What to Wear in Dubai: A Comprehensive Style Guide for 2023

Dubai, a glittering jewel in the heart of the Middle East, is known for its towering skyscrapers, high-end shopping, and an eclectic mix of modernity and tradition. However, planning your wardrobe for a trip to Dubai might feel like a conundrum. It’s vital to understand and respect the local culture while being comfortable and stylish.

Understanding Dubai’s Culture and Climate

Before discussing what to wear in Dubai, it’s essential to understand the city’s cultural and climatic context.

Dubai, as part of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), observes Islamic customs, which includes a modest dress code. However, it is one of the most liberal cities in the Middle East and allows for a fair degree of flexibility in clothing choices.

As for the climate, Dubai experiences a hot desert climate, with summer temperatures often crossing 40°C (104°F). Therefore, breathable, lightweight, and light-colored clothing is highly recommended.

Dubai Dress Code: Public Places

When you are out in public places like shopping malls, restaurants, or walking around the city, modesty should be your watchword. Here are some suggestions:

  • Women: Long skirts, trousers, or jeans paired with tops that cover the shoulders. While sleeveless tops are acceptable in many places, carrying a light shawl or pashmina to cover your shoulders can come in handy.
  • Men: Shorts, jeans, or trousers paired with t-shirts or shirts. While sleeveless vests are acceptable, they might not be the best choice for air-conditioned indoor environments.

Dubai Dress Code: Beaches and Pools

When it comes to Dubai’s beaches or hotel pools, western swimwear (like bikinis and swimming trunks) are perfectly acceptable. However, it’s recommended to cover up with a kaftan or a wrap when you’re not in the water.

Dubai Dress Code: Nightlife

Dubai’s nightlife scene is vibrant and exciting. For nightclubs, bars, or high-end restaurants, you can dress up. Women can wear dresses, skirts, or stylish jumpsuits. Men can opt for trousers, chinos, or dark jeans with a stylish shirt or polo.

Dubai Dress Code: Religious Sites

If you plan to visit religious sites like the famous Jumeirah Mosque, remember to dress conservatively. Women should wear clothes that cover their legs, arms, and hair. Men should wear long trousers and avoid sleeveless shirts.


For footwear, consider comfortable walking shoes for daytime exploration and dressier shoes for nighttime. Flip-flops or sandals are perfect for the beach.

Sunglasses and Hats

Don’t forget to carry a good pair of sunglasses and a hat to protect yourself from the intense Dubai sun.

Final words

With this comprehensive style guide, you’re now prepared to pack for your Dubai trip. Remember, it’s all about balancing respect for the local culture with your personal comfort and style. Have a fabulous journey to this city of wonders!



1. Can I wear shorts in Dubai?

Yes, men and women can wear shorts in Dubai. However, it is recommended to avoid very short shorts, especially in more traditional areas.

2. Is it necessary for women to cover their hair while in Dubai?

No, women are not required to cover their hair in Dubai unless visiting a religious site.

3. Can I wear a bikini at the beach in Dubai?

Yes, bikinis are acceptable at Dubai’s private beaches, hotel pools, and designated public beaches.

4. Can I wear sleeveless tops in Dubai?

Yes, sleeveless tops are generally acceptable in many places, but it’s a good idea to carry a light shawl or pashmina to cover your shoulders when required, particularly in malls or restaurants.

5. What is the dress code for visiting mosques in Dubai?

Women should wear loose clothing that covers their arms, legs, and hair. Men should wear long trousers and avoid sleeveless shirts. It’s a mark of respect towards the local customs and traditions.

Cover: Godisable Jacob (Pexels)

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