Holidays are happy occasions where you get the opportunity to explore new places, learn a new culture, try out different varieties of food and meet new people. Packing for your holiday is as important as booking your tickets and making hotel reservations. Most of us pack clothes as per the climate of the place we are going to. If you are holidaying in a cold place, you would pack warm clothes, sweaters and jackets, while you would pack cotton clothes, shorts and t-shirts if you are holidaying in a place that has a warm climate. However, sometimes, the attire you wear during your holidays does not rely on the climate, rather on the culture of the place you are visiting. This rule applies to Dubai or rather UAE (United Arab Emirates).
Dubai is undoubtedly one of the most modern cities in the Arab world. The huge skyscrapers, the large malls, the chic restaurants, the luxurious hotels, etc. are the symbols of the growth and development of the city. Moreover, people from all over the world reside in this beautiful city. While Dubai looks like an ultra-modern city, it is still rooted to its religion and traditions. In short, Dubai is a Muslim country. While you do not have to wear a hijab or an abaya if you are a non-Muslim, it would be best to be slightly conservative while dressing up. Here are some points that will help you to know how to dress in Dubai.
There are several rules that women have to follow when it comes to dress code in Dubai. These should be followed when in public places like roads, malls, theatres, markets, public areas of hotels, etc. Take a look at a few of them:
· Western clothing of jeans, capris, pants with tops and blouses are allowed. However, refrain from wearing too revealing clothes.
· Your arms, legs and cleavage should always be covered.
· Do not wear clothes like tube tops, Daisy Duke Shorts, crop tops, mesh tops, miniskirts, etc. Refrain from wearing transparent dresses.
· In case you wear tube tops or spaghetti tops, it would be a good idea to cover yourself with a Pashmina shawl, cardigan or jacket.
· If you are wearing a short skirt or dress, it would be best to cover your legs with leggings. However, leggings should not be worn just with a top.
· Make sure that your undergarments are not visible through your clothing. This can cause you lot of trouble.
· If you are visiting a mosque in Dubai or anywhere in UAE, you would be required to wear an abaya, which would be provided at the mosque.
· You may be asked to wear an abaya while entering government and municipality buildings and sometimes hospitals too.
· In case you are working out in a gym or exercising in the open, do not wear too revealing clothes. Make sure your shoulders and legs (at least till the knees) are covered.
· Women can wear bikini on the beach or the pool area of the hotel. However, you should never go to public areas like shops and malls wearing beach wear. Restrict beach wear to the beach itself.
· Your bikini should not be too revealing. Do not wear thongs. A one piece bikini or shorts and t-shirt are ideal for beach wear.
· You are free to wear whatever you want in pubs and discos. However, you need to cover up properly while travelling from your home or hotel room to the disco. So, do not forget to carry a shawl or jacket.
Here are the rules that men should follow in terms of dresscode in Dubai. These should also be followed in public places.
· Men should not wear shorts that are too short. Do not come out of your home or hotel room in trunks or boxer shorts.
· If you wear shorts, make sure that they cover your knees.
· While the temperature of Dubai can soar as high as 40 degrees Celsius, in no way can you walk bare-chested in public. Wearing only vests is also not allowed.
· You can wear your trunks and shorts on the beach or near the pool area. However, do not wear these clothes in the public area. Carry something to wear over your beach wear while travelling from your hotel room to the beach or pool side and back.
· If you are visiting a mosque, you may be asked to wear a kandourah over your clothes. Even if you do not have to wear this attire, you would not be allowed inside the mosque if you are wearing shorts and sleeveless t-shirt.
· Several restaurants, pubs and discos require men to wear long trousers and covered shoes. Check the dress code of the venue before going for a party or dinner.
Dealing with Criticism
You must remember that Dubai follows Islamic law and as a tourist or an expat, you need to respect the laws of the country or city you are visiting or staying in. While going against the dress code of Dubai may not have legal consequences, it can bring in criticisms from locals. In case someone criticizes you for your clothes, do not shout or retaliate. It is best to apologize and change your clothes or maybe do some immediate modifications like wrapping a shawl or wearing a jacket. In case you retaliate, the police may get involved, causing you to pay a fine or get imprisoned too. One important thing you need to remember is that wearing bikini or beach wear anywhere else other than the beach or pool side is illegal and can have grievous consequences.
Dubai is quite open-minded when it comes to dress code in comparison to other Arab countries. Hence, while you enjoy the luxuries and modernity of Dubai, remember that you need to respect their culture and tradition. This will also ensure that you have a great and incident-free holiday.