Tipping in Dubai

Two weeks ago we debated whether it’s necessary to tip after every meal. What did you say?

Interview, The Knowledge

‘It is not our fault that employers do not pay their waiting staff enough. We pay hefty amounts already for services in Dubai. We do not pay taxes here for a reason and often at a cost to our personal lives in some way or another, so I do not accept that as a reason to be manipulated into supplementing service people’s wages. I object to so many publications and organisations trying to make us feel guilty about this. The last thing we want is the American situation where a tip becomes expected.’

‘I tip Dhs2 to the guy who puts fuel in my car, Dhs5 to the manicurist, Dhs10 to the pedicurist, Dhs10-20 to the waxing lady depending on how much she rips off, Dhs2-5 to some bathroom attendants if they keep the place sparkly and give me a disposable tissue towel for my hands, Dhs5 to the valet guy who takes the car and then the one who brings the car back, no tip for takeaways, 10 per cent in restaurants with a service charge if the service has been good, otherwise nil to 5 per cent, and 10-20 per cent for restaurants with no service charge. I don’t work and get a small allowance, so if I can do it, everyone can!’

‘The current tipping situation cannot be the future of Dubai. I recently learned that some hotel staff get paid only Dhs1,500 per month. I feel the basic pay structure needs to go up to a level where workers are happy, have money to spend, don’t need to rely on tips and then can give the best possible service. We should not need to pay tips if we know everybody is looked after!’

‘First: where did you hear that waiters don’t receive the service charge and tips? I’ve worked in two different hotels for the past six years and have quite a lot of friends in the industry. In all of these places, the staff get 100 per cent of the tips. I think people who refuse to tip are greedy and don’t have any idea about service or dining culture. Because of your avarice [always hunting for the lowest prices and refraining from giving tips], you not only worsen the situation of the service staff, but are also responsible for the bad service. If everybody here gave more tips, more properly trained waiting staff would consider working in Dubai, like those now working in the US.’
Dominik MJ

‘I find it horrifying that the service charge is not paid to waiters in Dubai. Having worked in the service industry as both a waitress and a bartender, I know how tough it is, how badly you are treated by both customers and management, the unbelievable hours you work and how selfish and rude people can be. I think 10 per cent should be the least a waiter receives (and the management should see none of this). If the service is excellent, it’s at the discretion of the customer to tip accordingly. I have received fantastic tips and it’s a wonderful thing with which to be rewarded in an industry where you deal with so little appreciation. I suggest you send your kids to wait tables for a few months. It will teach them humility as well as the real value of money.’

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