Revealed: how much you should tip for services in Dubai?

New guide is published to make this decision easier for you; reveals who gets the best tips in emirate
By Staff writer
Sat 08 Apr 2017 12:52 AM

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.

A 10 percent 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.

Now, Dubai-based online platform ServiceMarket.com has put together a guide to make this decision easy for you, based on a survey of more than 250 UAE residents. 

The survey revealed that UAE residents are great tippers, with almost half of respondents saying they tip “everytime” or “most of the time”.

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

So who gets the most tips in Dubai?

The survey suggested that waiters/waitresses and food delivery persons are the luckiest of all with over 74 percent 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. 

These are the full results of which professions are more likely to receive tips in Dubai:

Waiter/waitress (79 percent)

Food delivery person (70 percent)

Salon technician/hairdresser/beautician (63 percent)

Cleaner/maid (53 percent)

Home services companies (maintenance, moving, painting) (45 percent)

Taxi driver (37 percent)

Laundryman (30 percent)

Careem/Uber driver (20 percent)

So how much should you tip? According to ServiceMarket.com, here's a 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.

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 AED5 or AED10 to the driver or just let them keep the change. 

Hairstylists and spa staff: You can either tip AED5 or 10 percent 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 AED5-20 to staff that provide home services in Dubai such as cleaning, maintenance, moving and painting.

Valets, bellhops, and housekeeping staff: In Dubai, the standard tip for valet service, bellhops and hotel maids is between AED5 and AED10 per night of stay.

ServiceMarket.com is a Dubai-based online marketplace that provides quotes and online bookings for moving, home services, and home and car insurance services in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the rest of the UAE, through a network of more than 300 partners.

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