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uae dress code advice

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When you have travel plans to the UAE, you may have the question: do you have to wear a hijab in Dubai or the six other emirates? It is always clever to respect the traditions of the country that you are visiting and obey their rules and regulations. The same is the case for UAE too. This highly developed nation is somewhat conservative towards the way tourists dress.

Hence, we bring you this article about UAE dress code advice which will give you a detailed idea about what to wear and what not to when you visit this beautiful country.


  • Every visitor is expected to dress modestly, especially in public places.
  • The clothing should not be transparent or show much skin.
  • The clothing should also not expose body parks and display obscene pictures or language.
  • Every visitor is expected to wear dresses that cover the limbs and are loose fitted.
  • Women are not required to wear Dubai traditional clothing or cover their head with a hijab.
  • Women who are visiting mosques are however needed to cover their head and follow the Islamic cultures, and abide by the rules. You will get abayas at the mosque.
  • Nudity is forbidden in the Middle East. Acts of topless bathing, wearing bikinis outside of the beaches, pools, or water parks will not be tolerated.
  • The visitors should always remember that UAE follows conservative dressing rules and they should always respect that

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In UAE, the traditional emirati dress code is the black abaya for women and kandora for the men. The visitors to UAE are not required to wear the traditional clothes. The culture as well as the climate dictates the dress code that should be followed in the country which can be pointed as the following:

  • The traditional dress- Abaya has been adopted by the women in the country. It is a loose full length cover coat like garment that covers the women top to toe. It is plain colored and sometimes embellished with laces or stones. It is matched with a hijab or shayla.
  • Maxi or midi skirts and dresses, trousers that fit loose, and tops made with natural fabric like cotton or linen, are breathable than synthetics and will feel more comfortable than synthetic clothes.
  • Long or short sleeves are considered modest as compared to the sleeveless or spaghetti strap clothes.
  • A shrug or a bolero style jacket would be useful to cover your shoulders from the sun exposure.
  • Cotton leggings can also be worn under the short dresser to cover the legs.
  • You can go for Capri pants, culottes, etc for casual wears to cover thighs and knees.
  • Visitors can wear shorts, however, they should keep in mind that they should not be hot pants.


The Dubai dress for male and female should be followed keeping in mind their cultural sentiments that might get hurt if you try to dress immodestly. However, despite how the visitors dress, it is a criminal offence to verbally or physically harass women in the country.

  • Swimsuits are suitable to be worn at the beaches, swimming pools, and water parks. If worn elsewhere, you may be frowned upon by the locals.
  • String bikinis as well as thongs are also not considered appropriate even at the beaches.
  • Skin tight fitted clothes are an uncomfortable choice to wear during the summer days. It is also discouraged in public.
  • Shorts could be worn; however, they should not be hot pants. Men are requested to wear shorts that are at least mid thigh or knee length.
  • See through or sheer clothing is discouraged and should not be worn anywhere.
  • Plunging necklines showing the cleavage should be avoided.
  • Crop tops, low cut dresses should also not be worn in places that are visited frequently by families. They can be worn at bars or nightclubs though.
  • Micro skirts should not be worn anywhere.
  • The clothing mentioned above should never be worn at places of worship, government and municipal offices, and other official places.
  • Although this is rare, some malls have strict Dubai mall dress code and if they find someone who does not abide by the same, they may ask them to leave. So make sure you are dressed appropriately according to UAE malls rules.


You should be extra careful while visiting mosques. You may be disallowed and asked to leave if you are not dressed modestly. Your clothes should be suitable for the spiritual environment. So if you are planning on visiting a mosque as a part of your itinerary, you should cover your body parts. You will get konduras and Abayas (the UAE traditional dress for ladies) at the mosque.


A trip to the UAE is incomplete without the camel ride. The temperature in the desert is very hot during the day and just the opposite at night. So you should take enough warm clothes with you to cover yourself when the sun sets. During day time, opt for comfortable loose cotton clothing and comfortable shoes that will keep the sand from weighing down your feet. Also bring your scarf, hat and sunglasses to protect you against the scorching sun.


You can wear bikini on the beaches, though with some considerations:

  • Thongs are not tolerated.
  • Change your swimsuit before you leave the beach area or pool.
  • You should avoid wearing swimsuits inside clothing so as it becomes visible when the clothes get wet.
  • Topless sunbathing is illegal and would not be entertained anywhere in the country.

To remain on the safe side, the visitors should stick on to the one piece swimsuits.


Clothes that are highly provocative and see through are frowned upon by the public. If something like this happens with you, you will immediately catch the public attention. You should try to remain calm, apologize and try to go back to your hotel and change. Showing resistance or not taking their criticism in a good way might land you in legal trouble in UAE.

If you try and make the situation worse, you may get uncalled police attention.

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You can term UAE as conservative, but there are certain places where you can wear whatever you like. You should always remember to respect the culture and look for appropriate Dubai nightclub dress code or beach wear before visiting these places. Getting a little UAE dress code advice won’t harm you the next time you visit the UAE.

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