If it’s your first time visiting Dubai, you may rightly be confused about what to wear in Dubai and what to pack for Dubai, considering that:
- The weather is infamously hot. Like it goes up to 50 degrees Celsius in summer.
- The UAE is an Islamic country but Dubai is surprisingly modern.
- The social media influencers and celebrities you see posting updates from Dubai, perched on its skyscrapers or riding camels in the desert are dressed in itsy bitsy shorts. Dubai fashion seems to be at the forefront of international trends.
- But you know that the locals are always dressed modestly.
- I’ll go into details in the following sections of this post but as a general rule, too much cleavage is frowned upon, so avoid plunging necklines.
- When it comes to wearing shorts in Dubai, even by tourists, use this as a quick guide- Thigh grazing shorts, booty shorts, hot shorts, and mini-skirts that barely cover the bum, they’re not a good choice in Dubai, unless you’re wearing them at the beach.
- Sheer tops and dresses where some or all of your lingerie is visible is also inappropriate.
- Transparent leggings with short tops are a real eyesore; no one in Dubai wants to see your polka dotted underwear through your thin leggings, so please, just don’t. You can of course wear them with long tops, shirts or dresses that cover your bum.
- Avoid super low-waist jeans that bare your bum and more when you sit.
- Crop tops are okay if you wear them with high-waisted bottoms, and don’t bare your midriff except at beaches or nightclubs.
- Leave the Brazilian bikini thongs at home or wear them at hotel pools only.
It’s perfectly okay to wear sleeveless or short-sleeved tops and dresses, and it’s also okay to wear fitted clothes. Knee-length dresses and shorts that are a bit above the knee are also okay, except in places where there might be a dress code to cover the knees and shoulders. The same is true of off-the-shoulder tops that are in fashion these days.
- Men can wear vests and shorts but keep the short shorts for the beach.
- You can wear shorts with smart collared and other t-shirts or shirts elsewhere, as long as you don’t look sloppy. Many restaurants, bars, and clubs have a no shorts or sneakers policy for men.
What To Wear to the Desert in Dubai
You’re most likely going to go on a desert safari in Dubai, and spend an afternoon and evening in the desert. During the day, it gets very hot and sunny and you’ll be doing activities like riding on a camel, sandboarding, and riding a quad-bike on dunes. So wear something light and practical like linen trousers, jeans, or light joggers paired with a casual t-shirt or shirt.
Women should avoid shorts and short dresses, not only because they’re uncomfortable to do these activities in but also because the evenings can get quite chilly (so bring a warm jacket or shawl)
Men can wear shorts or light and comfortable trousers or jeans with a t-shirt or shirt. In winter, be sure to bring a jacket because it gets really cold.
What Accessories Should I Pack for Dubai
- If you like dressing up, bring statement pieces (jewelry, belts etc) that could glam up otherwise minimal outfits.
- At least one pair of heels (if you plan on going to a club).
- A light scarf to cover up bare shoulders or your head for when you’re going to a mosque.
- A cross-body bag, stylish backpack, or tote for exploring the city during the day (Dubai isn’t really a sporty/outdoorsy city so your daypack won’t exactly help you blend in) and a clutch or small purse for nights out.
- A trendy hat or cap for when you’ll be outdoors during the day.
- Sunglasses– you’ll need them year-round during the day.
- Pack a cap or hat for sunny afternoons.
- You’ll also need a smart pair of sunglasses.
- Bring a cross-body bag for daytime exploration if you need more space than your wallet.