What to Pack for Dubai

Packing List: What to Pack for Dubai

Wondering about what to pack for Dubai? Well, here is your complete Dubai packing list for your trip to this exciting city!

Dubai is an interesting destination – not only as a layover destination. It has nice beaches, interesting indoor places (well, a lot of malls), gorgeous hotels, and much more to explore. Dubai is quite westernized (read my post about What to Wear in Dubai as a Woman) and you can wear most of the things you wear in western countries as well.

And while you can buy everything you will need in Dubai yourself I have noticed that Dubai is quite expensive. So I normally do my shopping in Germany and buy everything I need to avoid unnecessary shopping in Dubai – I definitely recommend the same to you.

So I have listed all items that are essential to me (and you) and you´ll find a packing list with things you will need in Dubai:

It can get really, really, really hot in Dubai. Especially in summer – but even winter in Dubai is sometimes warmer than summers in Germany…. So my main advice is to wear bright, and light clothes mostly made of cotton. It can get chilly in the evenings (at least in winter), so some warmer jackets should be on your list. But before I say too much, better just check my list :).

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links –  this means, I might earn a small commission when you buy a product/service via may link (at no extra cost to you). More about it here.


Let´s start with the luggage to take for Dubai.

Luggage to Take

How to Choose the Perfect Luggage for Dubai

  • Suitcase: Though it depends, where exactly and for how long you travel, I recommend taking a good, light, and quality suitcase with you where all your clothes and most of your toiletries fit in. Dubai is not a backpacker´s paradise – though you will find all kind of people and travelers, I hardly (never?) have seen any “obvious” backpacker, so a real suitcase might be the better choice:
  • Carry-On: I normally always have an extra a carry-on luggage with me, and the good thing about Dubai is that it is totally safe – you never have to worry about your items, even if you choose an expensive piece of luggage.
  • Laundry bags are great if you travel for longer and don’t want your dirty and clean clothes to mix up.
  • Packing Cubes: Packing Cubes are the new must-items when it comes to traveling, they are very handy and they also come in cool colors.
  • Passport Holder, I need a passport when I travel to Dubai (ID is not enough) so I need a bigger wallet and I love the fun colors here.

Beauty Products and Toiletries to Pack for Dubai

If I travel for 10 days or shorter I take travel sizes toiletries which I refill with my natural and organic beauty products from home (shampoo, conditioner, hair masks, cleaning water and cleansing milk), if I travel for longer I take the original sizes.

More products that I need in Dubai (at any time of the year) – of course, this totally depend on your. Whether you use a lot of make-up or none at all (I don’t use a lot but need some other products to feel great).

Forget all the different small bags for shampoo etc. – get them all packed in a Toiletry Kit

  • A TSA Approved Clear Travel Toiletry Bag
  • Sunscreen – super important for Dubai
  • Travel bottles to refill -I refill them with my own organic products that I normally use (I do not use shampoo & conditioner provided by hotels)
  • Electric Hair Removal Epilator (razor etc.)
  • Face cream – (which I also use as a ]hand cream, so I do not have to take another cream)
  • Refillable Travel Size Perfume Bottle
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Mouthwash
  • Dental floss
  • Only use it when traveling: dry shampoo- (check size, and choose the small travel size)
  • Tissues
  • Deodorant
  • Refreshing towelettes
  • Magnifying make-up mirror
  • Nail polish
  • Nail polish remover or Nail polish remover pads
  • My favorite hairbrush (especially for longer hair) is the Tangle Teezer – or if you have less space take a comb
  • Hair ties
  • A small cosmetic bag with the following items:
  • Mascara
  • Rouge
  • Eyebrow powder (Taming & Shaping Kit For Brows)
  • Tweezer
  • Eyelash curler
  • Eyeliner – I sometimes use a black eye shadow as an eyeliner
  • Make-up brushes
  • Glass nail file
  • Cotton swabs

Here are a few more items which I personally do hardly use but which might be important to you, so I added them here:

hair spray, hand cream, foundation, powder, lipstick, sanitiser

Clothes to Pack for Dubai

  • Hats: A hat is more than just an accessory in Dubai, so my must-have item for Dubai is a stylish hat.
  • Sunglasses: Another must-have item in sunny Dubai: SunglassesRay-Ban seems to be always a great choice, but the most important thing is the quality (sunglasses are an investment in healthy eyes)
  • Handbags: What I really liked in Dubai is that you will see all kind of people with different styles. I did not feel uncomfortable wearing more expensive but also more affordable clothes and handbags. While I often recommend carry-on bags for traveling (because they are more practical and safer) I do not worry much about it in Dubai.
  • Jewelry: I love jewelry but since I tend to lose stuff, I do not wear much. One exception are watches: I am totally addicted to watches. Though, there are rumors that people do not take time so seriously in the Arabian countries I could not survive without any. I added a Rolex and a Chanel watch – it is Dubai after all, and for more affordable watches click here
  • Maxi Dresses – Dubai is made to wear maxi dresses, most of the time it is hot (warm) enough and it is also great for more conservative areas in Dubai.
  • Linen Trousers: Though I love maxi dresses, the best thing to wear when it is hot is probably linen trousers (which you can get here)-  combined with a cool tank top and nice flat sandals it can be super chic.
  • Skirts: You can wear short skirts in most places, some shopping malls actually have dress codes and do not allow too short skirts or shorts (though many do not follow the rules)
  • Some long skirts should be on your list.
  • Tops: The more the merrier – my rule for hot destinations. I love skirts/trousers which I can wear with tops that are easy to change and are made from cotton are other light materials.
  • Blouses: Some cute blouses should be on your list (for the evening, some places that do not allow naked arms, or for the winter).
  • Shorts: Shorts are okay for most places – I love them especially for the beaches.
  • Cardigans and jackets: It can actually get chilly in Dubai – not only but also after the sun sets. Though this might not be the case in summer, it definitely is for “winter”. So definitely take at least 1 or 2 cardigans or jackets.
  • Footwear: Since it is almost always hot, I am always happy to wear new flat sandals, flip flops, and ballerinas.

What to Pack for the Beach in Dubai

Swimming Suits: It is totally fine to wear bikinis in Dubai (topless is not allowed) but I would not necessarily recommend to wearing the smallest bikini.

I looove kaftans and think, it is best to wear from the beach back to the hotel room etc. Luckily, they look super cool these days.Beach Bag: Dubai is super safe and I assume you could leave your expensive designer bag at the beach – however, I recommend one of the cool beach bags, which are light, affordable, and stylish.

Flip Flops are my must-have for beach days.

If you have a great hotel with a private beach section, you probably do not need a towel. If this is not the case not it should also be on your list. If you do not have any beach towel yet. Click here to get your beach essential.

Do you prefer lying at the beach all day, or do you like to be more active? Though I do not a lot of sports most of the time, beach sports is much more fun. If you agree, bring your beach ball (click here to get yours), or a floating unicorn. Unfortunately, this is not part of the essentials in most hotels yet, so you need to get them yourself.

A reading book / Kindle is also a great idea for a day at the beach.

P.s. If you do not stay at a hotel with a great private beach you can still get access to the wonderful beaches of Dubai. Read more about day passes here.

Things to Pack for Going Out in Dubai

I am not much of a clubber (anymore), but I love dining in beautiful restaurants – Dubai is the place to dress up. You can never be too dressed up – well, that is partly true for Dubai.

So, high heels, dresses is surely the right way to dress in Dubai and thus perfect items to pack.

What to Bring to Dubai – Tech Stuff

  • I have my laptop with me whenever I fly.
  • A while ago, I thought my tablet  is the most useless item I bought in a while – since I can download from Netflix (and thus watch my shows offline) I have found one good argument bringing my tablet with me whenever I travel
  • My phone- without doubt one of my most useful and important (travel) item
  • Camera – Dubai has so many great spots that need to be photographed.
  • I have to admit, that I still don’t have a kindle, so a “real” book is often an essential
  • A day at the beach or pool would not be perfect without my iPod
  • Power Charger- how long does your phone battery last? Not long? neither does mine, so this  is an essential
  • Check if you need an International Travel Power Adapter

What not to Pack for Dubai

Dubai – or the UAE – in general has some pretty strict rules. So, as a normal person (as I am) I would be super careful with what I bring to the country. Make sure, you only bring medication that is allowed and no drugs, porn etc. 

I do not think, I have had my bag checked carefully in Dubai – when entering – but you never know and you do not want to risk starting your Dubai trip in a bad way. For a more detailed list with “things not to do in Dubai” check out this post.


Hopefully, this quick packing guide for Dubai has helped you planning your trip and you now know what to pack for Dubai. As a regular visitor, I have written quite a few posts on Dubai. Check out my post about the best tours to take in Dubai or, if you haven’t booked your accommodation yet, find out where to stay.

Safe travels!




Safe Travels, Arzo

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