Witness the unveiling of the Monster by Jennifer Stelco at the 4 Walls Art Gallery. Date:Saturday, 18th… Read more
Tipping has become our modern day charity. More and more we tip because we feel guilted into tipping rather than because we feel the person is deserving of it. Some people don’t tip at all. Perhaps the custom of paying a person extra for doing their job is confusing. This article attempts to set the record straight about what should be (if not what already is) acceptable tipping practice in Dubai.
My definition of a tip:
“A tip is a voluntary monetary compensation given by the recipient of a service to the facilitator of the service in appreciation.”
Now I think this is fitting. I would like to highlight in particular the words “voluntary” and “appreciation”. This leads me nicely into rule number one about tipping…
Rule number one:
You don’t have to tip by definition. You choose to tip because you appreciate someone’s effort. Appreciation could be for anything: A warm smile, expedited service or great banter. The most important thing is that it is earned.
Rule number two:
The amount tipped should be proportional to the deed. A man who did you a service in the sweltering heat deserves more (regardless of his pay grade) than the waiter who smiled at you in a restaurant.
Rule number three:
Never tip out of pity. This form of tipping is demeaning. If you intend to do good give your money to an organized charity.
Correct tipping can be very beneficial to the community at large. The level and quality of service is increased by those striving for those tips. If one were to give tips haphazardly, regularly and without distinction it undermines the efforts of those individuals who put in the extra effort. So should you tip or not in Dubai? The answer is No unless they earned it.
For those still in need of a hard fast rule here is the language of tipping in Dubai:
The 5% “guilt free” tip:
If you plan on leaving a tip anyway, 5% is a good number. This is if the person provided the average expected level of service. It saves you the guilt of not tipping but isn’t too much as to feel like a burden. This can also be alternated with the “keep the change” strategy. If you have a dh53 bill give your server 60 and tell him (or her) to keep the change.
The 10% “real” tip:
Want to show real appreciation for a job well done? A 10% tip does this nicely. It is noticeable to the receiver who may ordinarily receive just the 5%.
The 15% “show-off” tip (for men):
On a date? This is the amount of tipping you want to go with. It not only says you are generous but they also say good tippers make better lovers (only applies if someone is watching).
The 20% “Sheikh” tip:
The Ferrari all nice and polished? Well don’t seem cheap now that you splurged on a hot ride. 20% gives you that extra bit of recognition once you are on the inside and they can’t see your car.
The 50% “terminal illness” tip:
Don’t have too much time left on this earth? Get some good karma and spread the wealth a little. This tip lets people know you are definitely going to die and don’t need the money. You will get tons of sympathy and comfort from everyone around you.
Note on the Author:
Mo Mirza is specializied in the art of tipping having tipped round the world, from the doorman in the bustling city of New York to tribal men in the heart of Africa.