I’m male, but I’ll throw in my 2 cents worth, because I was thinking about how it’d be tow work there. There’s been lots of news stories about people getting in legal trouble there, and it is disconcerting. My simple cheap answer – pretend you’re Muslim (assuming you aren’t.)
When it’s time for prayers, don’t start talking. That’s just politeness, really. Just sit quietly, I wouldn’t pull out a Christian prayerbook, but sitting quietly and working, reading or just think happy thoughts.
Hotels have bars, and you can drink alcohol in your room, your home, the hotel bar, etc. But getting drunk, and going out in public is really just asking for trouble. Lots of locals have never seen a person, laughing uncontrollably, and mildly clumsy from being tipsy. They’d expected to never see that, and they’re going to be a little sour on the prospect.
There’s the story of the British lady, who was arrested for having sex on the beach, only she wasn’t, she says, but she was tipsy from the hotel bar, and went to the beach, but not to have sex she says, but they forced her to confess, but the police said they had to tell her multiple times to behave in public, but she says … well, you get the point of my run on sentence above. Most people are sober in public, real sober, and sober people want to be surrounded by other sober people.
Some other people got arrested for drinking orange juice during Ramadan. They’d simply forgotten when it was, bought some at a convenience store while buying gasoline, and started drinking it. Well, again, you’re not Muslim, but eating during Ramadan has to be like drinking alcohol. You keep it in a private place, and outside of your room, you pretend to be Muslim. I dunno, take some crackers to eat in the bathroom stall, or something.
That was my take on living in Dubai. Just like anywhere else in the world, you try to conform to cultural norms, it’s work on your part, but easier in the long run, and more polite. I wouldn’t be loud in Tokyo, I wouldn’t wear a bikini in Vatican City (um … if I were female, that is,) and I’d keep the lawn nicely manicured in Switzerland (I hear they’re into that.) I wouldn’t want to be in a Japanese, or Swiss prison, (yeah I know, not jailable offenses in those countries) anymore than a US holding cell or to have to deal with the Dubai legal system.