How to Dress in Dubai
Are you going to Dubai soon? Maybe you're worried about offending the locals by not respecting their religion and the local laws. Don't worry, this article will explain what is and is not acceptable, and where.
Traditional dress is not required. People often make the mistake of thinking they have to blend in with the locals and go out and buy a whole wardrobe of traditional Arabic dress and bring nothing else. These are always the people who get strange looks. Although quite a lot of people wear traditional clothes, they are nearly always locals, and if you make a small mistake in putting the clothes on, you will be frowned upon.
At beaches, there's only one rule: You must hide your 'aurat. Don't wear bikini, even normal clothes and wear a headscarf that hide your hair.
Dress for the heat. Dubai is, essentially, a desert. It's hot - really hot, as any resident will tell you with heartfelt emotion. However, bring some warm clothing too, as the air conditioning is nearly always blasting at a freezing temperature, and in case you decide to visit Ski Dubai, the local artificial skiing slope and snow park.
Don't show too much skin. A general rule of thumb is: Nothing above the lower thighs, nothing with no sleeves, no deep necks, and no midriffs. Exceptions include beaches (where you can get away with much less) and the desert (if you're on your own or with non-Muslim friends, that is).
If you're lucky enough to get into a mosque, dress conservatively. Cover your knees, elbows, stomach and upper torso well. Do not expect to be allowed to take photos.
Do not show public displays of affection. Kissing in public is strictly forbidden. This also includes holding hands or hugging.
- Do not expect to be allowed into a mosque, as this is unlikely (unless you are a Muslim).
- Be extremely careful on the roads in Dubai.
- If you are unsure, always ask someone who will know.