But the question of what to wear in Dubai can be tricky. After all, the UAE is a country with Muslim traditions which at the same time provides an ultra-modern lifestyle and has adopted many Western culture traits.
If you have chosen Dubai from all destinations in the UAE, then you can worry less. It is here where general dress code is not so strict in the eyes of public opinion. Spending time in Dubai and being in public spaces, you can feel quite free and dress “decently”, according to common sense. If you do not behave provocatively and do not walk in a bathing suit or too short skirt in one of Dubai’s Shopping Malls, then most likely you have nothing to worry about.
Much here depends on the area in which you are. Dubai dress code for tourists is relatively mild. But if you are heading to a place where the majority of the population consist of locals and residents, for example – in Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood, then the attention to you, as a tourist, will certainly be higher. And “flaws” in clothes will be considered under the magnifying glass of local traditions and beliefs.
But anywhere in the UAE, a situation is possible where someone will make a critical comment about your appearance. If it is controversial, then you may even be asked to leave the venue or shopping mall. In this case, it is better to stop the incident peacefully and fix the item of clothing that attracted attention. Since the heated dispute can end with a call to the police, a fine, and even in some cases prison time.
Nevertheless, in order to respect the culture of the host country, tourists need to know a few basic requirements for the dressing code in Dubai. Moreover, you may want to visit other areas of the country where public loyalty is not as high as in Dubai. Sometimes these are unwritten laws, and sometimes a clearly marked dress code. Such an official dress code, for example, may have large malls.
In Dubai women’s dress code, as it understood in the general sense, implies clothing covering the knees and shoulders This means the absence of short skirts or shorts, as well as tops on thin straps, clothes with transparent details, or clothing opening too much, like low-rise jeans and the like. Of course, a deep neckline is absolutely unacceptable as well.
But when choosing clothes, be guided by the general concept of decency. So, if you are wearing a dress just above the knee or a sleeveless office blouse, then this is absolutely acceptable. At the same time, a maxi dress that covers hands and knees, but through which you can see part of the underwear, can be considered offensive.
And of course, you should pay attention to the relevance of your clothes to your surroundings. On the way to the beach you can walk around in shorts and a sleeveless top, and you can be sure that most of the tourists will look the same. But in official places, and even more so in a mosque, both men and women should be dressed stricter.
Dubai dress code for men also exists. Too tight or short shorts can cause discontent among locals. Also, do not forget what exactly is written or painted on your T-shirt, many slogans or cartoons that in the Western world will be considered a risky joke will be criticized and considered offensive in the UAE. And of course, in official institutions or in a mosque, men should wear long trousers, shorts in such an environment are unacceptable.
Dubai and the UAE as a whole is a hospitable country and on the part of city guests it will be polite to carefully consider some restrictions, showing respect to the host country.
COVID-19 Pandemic had made its adjustments in the Dubai dress-code rules as well. Generally, everyone should wear a protective mask at all times, with such exceptions, as when eating, drinking, or doing exercises. It does not really matter, which type of mask it is, as long as it covers one’s nose and mouth.
Protective gloves in UAE are not required, and it is upon everyone’s personal feeling of safety to choose whether to wear them or not.