What to Wear When Visiting Dubai


The city of Dubai is renowned for its hot climate and impressive modern architecture.

As the United Arab Emirates is a country that follows Islamic traditions, including dress codes, it is advisable for all Western visitors to be aware of what is appropriate to wear when exploring the city.

One thing you’ll notice in Dubai is that the locals have impeccable dress sense, often using designer brands to present themselves as classy and fashionable. This is unsurprising given the luxury malls and designer brands that you see on every corner in Dubai. To blend in to the local scene, a general rule is to aim for chic and modern style that is also modest.

The dress code does vary by location, however, with greater coverage expected in mosques or traditional venues when compared with beaches. There are standard items that could be worn in any area, such as maxi dresses for women or full-length trousers for men. Here are three of the locations you are likely to explore as a visitor to Dubai:

1. Public places – such as visiting the malls, parks and travelling throughout the city

Jeans, trousers and short-sleeved tops can be worn in these areas. Shorts are acceptable for men provided they cover most of the thigh.
For women, maxi dresses are perfectly acceptable, or any skirt no higher than knee-length. Off the shoulder tops can generally be worn, aside from some of the higher-end shopping malls – for these trips, simply take a summer jacket or shawl to provide cover when required.

2. Mosque

When visiting, both men and women must wear long sleeves. Men are expected to wear full-length trousers, and likewise a maxi dress or full-length skirt for women along with a head scarf or shawl.

3. Beach

The dress code is somewhat more relaxed for the beach and swimming pools of Dubai. Bikinis and swimwear can be worn by women, with the exception of skimpy styles. Swimming shorts are worn by men, although they must also wear a vest or t-shirt – not bare-chested.

There are many interesting places to explore within the city of Dubai, and with an understanding of what to wear to blend in with the local culture and expectations, you will no doubt find it a fascinating place.

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