Dress code for women and men in Dubai
If you are planning to visit Dubai, it’s better to have some idea about the local dress code. Packing your bags for a trip to Dubai would be a real brain teaser for western first-time tourists. In this blog post, we will try to undercover the appropriate dress code for tourists in Dubai.
Hundreds of questions come to our minds when it comes to traveling to the Middle East. You should consider that although being a Muslim country, the UAE and especially Dubai are more tolerant than their neighbors. It’s due to the fact that more than 70% of its population are expatriates.
Secondly, Dubai is a cosmopolitan and rapidly-growing city. But, it doesn’t mean that you can wear anything you want. Although there are no punishments for those who dress openly, we highly recommend following some basic rules. This will allow you to be more respectful to the local habits but also you will feel more comfortable.
- Should I cover up to my neck?
- Am I allowed to wear a bikini on the beach?
- What am I expected to wear in a mosque?
- What should I wear in Ramadan?
- What clothes to choose for a nightclub?
- Are all the Emiratis wearing traditional clothes?
- How to decide which clothing is better for summertime?
- Which type of clothing to prepare for the winter season?
- Is there any dress code for malls?
- Any clothing ideas for a desert safari?
- Do I risk a fine if I don’t wear appropriately?
Should I cover up to my neck?
Nobody will force you to cover up to your neck. However, it’s highly recommended to avoid showing off your shoulders and putting pants that cover up your knees. As a western traveler, you are not expected to wear as locals. But the dress code varies from one place to another.
You should pay attention to our clothes especially in public places like malls or restaurants. Imagine walking in short shorts while all the women around you are covered. It must be really embarrassing and will provoke uncomfortable glances to your side.
Am I allowed to wear a bikini on the beach?
It’s a contradictory topic. You’ll see in Dubai women wearing long burkinis on the beach. Some other women will be wearing swimwear that could be found on Miami Beach. However, we recommend finding the golden middle between these two extremities. You can wear one piece of swimwear. Or, you can choose a bikini that doesn’t show off your body’s assets.
It’s hard to find a beach outfit that is not eye-catching and is fashionable at the same time. You should find the best swimwear to fit the local norms of conduct to not offend the Emiratis.
Please, note that you are not allowed to sunbathe naked. It’s illegal and is considered a crime. You will also be expected to cover up when leaving the beach and going to public places.
What am I expected to wear in a mosque?
You should have an appropriate look before visiting a mosque. A mosque is a place of worship where the believers connect spiritually with God. Thus, you are expected to wear long abaya.
They will also ask women to cover their hair. In some mosques like the Grand Mosque, it’s not a big deal if you don’t have the appropriate clothes. You can rent them at the entrance for a fee or for free.
- Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed Mosque tour
What should I wear in Ramadan?
The Holy Month is the most important period of the year for Muslims. People in Dubai are fasting from sunrise to sunset. We highly recommend you to wear conservatively in order to show your respect.
Try not to wear short shorts and avoid tight trousers. If your look is considered very open, the local people might get offended and call the police. Don’t try to get in conflict with them unless you want to go to jail for one month. Show your respect and understanding of the local culture and habits.
What clothes to choose for a nightclub?
As it may sound weird, the dress code for a nightclub differs drastically from an ordinary public place. It’s not a secret that Dubai is the center of luxury entertainment venues. In fact, the public places are not allowed to sell alcohol except the hotels and restaurants. So, the majority of the clubs are located on the rooftops of these luxury hotels providing an unbelievable night experience.
As a guest, you are expected to dress appropriately. It means that high heels, eye-catching makeup, and fancy dresses are a must. Otherwise, the security agents will prevent you from entering. But you are expected to stay in the frames of morality while choosing your night outfit. The security agents will ask you to leave the space if you are naked.
Are all the Emiratis wearing traditional clothes?
The majority of the population are expatriates coming from neighbor countries. A few proportions of these foreigners are from western countries like the UK. Being from neighbor Muslim countries, the vast majority of these expatriates seem to follow Muslim habits. The Emirati women put on long black abayas with traditional headscarves. The men wear long white kandura and a traditional headpiece.
Dubai is a melting pot of different cultures and traditions. So, the clothing habits may vary from one culture to another. But, the locals will always dress up modestly.
How to decide which clothing is better for summertime?
There are three things to consider while preparing your travel backpack. The hot season stretches from April to October. The day-time temperatures can rise up to 45 degrees. But, the evenings can be relatively cold. So, consider taking a light jacket or a sweater with you.
Wear clothing that covers your knees even if it’s too hot. For your comfort choose light clothes that don’t touch your body but cover your top bottom. Otherwise, you’ll feel too hot and it will become really uncomfortable.
Here is another tip to better pack your clothes. All the buildings are air-conditioned. The air-conditioning is always running at its highest pace in the metro cabins during the summertime.
Which type of clothing to prepare for the winter season?
The winter season is the best time to travel to the United Arab Emirates. The average temperatures are between 20 and 25 degrees. So, do you expect a better time to practice activities or visit adventure parks? Even if the daytime temperatures are appropriate, the evenings are cold. The temperatures can drop up to 15 degrees. Consider taking with you a sweater and pants or leggings.
Is there any dress code in malls?
If you plan to do shopping in Dubai, try to keep your luggage as light as possible. Dubai is a world shopping destination. It is home to the largest shopping mall in the world. Shopping has a cultural aspect as well. People in Dubai adore showing up in luxury designed clothes. You can also find affordable shops as well.
All the malls are air-conditioned all year round. It’s a good idea to take a light jacket with you not to get cold.
Although there is no restriction on wearing open clothes, we recommend you wear modestly. Never go to a mall in bikini or shorts. The security agents will certainly ask you to dress up more.
- Dubai Shopping tour
Any clothing ideas for a desert safari?
As we have already mentioned, the daytimes are very hot and the evenings can be relatively cold. The temperatures can drop off up to 10 degrees in a couple of hours. Wear long trousers and a sweater for an overnight desert dinner and belly dance show.
In addition, imagine wearing shorts while doing activities like quad biking, desert safari, camel riding, etc. We highly recommend you wearing comfortable clothes for your desert adventures.
Don’t underestimate the power of wind in the desert. It would be a mistake to wear a dress in the desert.
- Dubai Desert safari tour
Do I risk a fine if I don’t wear appropriately?
If you are in the right limits, people in Dubai will never get offended and won’t call the police. But, walking naked or in bikini is officially prohibited in public areas. Sometimes the locals may judge your look provocative and make a comment. Don’t try to argue with them and just try to fix the things up. It’s a better way to avoid any direct conflict. However, if the police consider that your look is too provocative, you risk getting deported from the UAE.