Your Etiquette and Safety Guide to Trick or Treating in Dubai
If you and your children are planning for a night of scary, sweet fun, here's all you need to know about trick or treating in Dubai; is it allowed, what etiquette to follow, where to go, and more
19 September 2019
We look at how to make sure your child's Trick or Treating evening in Dubai is joyful and safe
Are you and your family ready for this year's Halloween? The much-anticipated spooky and sugar-filled night calls children to dress up in costumes and play trick or treat.
Dubai as a whole has shown a gradual growth of interest in Halloween, with some residents decorating their homes with all things ghastly and creepy. During the occasion, candies, chocolates, and other treats have also increasingly become available in homes in case a little ghost, witch, or Batman comes knocking.
But despite Dubai being a safe place, no doubt children visiting strangers' homes at night to request for candies can be a dangerous thing. It's still a busy city that doesn't have many pedestrian-safe areas and walking around in costumes could be risky under the warm UAE October weather. As much as the holiday calls for mischief and mayhem, it's still important to ensure your family goes Trick or Treating while keeping in mind and respecting the local customs in Dubai.
Ahead, whether you're giving candies or getting candies, we've listed some of the best ways to keep kids safe and minimise disturbances so that parents, trick or treaters, and the community will have a great Halloween night.
Trick or Treating safety for children
Talk to your kids about Trick or Treating safety in Dubai before heading out. Fun is the goal, but safety is first.
1. Adult supervision
During trick or treating, it's highly recommended that children are accompanied by at least 1-2 adults on Halloween night. If a grown-up won't be joining the group, children should stay in contact with their parents through a phone, stay with a group of trusted friends, follow a curfew.
Do not let them split into smaller groups or run off solo unless there is an adult with them.
Make sure children remember their house address and phone number by heart.
2. Stay on a planned route
Before your children go trick or treating, it's best to set a planned route of where the kids will go. A clear route will help keep them within familiar, pedestrian-friendly, safer areas and away from busy roads, unknown neighbourhoods, and sandy places.
Remain in well-lit areas within or near your neighbourhood and children must try to avoid shortcuts.
3. Pick safer costumes
Pick a visible and safe costume for your little trick or treater. Avoid outfits that have excess material such as long trains - children are likely to get easily excited during the event and could run, jump around, and trip. Dark costumes also make it harder for cyclists, scooter-riders, and drivers to see children at night so kids must always be mindful when walking by or crossing the road.
Try to avoid masks that may obstruct your kid's vision or breathing. If their costume involves a mask, let your child do a test run with a parent to make sure they can see properly at night and can breathe right with it.
4. Never enter anyone's home
Inform your children to never go inside someone else's home while trick or treating, even if they invite you inside. Avoid going beyond the doorstep and if no one answers or have no treats to give, children must always walk away. Let your kids know that there must be no tricks or persistent knocking/doorbell-ringing.
5. Keep hydrated while trick or treating
October is still likely to be quite warm and the activity of walking around with costumes on could result in your child feeling exhausted and thirsty. Make sure to pack bottles of water when your child goes trick or treating.
6. Always inspect your Halloween candy
Children should never eat their Halloween candy without checking it first. Throw out any chocolates or candies that are missing a wrapper or looks as though it's been tampered with. Houses that give away homemade Halloween treats must be thoroughly inspected before eating - cut it open, smell it, do a tiny taste test.
Trick or treating etiquette for children
It's important to keep in mind that not everyone in Dubai celebrates Halloween. Have a look at the trick or treating etiquette to keep in mind:
1. Don't do any "tricks"
Although the main concept of the activity to give candies or else receive a trick, it's likely that not everyone in your area will be participating in Halloween. Inform your child to walk away from a home if they do not have treats to offer or if no one is around. Avoid continuously knocking on a door, ringing doorbells, or calling out for treats.
2. Manners, manners, manners
Don't forget to say please and thank you when visiting houses. If a home gives treats that your child might personally not like talk to them about accepting it with gratitude and not attitude.
3. Avoid trick or treating after 9 PM
By then, some people are winding down and getting ready to settle in for the night. Try to put an 8:30 PM curfew on your child's trick and treating activities.
Trick or treating for the community
If you're participating for Halloween this year by giving children some candies and chocolates, here is what to consider:
1. Let them know you're celebrating Halloween
Decorate your home or door with Halloween props. You don't have to go all out unless you want to - a simple spooky, Halloween-themed decoration on your door or doormat will suffice.
2. Don't give children fruit
They'll probably make a face or throw it back at you. Sure, you can make your treats quite healthy such as candied apples - but you can't make it boring.
3. Always give wrapped treats
Parents and children will rightly be paranoid enough receiving candies from strangers. Whether you bought your chocolates from a store or they're handmade, make sure they're sealed and safe.
4. Don't leave your door open
Either keep your candies in a bowl outside the house, or let the trick or treaters ring your door.
5. Let them know you're done for the night
If you've run out of treats to give or you're done participating for the night, stick up a politely worded notice on your door.