How much are you expected to tip in the UAE? Is it okay to tip? Who should you tip? How much is too much? Or how little is ‘too little’? This has always been a rather tricky question to answer and the tipping dilemma in UAE is no different from any other place in the world – with the same amount of anxiety over the ‘too little’ and ‘too much’.
Worldwide, restaurant staffs around the world expect a little something extra for their efforts, although you could argue that they are being paid for the job and hence their expectations are misplaced. Often you feel their services require a drastic improvement but the etiquette and situation demand you to fork out something to appease their expectant (and sometimes But if you consider tipping, bear in mind that the person serving you might be low-paid and working long hours – so it is really a personal choice how much you want to tip.
Here are a few tips –
If you wish to tip the waiters at restaurants in the UAE, it is advisable to pay cash – there have been incidents when the service charges added to the bill (and supposed to be split among staff) have not reached the deserving pocket. If you wish to show appreciation, tip about 10-15 per cent of the bill amount directly to the person. Of course, it is entirely up to you to pay more.
For bell boys, valet or porters at hotels, an acceptable amount would be a minimum of Dhs10. While taxi drivers do not expect any tip, if you wish to leave the fare balance as tips, round it up to an even Dh5 or Dh10.
If you want to leave a tip for your room-cleaners at the end of your stay, leave Dh20-40 in your room when vacating.
Tipping in bars is rare, but a tip means quicker service, considering the number of bar-goers demanding rapid refills especially if you are at one of the bars with table-service. It hardly matters if the bar is a self-service bar, but again, it is not uncommon to leave the change when salons, barbers or bag packers at supermarkets do not expect tips, nor do the gas station attendants but if you must pay Dh5 would be a good amount to start.