How to dress in Dubai
How to dress in Dubai

How to dress in Dubai – Dubai dress code for men and women

Dress Code in Dubai

Dress Code Guidelines for Women

How to dress in Dubai has been one of the most asked questions by tourists visiting the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over the years. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a mainly Muslim country that follows the Sharia as law. All residents and tourists are required to wear long, conservative clothing, regardless of how hot the weather outside. That’s why many visitors often wonder how to dress in Dubai prior to them even book their flight. It seems like a good question.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque – A Landmark To Visit At Least Once In Your Lifetime

Well, it’s actually quite simple. Just because the majority of citizens in Dubai are Muslims does not mean that the tourists have to follow the Islamic law when it comes to women’s dressing. In fact, many of them don’t. That’s because many local men and women here are accustomed to western-style attire and don’t see the need to adhere to the more conservative Islamic rules regarding clothing and what can be worn on women. That said, is always better to respect each country’s rules and beliefs and dress accordingly.

Dubai locals shopping in a Mall
Dubai locals shopping in a Mall

As a woman you can dress how you like but would be highly recommend and appreciated if you show at less skin as possible and not wear very tight on skin clothing.

As a man you can wear what you like as long as you do not walk around naked or in woman clothing.

Dubai has a modest dress code for women that reflects the city’s cultural values and Islamic traditions. Here are some essential guidelines to follow:

Respectful Clothing Choices

When selecting your outfits, prioritize modesty and respect for the local customs. Choose clothing that covers your shoulders, upper arms, and knees. Loose-fitting garments are encouraged to maintain a modest appearance.

Tops and Dresses

Opt for tops and dresses that have sleeves and avoid low-cut or sheer fabrics. It’s advisable to avoid tight-fitting or body-hugging clothing.


For bottoms, choose trousers, skirts, or dresses that fall below the knee. Avoid shorts, mini-skirts, and tight leggings, as they may be considered inappropriate in certain settings.

Beachwear and Swimwear

While it’s acceptable to wear swimwear at private beaches or hotel pools, it’s important to cover up when leaving these areas. Use a sarong, cover-up, or a loose-fitting dress to respect the local culture.

Dress Code Guidelines for Men

Men in Dubai are also expected to adhere to certain clothing guidelines. Here’s what you should keep in mind:

General Dress Etiquette

Men should dress modestly and avoid clothing that may be deemed offensive or disrespectful. Opt for conservative attire that covers the shoulders and knees.

Shirts and Tops

Wearing shirts with sleeves is recommended. Avoid tank tops or excessively tight-fitting garments.


Opt for long trousers or jeans, as they are widely accepted in Dubai. Shorts, especially those above the knee, may not be suitable for certain places or occasions.


When at the beach or pool, wearing appropriate swimwear is acceptable. However, ensure that you cover up when you leave these designated areas.


Although the weather is hot even in the winter times, inside the buildings like in malls or shops the temperature is very low due air-conditioning. Always carry a long sleeve blouse with you because the temperature difference is pretty high and might be feeling too chilly.

The Ultimate Dubai’s Travel Bucket List

There are a few areas in Dubai where tourists aren’t exactly living the life according to Islamic standards. In fact, they can be quite liberal when it comes to their clothing wearing. For example, it isn’t unusual to see tourists walking around in shorts but this is not recommended. You can wear bikinis but just on the beach. You will find locals wearing burqas or other Islamic apparel in most of the tourist areas of Dubai but his does not mean you need to wear it too. To wear abayas (traditional Arabic long dress) it’s not likely to be for fashion reasons, but rather because people are comfortable and free to choose whatever clothing they want.

What to wear in Dubai
What to wear in Dubai

If you want to shop in Dubai, you can get away with it a bit more if you don’t plan on visiting the conservative areas of the city. Many of the major shopping malls in Dubai contain an array of western-style shops where locals can shop. These include places like Mark Jacobs, Cartier and even Zara. These places cater to both locals and tourists, and you will have no problem finding something that strikes your fancy. However, it is important to note that the clothes here, in the malls might have higher prices that you are used with. Even if UAE it’s a tax-free country, still the clothing prices are not very low. Unless you visit the cities outskirts markets and then for sure you find goods at much lower prices.

By adhering to Dubai’s dress code guidelines, you can show respect for the local culture and enjoy a hassle-free experience during your visit. Remember, modesty, loose-fitting clothing, and respect for the cultural norms are key when it comes to dressing in Dubai.

More Stories
Shopping in London
Skip to content