A common question that built confusion in my mind while making a tour is the dress code. Have you also suffered from the same problem? As soon as I recognized my issue, I became ready to write a guideline on what to wear in Dubai as a Tourist.

The first thing that comes to mind is the religion of the United Arab Emirates. Since all the 7 Emirates of UAE belong to the Islamic religion, therefore, Dubai Dress is not so conservative but in some ethical sense. 

Since there are many places to visit in Dubai like shopping malls, beaches, and cultural places. So Dubai clothing varies in accordance with the place that tourist is going to visit. One thing that I kept in my mind while visiting Dubai is that I had to be respectful of the local habits of the Emirate.

The way other people or residents were respectful of their places like mosques, I also maintained the same thing. There are not so many restrictions, however, the knees and shoulders of both men and women should be covered appropriately. In this guide, I will completely cover the outfits for Dubai for different places that will help you to complete your packing list in a fine way.

What to wear in Dubai: High Temperature and Religious Restrictions

What to wear in Dubai high Temperature

Most foreigners keep in their mind that if the UAE is a Muslim country, the attire for Dubai is just the same as Muslims do. For instance, if their women wear Hijab or scarf, foreigners also have to wear the same outfit. But there is no truth in this conception.

You just have to follow some ethical values while visiting some amazing places in Dubai. A few rules that tourists should follow to keep the respect of the local cultural manners are given below;

  • A tourist dress should be such that it covers his knees as well as shoulders.
  • Wear an outfit that doesn’t show your midriff and cleavage.
  • Don’t wear something that leaves your body part transparent.

This is clear that the Islamic roots in the country are deep which allows tourists to wear in a sensible way. If someone guides you like Dubai has the independence of wearing anything, you must not trust him. Follow the things you observe, otherwise take a guideline of someone who has really visited Dubai.

Can Tourists Dress in the Dubai Local Dress?

Dubai Local Dress

To wear the local dress, for tourists, it is essential to understand what local dress they follow in their country. For Men the local Dubai Attire is given below;

  • A traditional Emirati Man prefers to wear DishDasha or Kandura, a full-sleeved dress. The dress contains a one-piece garment with a one-ankle length.
  • Headgear (Ghutrah) which is fastened with a black igel.

The dress code for women in Dubai in term of local dressing mainly lead to the flowing things;

  • Black or colored Shayla (Head Scarf) for Hijab.
  • Black or any other colored Abaya that covers the whole body
  • This is a restriction to wear a full Niqab, however, Abaya or Burka is allowed.

Both men and women can wear the local traditional dress if they want. Otherwise, they may choose other dress codes that fully cover them while visiting various places.

Dubai Dress Code for Tourist Men – Limited Exceptions

Dubai Dress Code for Tourist Men

Foreign men are not strictly allowed to follow the local dress code of Dubai while visiting holy places. However, there are some limited exceptions for what to wear in Dubai that are general for them to follow given below.

  1. Whether the men are visiting any public place, mall, mosque, or hotel, they have to wear full-length trousers.
  2. Those who are going for public settings may choose to pack a pair of casual chinos. In hot weather, most men prefer to wear shorts, so make sure to wear them below the knees.
  3. Don’t wear anything that can be offensive or tight T-shirts. Stay away from tank tops except at beaches or other waterparks.

Dubai Dress Code for Tourist Women – Limited Exceptions

Dress Code for Tourist Women

Like tourist men, what to wear in Dubai for women also has some limited exceptions to follow in their dress code for Dubai;

  1. It is a great idea to cover up the shoulders with the help of a shawl or pashmina. It will keep you protected from the scorching heat of the sun.
  2. If you are visiting any religious place or holy mosque like The Grand Mosque , you should choose a full-length Abaya with a head scarf.
  3. Mostly Dubai has high temperatures, therefore, instead of jeans, it is suitable to wear linen or cotton trousers. Such type of fabric or any natural fabric will help you to maintain your body temperature in the scorching heat of Dubai.
  4. A wonderful option for women, if they have a short dress, is to put leggings underneath dresses. However, you should avoid tight wearing and cleavage-baring bottoms.
  5. Most ladies always preferred to wear Maxi dresses and Maxi- shirts to wear both day and night. You are allowed to wear sleeveless tops in the case if your arms are only shown in them.
  6. Don’t wear shorts, try to dress up in a way that covers you in a complete way.

What to wear in Dubai: Luxurious Shopping Malls

There are some do’s and don’ts to follow in luxurious shopping malls like Dubai Festival Shopping Mall. Here a question comes: why should one follow a certain dress code for Dubai Malls as this is a place to do shopping?

I would like to answer this question that the Dubai shopping malls are not only specified for shopping. However, there are many attractions in it to take part in just like Dubai Mall Aquarium [Interlinking]. So, let us have a view of what you should wear while visiting malls and which things are prohibited.

  • Choosing simple and casual Dubai wear for shopping malls is the best option to follow.
  •  There are some shopping malls that include signboards and instructions, follow them before visiting such shopping malls.
  • Men should wear T-shirts, full-length trousers, and cotton pants or jeans. On the other hand, women should wear tops, knee-covered pants, and comfortable wide jeans.
  • Avoid wearing something that can not cover your body parts completely.

What to wear in Dubai: Public as well as Private Beach Areas

Dubai is famous for the public as well as private beach areas like La Mer Beach to perform unlimited amazing water activities. Since there are many water sports to perform at the beach, visiting the beach surely doesn’t have a casual dress code. Men should not go for skimpy- brief-style Speedos however they should wear longer shorts. But for ladies, there are different views to follow. They can wear shorts or swimsuits, and bikinis.

what to wear Public as well as Private Beach Areas

Since you are visiting the beach in a Muslim country, for modesty I would leave the decision to you to wear something comfortable at the beach. It is your decision to follow what you want to wear but wear something that is ethical as many families also visit beach areas. You don’t need to wear a full abaya. Instead I will recommend you to wear an overshirt or full top dress.

Keeping the question in mind about what to wear in Dubai, there are two types of beach categories private as well as public. The dress restrictions are mainly followed on Public beaches. Private beaches are considered more independent in dressing as compared to public beaches. The dress code for the beach in Dubai has certain rules to follow given below;

  • Take part in water activities or sports by wearing swimwear and swim bottoms on both public as well as private beaches.
  • Ladies should wear burkinis, a one-piece swimsuit, or any sports outfit. Men are allowed to wear anything that can bear their chest.

Things to avoid while dressing in Beach Areas

  • Although it is mentioned to wear swimsuits you can only wear them while visiting the beach. Before going outside you have to wear some casual dress.
  • Don’t wear any see-through material or any other dressing that makes your clothing tight and vulgar.
  • Topless sunbathing is not allowed in the Dubai Emirate and such an act is illegal in the city.

What to Dress in Dubai: Desert Safari Tour

Visiting Dubai without enjoying the charm of the desert is just tasteless. Desert Safari is a famous attraction in the United Arab Emirates to explore Bedouin Life.

People take part in various activities like sandboarding, dune bashing, camel riding, Henna painting, and many others. However, it is important to know how to dress up during the Desert Safari Tour. Have a look at the things you have to follow while visiting the desert.

  • Long shirts as well as knee-covered shirts should be worn by both men and women. Ladies may also choose knee-length shirts and scarves to avoid the scorching heat of the sun.
  • Ladies must know that they have to walk for miles. Therefore, it is best to wear comfortable jogging shoes instead of heels or sandals.

What to Dress in Dubai: Bars and Restaurants

One can never miss the spectacular views of the nightlife in Dubai. To enjoy the fun life in the Bars and Restaurants in the city, the dress code for tourists matters a lot. Let’s have a look at what to wear to avoid all the misconceptions about dressing sense while going to a bar.

  • Most of the bars and restaurants do online booking and give some instructions for dress code. Make sure to read them appropriately and follow them strictly.
  • Men can wear anything they want except shorts, either a knot or a simple dress. But women should take care of modesty and wear some suitable dresses like long-maxis, tops with jeans or T-shirts, and long-knee skirts.
  • For bars, you can wear what you want without any material that leads to see-through or vulgarity, especially for ladies.
  • Shorts, bikinis, swimsuits, or any see-through material are not allowed to wear in both restaurants and bars.
what to wear Dubai Bars and Restaurant

Dubai Dress Code in Dubai – Summer Season

As it is clear Dubai is too hot in summer but it doesn’t really mean that anyone can wear bikinis or shorts. Men and women both have to follow strict rules while visiting Dubai in the summer season.

For Women:

  • Due to the hot season, women should wear some cotton or loan fabric dresses with light colors that will radiate heat. Also, shorts and skirts are allowed if they cover their knees.
  • I have never preferred wearing a sleeveless dress in summer as the enormous heat burns the skin badly. However, if you can bear it you can easily go with it.
  • Wear half-sleeved T-shirts and tops if you feel comfortable. Cotton trousers and jeans are good to maintain modesty instead of short dresses.

For Men

  • Swimsuits, tight pants, or trousers are not preferable, instead, they should wear loose trousers. 
  • Nominal footwear is good to wear like sandals but make sure they are comfortable in wearing as you may need to walk in the places like Dubai Miracle Garden .
  • During the hot weather, cotton, linen, loaner, and hot fabric are good to wear.

Dress Code in Dubai – Winter Season

The most appropriate and suitable season to visit Dubai is the winter season. Tourists also prefer to visit the Emirate from November to April as the weather is not too hot. Therefore, dressing in winter is easier to choose than in summer. Both men and women should follow certain rules while dressing in the winter season.

For Women

  • Full-sleeved and knee-covered tops with jeans are most suitable to include in your dressing. Take sunblock to prevent your body from harmful sun rays.
  • Long skirts, maxis, and light leggings are good to wear in winter.
  • Normal T-shirts and baggy jeans are amazing during the day tour to visit many places. This is because during the day time temperature is high as compared to night.
  • Wear some joggers, light boots, and walking shoes as many places include walking distances. Wearing heels or sandals cannot be comfortable as you cannot walk with them.
  • Wearing something hot like Shawl, hoodie, or jacket while visiting certain places in the evening or night. The temperature will not be the same as in the day so you may feel cool at night.

For Men

  • Like women, men can also wear T-shirts but avoid any slogan or offensively marked shirts in public areas.
  • Take a sweater, hoodie, or jacket with you while visiting the places in the evening as the temperature falls down in the winter season.
  • While taking part in water activities in the best waterparks of Dubai , take a jacket and headscarves with you due to the cold water and low temperature.

There may come unexpected rain in the city in both the summer as well as winter season. So, I will suggest you take a raincoat with you to deal with such a situation.

Wrapping it up!

I have tried my best to cover all the aspects of what to wear in Dubai as a tourist. There were many things that I explored during my visit along with my friends and I have done to cover all of them. The best suggestion that I would give you is to wear a simple and casual dress.

Footwear also requires simple slippers or joggers that make you able to walk. However, for any business dinner, both men and women should dress up nicely. For instance, many dinners are launched like the cruise like Dubai Marina Cruise Dinner. So your dress code at such dinners should be cool and sophisticated.

What People Ask About Dress Code in Dubai for Tourists

Do Tourist women have any restrictions on wearing Hijab in Dubai?

Women who are not residents of Dubai do not have to wear any traditional Abayas or Hijab during their visits. However, while visiting the holy places and mosques they should maintain modesty.

Is it suitable to wear a bikini in public?

This surely leads to vulgarity in any Islamic country. This type of dress is only allowed to wear on beaches or waterparks while taking part in different water activities.

In which place should I wear a crop top in Dubai?

Crop tops, skirts, and fitted dresses are only allowed to wear in nightclubs in the city. Someone who wears such a dress in a public building may get penalized by the Government.

How do other Emirates follow the Dress code for tourists in UAE?

The dress codes for tourists in the United Arab Emirates are not so different. Dubai and Abu Dhabi have the same dress code, similarly, their waterparks and holy places like mosques follow the same dresses.

Is it suitable to use flip flops in the scorching sun of Dubai?

Flip Flops are allowed to take with you in your packing as they help to keep your feet warm at night. But for the places where you have to walk you must need comfortable sneakers.