What to Wear in Dubai as a Woman – Clothes to Wear in Dubai for Tourists 

How to Dress as Women in Dubai Clothes to wear in Dubai
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How to Dress as Women in Dubai

Can Women Wear What They Want in Dubai?

I am a Dubai fan. Yes, I admit it. Dubai is great, definitely not perfect but a great travel destination. Are you worried to travel to Dubai as a solo female traveler? Well, you should not be.

Though I talk about the dress codes for females in Dubai in this post only, there is another post I have written which deals with the security aspect of Dubai and if Dubai is safe to travel to (find the post here). this post should only focus on the experiences I have made regarding clothes as a female in Dubai on my recent trips.

This post focuses on the experiences I have made regarding clothes as a female in Dubai on my recent trips – find the full guide for Dubai here or find out how to spend 3 days in Dubai).

Click here to find out about the latest prices for accommodation in Dubai

Do I Have to Wear a Scarf in Dubai?

First of all: Good news for most European etc. visitors. Though the United Arab Emirates are clearly Islamic, (foreign) women do not have to cover and can wear more or less those clothes they feel comfortable in.

The red Arabian dress I am wearing in the picture was not compulsory – I just thought it was so pretty, and so I wore it. 

However, there are some things visitors should know. What can a woman wear in Dubai? More information about the dress code for women.

In Dubai, most people are foreigners, so there are only a few Emiratis. This means that most people are from abroad.  

Foreigners are not only tourists but also people who work there, causing great impact on the Dubai dress code.

You can actually wear more or less whatever you desire. I always read that you are not supposed to wear too revealing clothes, but actually, I have seen all of them. Read this post for more information on What to wear in Dubai.

Find all my Dubai Posts Here

Dubai Clothing Advice for Tourists – Dress Code for Females in Dubai

 What to Wear at the Beach/Pool Area

What can women wear in Dubai at the beach? At the beach/hotel pool, women can wear bikinis or a bathing suit. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are still quite liberal, some other Emiratis aren’t. However, being topless, of course, is not allowed. And here are some clothes to wear in Dubai.

There are, as in most hotels, dress codes male and female for their restaurants etc.

These items are great for your day at the beach and pool in Dubai:

  • I am in love with kaftans – a perfect items for the beach, and it is great if you go back to the hotel/restaurant etc. as bikinis are not liked to be seen in the hotel itself.
  • Last but not least: A bikini, burkini, or any kind of swimsuit should not be missing on your packing list for some lazy days at the beach in Dubai (I probably would not take the smallest bikini you have).
  • You can also take some shorts and tops which you can wear if you leave the beach/pool area.

 What to Wear on Dubai´s Streets

Can I wear hot pants in Dubai? That is a question I have been asked several times.

When I left the hotel, I saw a lot of people in the metro, cafes, and restaurants wearing hot pants, belly tops, skirts, and other such outfits, thus proving that it is not forbidden. I assume, that many won’t even care or look at you.

However, I felt a bit uncomfortable with foreign workers, especially if you use the metro or in the old part of Dubai, Deira. So, I would recommend thinking about how to dress and if you do not like much attention take a light scarf so you can cover your shoulders etc.

A maxi dress should be totally fine for those who are bothered more by those looks (like me 🙂

These items are definitely a great choice for strolls in beautiful Marina, the Palm, or many other parts of Dubai.

  • Maxi Dresses– (with or without sleeves)
  • Skirts are good to wear, here you can go with long skirts or shorter ones, but I would not go for a mini skirt
  • If the weather is not too hot skinny jeans are a great choice 
  • T-shirts and tank tops are fine for most of the places
  • Shorts are okay, hot pants not so much (even if you see many Instagrammers with hot pants, this is actually not always appropriate).

Extra tip: If you visit the charming old part of Dubai, Deira, I would make sure to dress a bit more conservative. I felt kind of uncomfortable with clothes that were fine in other parts of Dubai. So, if you head to this part the recommendations for malls etc. is probably a better choice.

Click Here to Find Out About my Complete Packing List for Dubai

What to Wear in Malls/Restaurants etc.

There is a dress code if you go to Dubai Mall, where it says that wearing too revealing outfits should be avoided, but many Europeans/foreigners don’t care.

Of course, you don’t have to wear a head scarf or long pants, though it might make more sense than wearing a skirt especially when it is too hot. Most malls have a (well, not so strict) policy and naked shoulders are not allowed and skirts/shorts have to be knee length.

One day, when I waited for the taxi at Dubai Mall, there was a girl about 12 or 13 years old who wore hot pants that you could see her butt coming out, and then, on the other side, there was a really young girl, who was about 9 or 10, wearing a head scarf.

The family of the girl in hot pants was talking about the girl wearing the scarf and how inappropriate it was to dress in such a way. I am not sure what was worse, actually.

What to Wear in a Mosque in Dubai

Dress Code in a mosque – any mosque – is strict.

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Picture taken at the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi – dress code is the same for mosques in Dubai

What do I have to wear in the mosque? There are not many mosques open to non-Muslims in Dubai but you might consider visiting the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi which is, by the way, the most beautiful building I have ever seen.

At the Grand Mosque (also known as the Sheikh Zayed Mosque) they offer they offer free dresses/scarfs, and you are exactly told what you can and what you cannot wear.

You need to be aware that, in case you actually visit any mosque, you have to wear long sleeves, cover your legs and have a scarf with you because you have to cover your head as well.

In this case, there is not much difference to churches etc. – just a bit stricter. They take it very seriously, so there is no room for interpretation.

What to Wear in the Desert in Dubai

Dubai´s desert is an amazing destination and though there is no strict dress code, I would like to mention a couple of things for visiting this part of Dubai.

The desert can get extremely hot in summer-  and by extremely hot I seriously mean extreme heat. Once, I felt like ice in the sunshine – my feet were burning when I had the crazy idea to take off my sandals. It can get chillier in the evening, so take something to cover your shoulders (at least in fall, winter, and spring).

So, if visiting the desert take 

Extra tip, for great pictures, choose clothes that really pop – a yellow, red maxi dress or any other bright colo will make you look even more stunning in pictures :).

Conclusion

Although Dubai is Islamic, it’s still quite liberal.

However, keep in mind the heritage and do not “overdo” it if you do not want to cause any problems for you and put a bad light on the foreigners. When you visit the country during the holy month of Ramadan you must be extremely careful – during that time the dress code is very strict and you should re-think your visit if you do not want to stick to it.

Other than that, it is acceptable to wear skirts, shorts and show some skin. It should also be remembered that you must still respect the tradition of every country or every place that you go to. But with this post you have a good understanding about the dress code Dubai.

Find Out if Dubai is Safe for Female Travelers

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Important Travel Information for Dubai

Dubai is a fun city to visit with great tours and activities to see – before you plan your trip to Dubai check out visa regulations. If you fly with Emirates Airlines check whether they are free shuttle activities and shuttle buses.

What to Pack for Dubai

Read more about important things to pack for Dubai

10 Luxury Hotels in Dubai

Find out about the 10 luxury hotels in Dubai

Dubai on a Budget

Click here to find some budget travel tips for Dubai

Is Dubai Safe?

Is Dubai safe to travel to? Click here to find out

50 Best Things to Do in Dubai

There is so much to do and see in Dubai and here my top 50 tips.

Where to Stay in Dubai

Ready to visit Dubai? Then book your hotel but make sure to get the best hotel in Dubai rates by clicking here. 

Here are some of my favorite picks for your stay in Dubai:

Luxury Hotels in Dubai 

5* Atlantis – The Palm is my favorite choice for families, and people who like to relax at the hotel most of the time. It was the only time I did not leave a hotel property for 48 hours as there was so much to see and so…and so many options to use chill and eat.

Click here go find the best rates for The Atlantis -The Palm

5* Grosvenor House – The Grosvenor has become one of my favorite hotels (with the most beautiful lobby restrooms 🙂 It is one of the classiest places and since it is located in Dubai Marina it is perfect for those who like busy areas – perfect for business and younger guests that want to be in a fun location.

Find the best rates for accommodation at Grosvenor House here

5* Anantara – The Palm – This beautiful welcomes the guests in a traditional Thai atmosphere – the place is quiet and the beach is beautiful. Though the hotel is luxury the maximum luxury can be enjoyed in a overwater bungalow or private villa.

Click here go check out rates for Anantara – The Palm

5* Intercontinental Dubai Marina – This stylish and modern hotel is perfect for people who like to explore Marina – the staff was one of the friendliest and the location makes the place almost perfect (just the beach access is missing).

Find the best price for a stay at Intercontinental Dubai Marina here

5* Armani Hotel – Though I have not stayed at this hotel, this hotel looks pretty perfect to me – extremely elegant and the proximity to Burj Khalifa makes it one of the best hotels in Dubai.

Click here go find the best rates for a night at the Armani Hotel

Mid-Range Hotels in Dubai

4* Four Points by Sheraton Downtown Dubai – When I visited Dubai for the very first time I stayed at this hotel and was positively surprised by the high standard of hotels in Dubai. It is a beautiful hotel located in Downtown.

Click here to find the best rate for your stay at Four Points by Sheraton in Dubai

Budget Hotels in Dubai 

3* Ibis Al Barsha – a great budget hotel quite close to Dubai Marina. Simple but sufficient if you do not expect much.

Click here to find the best rates for Ibis Al Barsha

Book your accommodation in Dubai and find the best prices

How to Dress as Women in Dubai / Emirates Dress code

Always wondered what to wear as a woman in Saudi Arabia? Read this post to find out.