What to wear in dubai?

HotbotBy HotBotUpdated: July 8, 2024

Dubai, a dazzling metropolis known for its ultra-modern architecture, luxury shopping, and vibrant nightlife, also carries a rich cultural heritage and Islamic traditions that influence its dress codes. Whether you're visiting for business, leisure, or a combination of both, understanding what to wear in Dubai is essential for comfort, respect, and style.

Understanding the Cultural Context

Dubai is part of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a predominantly Muslim country. While it's more liberal compared to some of its Middle Eastern neighbors, it still upholds certain cultural norms, especially regarding dress codes. Respect for local customs is not only a sign of good manners but can also save you from potential discomfort or legal issues.

General Guidelines for Clothing

When selecting your wardrobe for Dubai, consider the following general guidelines:

  • Modesty: Both men and women are expected to dress modestly, particularly in public areas such as malls, restaurants, and markets.
  • Light Fabrics: With temperatures soaring above 40°C (104°F) in the summer, lightweight, breathable fabrics like cotton and linen are highly recommended.
  • Layers: Air conditioning is prevalent in indoor venues, so having a light jacket or shawl can be useful.

What Women Should Wear

Women's clothing choices in Dubai can vary based on the location and activity. Here's a breakdown of suitable attire for different scenarios:

In Public Areas

  • Tops: Opt for tops that cover your shoulders and avoid low-cut or revealing styles. T-shirts, blouses, and tunics are appropriate.
  • Bottoms: Skirts and dresses should ideally be knee-length or longer. Loose-fitting pants and capris are also suitable.
  • Swimwear: At hotel pools or private beaches, bikinis are acceptable, but more conservative swimwear is advised at public beaches.

In Religious Sites

When visiting mosques or other religious sites, women are expected to dress more conservatively:

  • Headscarf: Women are required to cover their hair with a scarf when entering a mosque.
  • Long Sleeves and Pants: Wear long sleeves and pants or a long skirt to cover your arms and legs.

What Men Should Wear

Similar to women's clothing, men's attire in Dubai should also reflect modesty and respect for local customs:

In Public Areas

  • Tops: T-shirts, polo shirts, and casual button-down shirts are all acceptable. Avoid tank tops and sleeveless shirts.
  • Bottoms: Shorts should be knee-length. Lightweight trousers and chinos are ideal for staying cool and looking polished.
  • Swimwear: Swim trunks are fine at hotel pools and private beaches. Opt for more conservative swimwear at public beaches.

In Business Settings

For business meetings and formal events, men should adhere to a more conservative dress code:

  • Suits: A lightweight suit in a neutral color is appropriate for most business settings. A tie is often optional but can be a good choice for more formal occasions.
  • Business Casual: For less formal meetings, a collared shirt paired with dress trousers or chinos is suitable.

Footwear Choices

Footwear can also play a significant role in your comfort and compliance with local customs:

  • Casual Shoes: Comfortable sandals, loafers, or sneakers are ideal for everyday wear.
  • Formal Shoes: For business or formal events, opt for closed-toe dress shoes.
  • Beach Footwear: Flip-flops or water shoes are perfect for the beach but should be avoided in public areas away from the shore.

Accessories and Headwear

Accessories can enhance your outfit while keeping you comfortable in Dubai's climate:

  • Hats: A wide-brimmed hat can provide shade and keep you cool during the day.
  • Sunglasses: A good pair of UV-protective sunglasses is essential to shield your eyes from the intense sun.
  • Scarves and Shawls: Lightweight scarves can be used to cover your shoulders or head when needed.

Special Considerations


If you're visiting Dubai during Ramadan, the holy month of fasting, dress codes become more stringent:

  • Modesty: Both men and women should ensure their shoulders and knees are covered in public.
  • Evening Events: For Iftar (the meal breaking the fast) and other evening events, opt for more conservative attire.

Desert Safaris

For those planning a desert safari, practical and comfortable clothing is key:

  • Breathable Fabrics: Wear lightweight, breathable clothes to stay cool in the desert heat.
  • Sun Protection: Long sleeves and pants can protect you from sunburn and sand.
  • Footwear: Closed-toe shoes are advisable to protect your feet from hot sand and rough terrain.

Shopping for Clothing in Dubai

If you find yourself in need of more appropriate clothing upon arrival, Dubai offers countless shopping options:

  • Malls: Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates, and other major shopping centers offer a wide range of international and local brands.
  • Souks: Traditional markets like the Gold Souk and Textile Souk provide unique and culturally rich shopping experiences.
  • Boutiques: High-end boutiques and designer stores are plentiful, catering to those looking for luxury fashion.

Navigating what to wear in Dubai can seem complex, but by adhering to these guidelines, you can enjoy your visit comfortably and respectfully. The blend of modernity and tradition in Dubai offers a unique opportunity for diverse and stylish dressing, allowing you to explore and appreciate the city's rich culture and vibrant lifestyle.

Related Questions

Where is dubai located?

Dubai, one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is strategically located on the southeast coast of the Persian Gulf. It is situated in the Arabian Peninsula, bordered by the Gulf of Oman to the northeast and Saudi Arabia to the south. Dubai’s coordinates are approximately 25.276987 degrees north latitude and 55.296249 degrees east longitude. This prime location has made Dubai a significant hub for commerce and tourism.

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What language do they speak in dubai?

Dubai, part of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has Arabic as its official language. Arabic is used in government documents, legal proceedings, and formal communications. The Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) is predominantly used in written forms, while the Gulf Arabic dialect is spoken by the local Emirati population.

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What to see in dubai?

Dubai, a city that epitomizes luxury and innovation, is a jewel of the Middle East. From its towering skyscrapers to its golden deserts, Dubai offers a plethora of attractions that cater to every kind of traveler. Whether you’re an adventure enthusiast, a luxury lover, or a culture seeker, Dubai has something unique to offer.

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What currency does dubai use?

Dubai, one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE), uses the UAE Dirham as its official currency. Commonly abbreviated as AED, which stands for Arab Emirates Dirham, it is also symbolized as "د.إ" in Arabic. The ISO code for the UAE Dirham is AED, and it is sometimes colloquially referred to as "Dh" or "Dhs".

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