The DIAC and Dubai Code of Conduct

The Dubai International Academic City has a code of conduct for students who are part of the Dubai International Academic City.

The Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) is the collective grouping of tertiary Higher Education Institutions with an international reputation and bases worldwide. There are a range of shared facilities and amenities which all fall under the jurisdiction of DIAC. This means that activities and behaviour within these facilities cannot be considered as within the University’s influence and will be open to scrutiny.

Having said that, it is important to note that there are thousands of students, staff, and visitors who belong to the DIAC academic community and that many individuals have a problem-free experience during their time in Dubai. However, a robust sense of self-awareness, vigilance with regards to one’s own activities, and respect for the customs and norms of (the UAE, and by extension) Dubai, must be maintained.

Social etiquette

It is important that all citizens, residents, and visitors to the UAE respect the symbols of the state, namely their rulers, flag, and emblem. Another key factor is decency - it is important that individuals are aware of the requirements for smart or business attire when going into any business and office buildings, as well as any official government buildings. Concerning behaviour, public displays of affection are strongly prohibited, this includes touching between people of both the same and opposite sex. The only exception is between provable married opposite sex individuals. Music and dancing is strictly forbidden in public places such as parks, beaches or residential areas and is only permitted in licenced venues.

Alcohol and smoking

The consumption of alcohol is strictly regulated and confined to designated areas (i.e. licenced restaurants). Any violation of the law on alcohol consumption carries potentially serious criminal sanctions. Individuals who are not Muslim can apply for an alcohol-purchasing licence which will enable them to purchase alcohol from specialist licenced stores. However, they must respect local culture and carry it in sealed, non-see through bags and must only consume this in their private quarters. These licences are valid only in the Emirate that issued the licence. Residents must also get a permit to be able to drink in licensed venues. Smoking is only permitted in designated smoking zones; any breach of this rule carries a fine.

Substance abuse

All forms of drugs (except certain prescribed medication) are illegal in Dubai. In order to ensure compliance with the law, individuals must carry a prescription from a UAE-licenced medical doctor. Visitors must verify that their medication is allowed in the UK or home country before entering the UAE.

Mutual respect

There is a strong and enforced culture of mutual respect in Dubai and the UAE and it is important that individuals are respectful at all times.

Insults are outlawed and legally reprehensible in the case of complaint brought against an individual; this includes vocal insults as well as aggressive or offensive gestures, all of which are punishable by law.

Queueing is a big part of the Dubai culture, respect for other people’s patience and fair turn must be upheld.

Loudness is seen as vulgar and to be avoided at all times, included when consuming alcohol if in a licenced venue. Great importance is placed on upholding basic rules of courtesy and respecting the quiet and calm of an environment (hospital, movie theatre, restaurant etc).

Spreading rumours, fake news, or malicious propaganda that disturbs public security and harmony is punishable in law.

Photography is a sensitive issue in Dubai local culture and individuals must seek permission before taking a photo of someone, especially women and families.

Responsible use of social media

The University has certain social media expectations of students when using social media, particularly where they have identified themselves as a University of Birmingham student or where their communication is in relation to their programme of study or any extra-curricular aspect of their registration at the University.

As a student at the University of Birmingham Dubai, it is important that you understand the guidelines linked to the use of social media in the UAE. This is not only particularly relevant for students that have recently joined as an international student or exchange student from the UK campus, but also students that have lived in the UAE previously. As a University of Birmingham Dubai student, your behavior is expected to adhere to local UAE law requirements and ensure that you fully understand legal implications of not adhering to local UAE law.

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of the UAE issued 'The UAE Social Media White Papers' to create awareness about rights and obligations while using social media. Some of the acts that could be a criminal offence are:

  • tagging a person without his consent
  • posting other people's pictures or videos without their consent
  • threatening people
  • spreading information that is not verified by the official sources
  • gossiping about people or maligning them

In addition, students should note the following guidelines:


Do: Make sure the information you share online does not hurt or defame an individual
Remember: Posting defamatory comments about other people on social media or furnishing information that intrudes in a person’s privacy is considered an offense as per article 372.


Do: Always ask for permission, (in written) before sharing others images on social platforms. Failure to do so is considered an offense.

Remember: As per the Cyber Crimes Law, clicking and sharing pictures of individuals without their consent would be an invasion of one’s privacy. Besides, the Federal Law No 3 of 1987 also states that it is offensive to share pictures of others without their consent. It is best to have mutual agreement before sharing pictures.


Do: Always publish posts and photos with other’s sentiments in mind. It is best to be respectful of other nationalities, religious beliefs and display tolerance.

Remember: Tosteer away from posting images or information that disrespects the nation, mock religions or beliefs. Articles 360- Article 370 outline these offenses.


Do: Be respectful of any confidential information shared with you. Information pertaining to a company’s financial turn over or employee list can be confidential and should not be shared on social platforms.

Remember: To not probe or engage in conversations that would lead to a breach of confidentiality. Violation can result in temporary imprisonment as well as fine.

Offenders could become liable to a jail term or fine as stipulated by the law/as awarded by the competent courts.

Read more about cyber safety and digital security in the UAE