Savoir-vivre in Muslim countries, how to avoid mistakes

Every country has its customs. We know about it. Travelling to Muslim countries is now very popular, and these distant directions are often chosen by many people. However, it's good to know the rules of Muslim culture. This will help avoid misunderstandings and unnecessary complications. Something that is a normal thing for us, doesn't have to be accepted in some parts of the world.  eSky gives you some useful tips on the most important rules in Muslim countries.

When you want to visit another country, you should know what behaviours you should avoid in order not to offend local residents. This is very important because when you know the rules of a given culture, you will be treated with kindness. If you don't know the rules, you can offend someone by accident.

Muslim culture is very different from European culture. Because of the lack of knowledge about local customs, we can offend someone or make us feel uncomfortable. However, if we try to get to know the tradition of the place where we want to spend our holidays, we'll avoid the awkward faux pas and we'll enjoy holidays in new corners of the world.

Travels to Muslim countries are much more frequent than you might think. We often travel to Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey or the United Arab Emirates. These countries are full of different symbols, meanings and behaviours, but they are worth visiting because of the amazing cultural heritage, fascinating monuments, unique landscapes, unusual flavours and people who despite appearances are very nice and open-minded.

We present a short guide that will certainly help you during your stay in Muslim countries. You'll enjoy a great holiday!

Etiquette of behaviour in Muslim countries. 10 rules for a tourist, prepared by eSky:

  • Always ask if you can take a photo of someone. This principle should be respected everywhere, but it's really important in Muslim countries. In Saudi Arabia, there is a prison sentence and a fine for photographing someone without his permission.
  • Avoid eye contact. In Islamic culture, this is a very intimate element and it's better to look below the eye line of the conversationalist while talking.
  • You should use your right hand while eating. The left hand is considered unclean. The left hand can't be used to give something to someone or touch anything to eat.
  • Alcohol is forbidden by Islam. Tourists should follow this rule and not drink alcohol in public places. Smoking is allowed at most hotels.
  • Don't try to stop the car with your thumb up – this gesture means the same as showing your middle finger.
  • When visiting the mosque, remember to wear clothes that cover your legs and arms. You must also take off your shoes. Remember to put them with the sole on top. You also have to take off your shoes while entering someone's house.
  • When shopping, get ready for long bargaining - this is a welcome custom and an inseparable element when visiting the marketplace.
  • You have to be careful when transporting souvenirs from a given country. For example, it's not allowed to take seashells or elements of the coral reefs from Egypt. Certainly, our baggage will be checked, and the penalty for trying to export the sea souvenirs will be high. It's not worth risking.
  • There are no road traffic regulations. The priority is forced by honking. Don't try to enter the pedestrian crossing in front of an oncoming car, it won't stop.
  • Remember about the prevailing habit of baksheesh, that is, the fee for every favour for a tourist, for example, in hotels, in a travel agency, on the street. It's good to have a lot of pennies - such as one dollar.

Travelling abroad, even to countries that are not far away, we'll always encounter some cultural differences that divide the inhabitants of various corners of the world. That's why the world is so fascinating and the journeys are inspiring and beautiful. You just need to know these rules, respect the customs of a given area of the world, and all your trips will be an amazing and unforgettable adventure.