Tourism Scams In Dubai: How to Defend Yourself

Tourism Scams In Dubai, UAE include a range of deceitful schemes. These include Dubious Rides, Online Extortion: The Tricky Skype Scam, Real Estate Rip-Offs, Job Scams, and so on.

This concise guide not only delves into the Dubai's attractions but also provides insight into Tourism Scams In Dubai and ways to safeguard yourself from such scams.


Dubai, a city of contrasts, sits in the United Arab Emirates, captivating visitors worldwide with its mix of tradition and innovation. Likewise, it's famous for its futuristic skyline, rich lifestyle, and remarkable experiences.

The city boasts the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, and is surrounded by vast deserts and beautiful beaches. Dubai is a bustling center of business, culture, and luxury that harmoniously blends its heritage with a pursuit of the extraordinary.

Nevertheless, this enchanting city melds Arabian warmth, global influences, and unending ambition, making it a must-visit destination.

About Tourism Scams In Dubai
Image Credit: @elenajonesinbox,

Tourism Scams In Dubai And Ways To Stay Safe:

I. Dubious Rides:

1. Beware of Unofficial Taxis -

Unofficial taxis sometimes charge sky-high rates. Always look for the yellow taxi sign and a registered number. However, this is a must at the airport where unofficial drivers might approach you.

2. Check the Taxi Meter

Taxi drivers can sometimes tinker with the meter to make fares higher. Thus, make sure the meter is running and showing the standard fare.

II. Online Extortion: The Tricky Skype Scam

3. Online Extortion via Skype

Scammers pose as someone attractive on dating apps, coaxing victims into explicit Skype calls. Accordingly, they record these calls and use them to blackmail you. Therefore, don't do anything explicit online. Be very careful with your personal info and content. Likewise, be wary of random friend requests on social media.

III. Real Estate Rip-Offs:

4. Watch for Fake Real Estate Agents

Some folks pretend to be real estate agents offering fake properties. Therefore, check the agent's credentials and use trusted agencies. Consequently, carefully review all documents before paying.

5. Mind Bogus Listings

Scammers create fake property listings with unrealistically low prices. Therefore, visit the property in person to ensure it's real. Likewise, check all documents before paying.

IV. Job Scams As A Part Of Tourism Scams In Dubai:

6. Watch Out for Fake Jobs

Scammers offer fake jobs, often asking for money or personal info. So, research the company and use official job websites. On the other hand, never pay before starting work.

V. Tourist Tricks:

7. Don't Fall for Pricey Tours

Some tour operators charge way too much for common tourist activities. Therefore, research and book with trusted agencies to get fair prices.

8. Don't Believe in Unreal Discounts

Vendors in touristy spots might offer brand-name items at super low prices. Thus, stick to known shops to make sure you're getting the real deal.

VI. Taxi Traps:

9. Avoid Longer Taxi Rides

Certain taxi drivers take the long route to make more money. Thus, learn common routes or use ride-sharing apps with clear prices.

10. Keep an Eye on the Taxi Meter

Taxi meters can be rigged to charge more. For this reason, check that the meter's running and the fare is right.

VII. Credit Card Capers:

11. Mind Card Skimming

Crooks set up skimming devices at ATMs or sales terminals to steal card info. Moreover, hide your PIN when making transactions. Additionally, just use well-lit spots and check for anything odd.

12. Be Wary of Phishing Calls/Emails

Scammers pose as legit companies to trick you into sharing your card info. Henceforth, don't give out your card info over the phone or email, especially if it's unsolicited.

VIII. Online Scams:

13. Avoid Online Shopping Scams

Fake websites promise cheap goods that never arrive. So, shop at well-known online stores and double-check if the website's legit.

14. Be Cautious with Emails

Phishing emails ask for personal info or payments. Thus, verify the sender's identity and avoid suspicious links.

IX. Advance Fee Frauds:

15. Steer Clear of Lottery or Inheritance Scams

Messages say you've won a lottery or inherited money, demanding upfront fees. For that reason, ignore these messages. However, legit organizations don't ask for upfront fees.

X. In-Person Perils:

16. Don't Get Pickpocketed

Thieves might try to steal from your pockets, often using distractions. Therefore, keep your valuables in a bag, not your pockets, and stay alert.

XI. Online Impersonation:

17. Stay Strong Against Mother-with-Child Scams

Scammers pretend to be mothers with kids, pressuring you for money. Thus, offer to call the authorities instead of giving in to pressure.

18. Don't Believe Winning-the-Lottery Scams

Scammers say you've won a lottery and ask for your bank info. Henceforth, be cautious and don't share personal info with these callers.

XII. Spiked Drinks:

19. Watch Out for Spiked Drinks

Predators may spike your drink, especially in bars. Therefore, always get your drinks yourself and avoid third-party sources.

XIII. The Gold Gambit:

20. Spot Fake Gold

Some shops sell counterfeit gold in Dubai's famous Gold Souk. So, check that the shop has a registered number and be cautious of unrealistically low prices.

Additional Tips To Safeguard Yourself From Tourism Scams In Dubai:

Use Reputable Services:

Whether it's taxis, tour operators, or online purchases, always choose well-known and reputable service providers. Furthermore, look for companies with positive reviews and a history of good customer service.

Research in Advance:

Before traveling to Dubai, familiarize yourself with common scams in the area. Henceforth, knowing what to watch out for will make you more vigilant and less likely to fall for tricks.

Use Official Websites and Apps:

When booking tours, accommodations, or any other services, use official websites and apps. And, be cautious of third-party platforms, as some may not offer the same level of security.

Verify Business Credentials:

For real estate, jobs, or other major transactions, verify the credentials of the business or individual you're dealing with. Meanwhile, check licenses, permits, and registration numbers.

Keep Personal Information Private:

Avoid sharing personal information, especially financial details, with anyone you don't trust. Hence, scammers often use stolen information to manipulate their victims.

Never Send Money in Advance:

Be extremely cautious when asked to send money in advance, whether it's for a job, investment, or any other reason. However, legitimate businesses typically don't require upfront payments.

Use Safe Payment Methods:

When making online payments or transactions, use secure and reputable payment methods. Likewise, avoid sharing credit card details over insecure channels.

Stay Alert in Crowded Areas:

Pickpockets often target crowded tourist areas. Therefore, keep a close eye on your belongings, and consider using a money belt or a hidden pouch to carry your valuables.

Educate Yourself:

Be aware of the latest scams and fraud tactics. Staying informed will help you recognize as well as avoid potential threats.

Stay Informed:

Keep up with local news and government announcements, especially during your stay in Dubai. However, being aware of any ongoing scams will help you stay cautious.

Secure Your Social Media:

Be mindful of the information you share on social media platforms. Some scammers may gather information from your profiles to target you.

Use Strong Passwords:

Protect your online accounts with strong, unique passwords. Consider using a password manager to keep your credentials secure.

Report Suspected Scams:

If you encounter a scam or suspect fraudulent activity, report it to the local authorities or the Dubai Police. Your alertness can help prevent scams and protect others.

Don't Succumb to Pressure:

Scammers often use pressure tactics to get you to act quickly. Take your time to assess any situation or offer before making a decision.

Travel With a Group:

When possible, travel with a group of people. Scammers are less likely to target individuals who are in a group, and you can watch out for each other.

FAQs About Tourism Scams In Dubai:

What are Tourism Scams In Dubai?

Tourism Scams In Dubai are dishonest tricks or schemes aimed at taking your money or personal information while you're exploring this wonderful city.

How Can I Spot Tourism Scams In Dubai: Fake Taxi Scam?

You can tell a taxi is fake if it doesn't have a yellow taxi sign and a registered number inside. Accordingly, when at the airport, ignore people pretending to be cab drivers and follow the signs to the official taxi area.

What Should I Do to Avoid Tourism Scams In Dubai: Fake Real Estate Offers?

To protect yourself from fake real estate deals, make sure to check an agent's credentials and only deal with trustworthy agencies. Furthermore, don't be lured by deals that seem too good to be true, and always visit the property in person to verify its authenticity.

How Do I Stay Safe from Tourism Scams In Dubai: Job Offer Scams?

To stay safe from job offer scams, research the company and use official job websites. Consequently, never send money upfront for a job opportunity.

What Can I Do to Avoid Overpriced Tours?

Avoid overpriced tours by researching and booking with reputable agencies in advance. Moreover, stick to shops with registered numbers for authentic products.

How Can I Make Sure I'm Not Overcharged by a Taxi?

To ensure a fair taxi fare, use ride-sharing apps with transparent pricing. Meanwhile, check that the meter is running correctly.

How Do I Protect Myself from Online Scams?

To protect yourself from online scams, be cautious of phishing emails, never share personal information with unknown sources, as well as avoid suspicious requests.

What Can I Do to Prevent Pickpocketing?

Prevent pickpocketing by staying alert, keeping your money and valuables in a secure bag, and not in your pockets.

What Is the "Skype Scam," and How Can I Avoid such Tourism Scams In Dubai?

The "Skype scam" involves explicit video calls and blackmail. In short, don't share personal information with strangers online to avoid it.

How Can I Guard Against Advance Fee Frauds?

To guard against advance fee frauds, don't send money upfront. Likewise, research any offers thoroughly.

What Should I Do if I Encounter any Tourism Scams In Dubai?

If you come across any Tourism Scams In Dubai or suspicious activity in Dubai, report it to the local authorities or the Dubai Police. Likewise, stay informed about ongoing scams by following local news and government updates.

Our Closing Statement On Tourism Scams In Dubai:

Dubai is undoubtedly a amazing city with an array of offerings for tourists. Nonetheless, it's very important to be vigilant and well-informed to protect yourself from potential scams.

However, by understanding the tricks employed by scammers and taking safety measures, you can savor the wonders of Dubai while keeping your travel experience secure and enjoyable. Hence, always remember: knowledge is your most powerful tool in the world of travel scams.

Now that you know our final verdict for Tourism Scams In Dubai, here’s what we suggest you do:

Check Comments:

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Report Scams:

If you want to report other scams, file complaints, or share reviews about different travel or tourist scams, please visit our “Report A Scam, File Complaint, Or Post Your Review” section. There, you can share your reviews or complaints regarding those specific companies or activities.

More Resources About Tourism Scams In Dubai:

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Remain watchful, and you'll go back home with precious memories and unforgettable adventures!

author avatar
Pooja Ghimire Author, Researcher
Hello, I'm Pooja Ghimire, the author, researcher, and editor of this website. Having encountered numerous scams in the past, I now use my experience to help others avoid them. With involvement in the online industry since 2013, I've gained substantial knowledge about online businesses and activities. For additional details about me, our team, and our work, visit our "About Us" page. You can follow me on Facebook Profile.

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