Bed bugs in Dubai and does the city of luxury have them?

by Danni B
single bedbug on a mattress

After the recent news in France about Paris having major bedbug infestations, you may be wondering; “Does Dubai have bedbugs too?” Behind it’s glamour and luxury, you might be surprised by the answer!

Dubai has captured the world’s imagination with its towering skyscrapers, pristine beaches and extravagant lifestyle. Bedbugs are a common concern for travellers worldwide and it’s essential to address this query for a comfortable and worry-free stay in the city.

As someone who’s actually dealt with bedbugs in Dubai and seen them with my own eyes on two occasions. I’ll tell you everything you need to know! We’ll dive into the world of bedbugs in Dubai. Exploring the prevalence, prevention, and treatment of these pesky pests!

Plus some ways to protect yourself from bedbugs!

*This article contains affiliate links, as an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs I earn a commission when you click a link and make a purchase

First we’ll answer…

Does Dubai have bedbugs?

Yes indeed, Dubai does have bedbugs. Despite being one of the cleanest cities on earth, this city also does suffer from bedbug infestations and sadly it tends to be worst in shared accommodation where many people stay in very close quarters. Nearly every major city in the world; London, New York and of course Paris has issues with bedbugs. However, Dubai does seem to be doing better than other major cities with its high hygiene standards and quick government action in addressing issues.

What are Bedbugs and why are they an issue?

Bedbugs are small, wingless insects that belong to the Cimicidae family and feed on the blood of humans or animals. Bedbugs are notoriously resilient which means they can be hard to get rid of once you have an infestation.

They typically infest bed mattresses and upholstery, hiding in the crevices and waiting till someone falls asleep at night before crawling out of their hiding place to snack on the unsuspecting sleeper! Sounds terrifying? Yep! It is!

If an infestation is really bad, they may even evade pest control by hiding in electrical outlets or plug sockets.

Their bites can cause itching, discomfort, and even allergic reactions in some individuals. The majority of people get a large red welt when bitten and it’s very common for them to bite 3 times. Nicknamed “breakfast, lunch and dinner.” Commonly on the ankles or lower parts of the body. Though you may find bites on your wrists, hands or arms.

Their distinctive bites are one of the ways people tell if they have bedbugs! Though it’s best to visually confirm them also by finding where they are hiding!

classic bedbug bite with three large red welt bites, nicknamed breakfast, lunch and dinner

Do Bedbugs Thrive in Dubai’s Climate?

One might assume that the hot and arid climate of Dubai would deter bedbugs, as these pests are typically associated with cooler and more temperate regions. However, bedbugs are remarkably adaptable and can thrive in various environments, including warm ones.

Dubai’s climate might not deter them entirely but it does pose some challenges for their survival.

Bedbugs are more likely to be found indoors, where temperature and humidity levels are controlled. Air-conditioned buildings in Dubai provide the ideal environment for these pests to breed and multiply. Making them one of the most common pest complaints in Dubai.

So, while the scorching heat of the desert might make outdoor survival difficult for bedbugs, they can still infest homes, hotels, and other indoor spaces.

Prevalence of Bedbugs in Dubai

Dubai’s government and hospitality industry work diligently to maintain high hygiene standards, sadly bedbugs can still be found in some accommodations and residences. So you will still need to take bedbug precautions when staying in Dubai.

If you see a public infestation, you can contact Dubai Municipality to inform them of the pests.

I’ve personally seen a bedbug crawling on a worker on the metro and I’ve also gone to visit a hotel where a friend was staying where I saw a bedbug on a bathrobe that had been freshly bought up. We of course notified the hotel, who apologised and said it must have come from the laundry room which was hardly re-assuring.

Another time when I first moved to Dubai, I had the appearance of two large bite marks on my leg after sleeping. Although pest control never found bedbugs, they decided to spray just in case.

However in 10 years, these are the only times I’ve ever come across bedbugs and I have also come across bedbugs in London too when the house I was sharing ended up with them. Thankfully that’s been the only time I’ve ever actually had them in my home and it wasn’t fun!

Pest control first smoke bombed the room before spraying the bed, the bedbugs had made themselves a nice home between the headboard and wood. Apparently, that’s a bedbug favourite! I then had to lie in bed on the night to act as bait for the bedbugs to come out and touch the poison!

Why I am telling you this? I don’t know! But let’s just say I know personally how to deal with them and I take many precautions now so that I don’t have to go through that ever again and I’ll share them so hopefully you don’t have to!

Prevention Tips

Whether you’re a resident or a tourist in Dubai, it’s wise to take preventive measures to minimize the risk of encountering bedbugs:

  1. Inspect Your Accommodation: Before settling into your hotel room or rental property, conduct a thorough inspection of the bed, mattress, and furniture. Look for signs of bedbugs, such as small reddish-brown bugs, tiny eggs, or dark spots on bedding. Be sure to check the devices!
  2. Keep Luggage Elevated: When staying in hotels, use luggage racks or keep your suitcase on a hard, smooth surface. Avoid placing luggage on the bed or carpet, as bedbugs often hide in these areas.
  3. Seal Your Belongings: Consider using bedbug-proof luggage or encasements to protect your belongings during travel.
  4. Regular Cleaning: Maintain a clean living space by vacuuming regularly and washing bedding, curtains, and upholstery on the highest heat possible.
  5. Educate Yourself: Familiarize yourself with the signs of bedbug infestations so that you can take prompt action if needed. (In London I spotted the bug crawling at night and looked up what it was, my housemate whose room was worse hadn’t realised what they were, so it definitely helps to know what to look for.)
  6. Be Aware on Public Transport: Bedbugs can infest public transport seats, so if you’re a regular user then you may what to check where you sit or opt for standing unless the seats are hard plastic ones.
  7. Don’t Sit or Wear Dirty Clothes in Bed: Bedbugs can be transported by your clothes so it’s best to use a laundry basket that has a plastic lining or is made from a material that bedbugs can’t climb of just in case. Also make sure to never lie in clothes that you wore outside, especially if you sat on public transport.
  8. Be Aware of Fabric Chairs: Cinemas or anywhere that has upholstered chairs is somewhere that could potentially have bed bugs, so it’s best to be aware and stick to rule number 7 if you’ve sat anywhere in public.

Bedbug prevention Amazon shopping list

Here are some great items to take with you when you’re travelling from Dubai, to help protect from getting bedbugs while you travel.

samsonite hard-sided luggage that helps prevent bedbug transmission
zipped mattress that can stop bedbugs from getting in or out
black and decker clothes steamer that can help kill bedbugs from clothes
cream packing cube set of seven items that help for travel organisation

Hard-sided Luggage

Slippy surfaces like carbon fibre, metal or plastic are extremely difficult for bedbugs to climb so by having luggage that is made of these materials you’ll make it much more difficult to accidentally take some extra guests back home with you!

Just don’t get throwing your clothes all over the bed and then into the suitcase otherwise you’ll ruin them.

I’m a big lover of Samsonite suitcases since they offer a 10-year warranty but they do tend to be on the heavier side for hard-sided luggage.


Zipped Mattress Protector

A zipped mattress protector stops bedbugs from being able to go into the crevices of the mattress which bedbugs love!

You can use it at your own home or even take an extra one with you when you travel. So that if there are any bedbugs, they won’t be able to escape from the bed!

If you’ve moved into somewhere new and it’s furnished, it’s a wise investment just in case.


Portable Clothes Steamer

Heat and steam kills bedbugs and bedbug eggs. So by taking a portable clothes steamer with you when you travel, you can make sure to kill any bedbugs after sitting on public transport or on public seating that may be lurking on your clothes.

You will need to make sure you get all parts of your clothes for it to be effective but it is a useful and hygienic bit of travel kit regardless. Since it’ll also save you needing to iron.


Packing cubes

These stylish packing cubes are great for keeping everything organised while travelling and making you less likely to throw things on the bed while looking for something. Therefore less likely to pick up a bedbug!

Some of the items have waterproof fabric which is harder for bedbugs to climb onto.


Treatment Options

If you suspect bedbugs have infested your accommodation in Dubai, it’s crucial to address the issue promptly. Here are some steps to consider:

  1. Notify Management: If you discover bedbugs in a hotel, inform the management immediately. Reputable establishments will take immediate action to eliminate the infestation.
  2. Isolate Infested Items: If your belongings become infested, isolate them in plastic bags until they can be treated.
  3. Consult a Professional: If you are renting or own an apartment or villa, it’s advisable to seek the services of a professional pest control company. They have the expertise and equipment to eliminate bedbugs effectively. Typically as the tenant it would be your responsibility to bring in pest control.
  4. Wash Items: Once pest control has visited and given you advice, they’ll usually tell you it’s okay to wash items such as bedding. These should be done on a boil wash to kill any eggs or bugs.
  5. Avoid DIY Methods: While there are numerous DIY bedbug treatment methods available, they are often ineffective and can exacerbate the problem. It’s best to leave bedbug extermination to the experts.

Before you go, check out some of our other helpful Dubai articles:

Why not visit some nice bugs in Dubai? The ultimate guide to Butterfly Garden in Dubai
15 amazing places that are perfect for a short trip from Dubai

What’s the cheapest way to Oman? Getting the bus from Dubai to Muscat
Why do so many people drink bottled water in Dubai? Can I drink tap water in Dubai?


So, does Dubai have bedbugs? Yes, bedbugs can be found in Dubai, just as they can in many other cities around the world. However, the prevalence of bedbugs in Dubai is relatively low compared to other cities.

By staying vigilant and taking preventive measures. You can enjoy your time in this beautiful city without the worry of bedbug infestations. Dubai’s charm and hospitality await, so go ahead and explore all that this incredible city has to offer!

Read more Visit Dubai Guides

*This article contains affiliate links, as an Amazon Associate and a member of other affiliate programs, I earn a commission when you click a link and a qualifying purchase is made. (See Disclosure for more details)

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