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How to Dress Appropriately in Dubai: A Guide for Tourists

Dubai is a cosmopolitan city and a popular tourist destination in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). With a diverse range of cultures and traditions, it's important for tourists to dress appropriately in Dubai to avoid any cultural misunderstandings or offensive behavior. This guide will provide you with tips on how to dress appropriately in Dubai as a tourist.

Respect the Local Culture

Dubai is an Islamic country, and it's important to respect the local culture and traditions. The dress code in Dubai is conservative, and tourists should dress modestly to show respect for the local customs. Women should cover their shoulders, chest, and knees, while men should wear long pants and shirts that cover their shoulders.

Choose Appropriate Clothing Materials

Dubai has a hot and humid climate, so it's important to choose clothing materials that are light and breathable. Cotton and linen are good options as they allow your skin to breathe and help to regulate your body temperature. Avoid wearing synthetic materials, as they can trap heat and make you feel uncomfortable.

Dress for the Occasion

Dubai is a city that offers a wide range of activities, from sightseeing to beach activities to shopping. It's important to dress appropriately for the occasion. For example, if you're going to the beach, wear a swimsuit or beachwear, but make sure to cover up when you leave the beach. If you're going to a mosque, men should wear long pants and women should wear a headscarf and dress conservatively.

Avoid Revealing Clothing

Dubai is a conservative city, and tourists should avoid wearing revealing clothing. Women should avoid low-cut tops, short skirts, and shorts, while men should avoid wearing sleeveless shirts. Revealing clothing can be seen as disrespectful and can attract unwanted attention.

Consider the Time of Year

Dubai has a hot climate, but temperatures can vary throughout the year. During the summer months (June to September), temperatures can reach over 40°C (104°F), so it's important to wear light and breathable clothing. During the winter months (December to February), temperatures can drop to around 20°C (68°F), so it's important to bring warm clothing, such as a sweater or jacket.

Dressing for Business Meetings

Dubai is a hub for business and entrepreneurship, and many tourists come to the city for business meetings. Business attire is generally formal in Dubai, and men should wear a suit and tie, while women should wear a business suit or a conservative dress. Avoid wearing anything too revealing or casual, as this can be seen as unprofessional.


Dubai is a city that involves a lot of walking, so it's important to wear comfortable footwear. Sandals, flip-flops, and open-toe shoes are acceptable in most places, but it's important to avoid wearing anything too revealing or inappropriate.

Covering Tattoos and Piercings

Tattoos and piercings are generally accepted in Dubai, but it's important to cover them up in certain situations. For example, if you're visiting a mosque or a religious site, it's important to cover up any visible tattoos or piercings.

Don't Overdo Perfumes and Fragrances

Dubai is known for its luxurious perfumes and fragrances, but it's important to avoid overdoing it. Strong perfumes and fragrances can be offensive to some people, so it's important to wear them in moderation.

Know the Dress Code for Different Places

Dubai has a range of dress codes for different places, such as shopping malls, restaurants, and hotels. It's important to know the dress code for each place you're visiting to avoid any misunderstandings or embarrassment. Most shopping malls and restaurants

Be Mindful of Swimsuits

Dubai has beautiful beaches, but it's important to be mindful of swimwear. Bikinis and one-piece swimsuits are acceptable at the beach, but it's important to cover up when leaving the beach. Avoid wearing revealing swimwear outside of the beach area.

Check the Dress Code of Tourist Attractions

Many tourist attractions in Dubai have dress codes that visitors must adhere to. For example, the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, has a dress code that requires visitors to dress smartly. It's important to check the dress code of the tourist attractions you're planning to visit before you go.

Avoid Offensive Clothing

Dubai is a diverse city with people from different cultures and religions. It's important to avoid wearing clothing that could be seen as offensive, such as clothing with inappropriate language or imagery.

Follow Dress Code Guidelines for Public Transportation

Dubai has a range of public transportation options, including buses, taxis, and the metro. It's important to follow the dress code guidelines for public transportation, which require visitors to dress modestly and avoid revealing clothing.

Be Prepared for Security Checks

Dubai has strict security measures in place, and visitors may be subject to security checks at various places, such as shopping malls and tourist attractions. It's important to be prepared for security checks by avoiding wearing clothing with metal components or excessive jewellery that could set off metal detectors. In conclusion, dressing appropriately in Dubai is important to show respect for the local culture and customs. As a tourist, it's important to dress modestly and avoid revealing clothing. It's also important to consider the time of year, dress for the occasion, and check dress codes for different places. By following these tips, tourists can enjoy their trip to Dubai while also being mindful of cultural differences and expectations.



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