"Understand the culture to avoid many legal pitfalls
So how can anyone know what is a crime in the UAE?
When lawyers want to know why a given law has taken its particular shape - or why it exists at all - we go back to tradition, which is the source of so much legislation. The study of law is still to a large extent the study of history. Tradition is the basis of many legal principles.
So I believe that non-lawyers can best educate themselves on the laws of the UAE by doing a bit of reading through the country's history.
When you understand the historical context of the UAE's founding and development, you will know how Sharia came together with the French civil code.
This should make you more understanding and accepting of elements of our law code which now may seem to be unnecessary and even irrational hidden pitfalls." (thanks Basim)