staff and valet drivers but it’s not always expected, so don’t worry if you don’t have any change on you. Most guests would give between AED5-10, but you should give them slightly more if your luggage is heavier, or if you have a lot of suitcases.

Spa & beauty therapist

Spa & beauty therapist

Depending on the particular treatment, tips will vary from AED5 to 10-15 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. Discover Dubai’s world-class spas.

Supermarket bag packer

Supermarket bag packer

The person packing up all of your shopping at the supermarket will move on to the next customer in a few minutes, so there’s no need to give them anything more than small change - they won’t be expecting a large tip from every customer, after all. If you need their help carrying all of your bags to the car, though, you can give them AED5-10 more.

Delivery driver

Delivery driver

For takeaways or grocery deliveries (yes, you can get almost anything delivered here), 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 means the driver doesn’t have the inconvenience of finding change. Do note that some delivery services charge a nominal delivery fee.

Things to remember

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.

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