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03 March 2024

How much should I tip? Your guide to tipping in Dubai

Photo: Getty Images

By Staff

No matter how frequently you go to restaurants or hand out tips to your favorite barber in Dubai, it can be difficult to decide who and how much you should tip. It’s hard because most of us are new to this city, and tipping traditions vary from country to country.

A 10% tip on a restaurant bill is seen as pretty standard in some cities, but in others it can be seen as an insult to the waiter! But don’t worry, ServiceMarket has put together the following guide to make this decision easy for you.

We surveyed over 250 UAE residents to find out their tipping habits. Here are the results:

● UAE residents are great tippers, with over 49% of respondents saying they tip “everytime” or “most of the time”.

● Quality of service matters, as more than 50% of the respondents only gave tips when the staff did a good job, and the amount depends on how happy they are.  

● Tipping should be optional. The majority (85%) would be less likely to give a tip if the company added the tip to the bill automatically.

● Half of us don’t like to do the math. 50% of the respondents pay the same amount each time instead of calculating the tip as a percentage of the total bill amount.

● Group tipping varies. When going out in a group, 39% of the responded usually split the tip amount between themselves, while 51% said that one person pays extra for the tip.

Who gets the most tips in Dubai?

It seems that waiters/waitresses and food delivery persons are the luckiest of all with over 74% of respondents saying they tip them all or most of the time.

This is compared to laundrymen and Careem/Uber drivers who very rarely get tips.

Here are the typical tips in Dubai

Confused on what to tip the next time you go to a restaurant or hail a cab in Dubai? Here’s your handy guide.

Restaurant staff: Many people think that they don’t need to tip if the bill includes service charges.

However, the services charges are usually kept by the restaurants and not distributed among the staff.

So, be sure to tip the waiters even if there are service charges. The customary amount is between 10 and 15 percent of the bill.

Some places keep a tip jar on the counter. If that’s the case, then you don’t need to hand out money directly to the person serving you and can just drop some money in the jar.

Taxi/Careem/Uber drivers: Many Dubai residents also choose to give tips to taxi as well as Careem and Uber drivers. You can either give Dh5 or Dh10 to the driver or just let them keep the change.

Hairstylists & spa staff: While it is easy to find good hairstylists in Dubai, a lot of people keep going back to the same hairstylist so that they don’t have to worry about something going wrong or repeating instructions.

You can either tip 5 or 10 per cent of the bill, whichever is more.  

Supermarket staff: Many people choose to ask one of the staff members at the supermarket to help them pack and bring the groceries to their car. Small change should suffice.  

Delivery drivers: There is often a small fee for delivery of items to your home.

But if you don’t want the drivers to fumble through their pockets to look for change and want to show appreciation for their service, you can round it up to the nearest currency note and let them keep the change.

Home services staff: It is also customary to give a tip of Dh5-20 to staff that provide home services in Dubai such as cleaning, maintenance, moving and painting.

Your cleaner might go the extra mile to make your home is clean and shiny if you tip generously.

Valets, bellhops, and housekeeping staff: In Dubai, the standard tip for valet service, bellhops and hotel maids is between Dh5 and Dh10 per night of stay.

You can make the tip more substantial if you are carrying lots heavy luggage. Some people also leave a tip in their hotel room for maids.

Be sure to treat the service staff with respect. Here’s your chance to show gratitude to the people who serve you in Dubai!

If you are looking for reputable home service companies in the UAE, then visit ServiceMarket to read reviews and get free quotes from multiple vetted companies for any service you need at home.