Dubai wardrobe advice...(19 Posts)
I've visited Dubai quite a few times as have relatives there. Never leave the house without a pashmina and wouldn't wear shorts to a mall or out of the hotel. That is the advice of my female relative who lives there and has for five years.
I had to comment on this as it is something that really pisses me off. We live in Dubai and I absolutely hate it when you see Brits (and other westerners) in tiny shorts, strapless tops etc. Yes, you can dress like that but it's incredibly disrespectful of the local culture and religion and it's also pretty unnecessary.
If you are on the beach, by all means, wear a bikini. Equally, I dress in the same way I would back home when I go to bars/clubs. But if you are going to a public place where you are going to be mixing with a diverse range of people (including locals), does it really do you any harm to stick a cardigan on or change into some trousers? I absolutely hate it when I'm on the Metro and see people get on (residents and tourists) in shorts, strapless sun dresses etc. I always think it must either be ignorance or pure arrogance because the signs up at the entrance to malls, metro stations etc make it pretty clear that 'modest' clothing is required.
I would also agree with Binfull in that I often see skimpily dressed girls getting the arse at people (mainly men) staring at them and they don't realise that it's with disbelief/shock/offence rather than lust.
I am in an apartment at the Oceana on the Palm Jumeria.
Thanks MOS I have finally arrived after a snowy start in Zurich. The place we are staying at is immense. Can't wait to start exploring!
I agree with the posters who say to have a little bit of respect for the locals and their religion. I lived in the Middle East for over 6 years and although where I lived was more strict that Dubai I visited there numerous times. Although you CAN wear strapless dresses, you have to think about the other people around you. You WILL get stared at and sometimes that can make you feel uncomfortable.
OP I think you checking before you go shows that you do respect and appreciate other peoples customs and religions. I hope that you have a great holiday.
Thank you for the posts. I did want to check as I do feel it's respectful to other women to dress conservatively especially when you are an older tourist. I am 42 not 20 and am really talking about shorts and a sun top in a shopping mall and a strapless cocktail dress in a hotel restaurant. I will take a couple of wraps, shrugs or cardigans for the air conditioning anyhow.
I can see why living in Dubai you might take it for granted that you can wear what you like, as you have experience but I don't think it's wrong for a visitor to check as some people are also less self aware than others IYSWIM?
I have travelled extensively around Turkey, Egypt, Oman, Tunisia, Morrocco and Kuwait and there are different levels of acceptable dress for the many different areas and cultures, I wasn't really referring to the Muslim religion itself as the denominator. It might be "their" religion in Saudi but I certainly wouldn't make the assumption that I could stride around in skimpy clothing.
I'm sure a lot of people come back saying "yeah you can wear anything" but actually take no notice of people's reactions or sensitivity. This certainly seemed the case with the Russian clientelle in Hurghada in December when I attended a conference there. They stride around town in a bikini and cut off shorts with a thong poking out the top but are thick skinned to the local reaction and some girls seemed to see the male attention as "adoration" of their beauty rather than the fact that they came across as easy.
Think you should read a post properly before calling me a Moron!
I said it was a hypocritical place as the men are not meant to drink yet blatantly flaunt this rule and I said they are behind the times!
I never said the op was behind the times so read it again!
They wear normal modern clothes underneath their clothes! Do I agree with it No, but that doesn't mean I have to wear one.
I have said in every post that elegant dress in hotel restaurant and bars is ok I never said go out with nothing on everywhere you go in Dubai!
I see where you are coming from and I am fairly well travelled myself. I didn't say the op had to cover from head to toe and of course in the hotels etc its probably ok but it is still a muslim country and I wonder how accepting they really are.
Anyway this is in travel not AIBU!
didnt mean that horribly! but as someone who spends months in dubai every year, i just feel this whole clothing thing is totally blown out of proportion and misleading to tourists on a large scale.
Unless someone is going out looking like an utter slapper then they will be fine going for a meal with shoulders exposed!
I have been to huge emirati weddings, events etc and apart from locals everyone is in normal dress you would expect at any other wedding/party etc.
It gets on my nerves people go to dubai with a wardbrobe of clothes to cover up and then they arrive and see its not like that at all.
Their religion? That's what you blame so simply for women not being allowed to talk to certain members of society, or drive or having to cover from head to bloody toe?
They'd be imprisoned if they weren't covered up, how terribly idealistic to put it so simply.
Like everyone says- shoulders out and whatnot is fine at hotel bars and restaurants, but I'd cover up anywhere else. Not out of respect for their disgusting patriarchal laws, but to respect the women who live under the regime and have to conform to it.
Ignore the posters who are saying you are behind the times for asking such a question- anyone who thinks it's all dead modern is an absolute moron.
Well of course the local emirati women dont have their shoulders on show as that is THEIR religion and are in their traditional dress of an abya?! what does that have to do with anything? They dont expect us to wear it, the same as we dont expect them to remove their traditional garbs when in UK!!
Also in all the hotels you will go in of an evening the majority of people there will be tourists or expats and very few local women out in the evenings.
Local men, yes plenty!! but they are not meant to be drinking alcohol but believe me you will see them drink!! so isnt that hypocrytical?!
You think we should have to wear as the locals do, when they dont even follow their own customs??
little behind the times i think!
Well yes I soppose it fine for westerners to dress how they like but I can't imagine the local women have their shoulders bare but it is a while since I have been there, maybe things have changed.
please view these videos from you tube!
one is from the Al quasr Friday brunch, which is a must if you can make it!!!
the second is from the hotel next door (the mina a salam (also do a great friday brunch) but please the clothing people are wearing and make your own mind up!!!!
yes these are old as the most recent i could find online! but the same still stands
well my parents have lived their 8 years, my brother has had 2 children born there, we know lots of expats as well as emiratis and have never had a problem with the way we dress.
There is dressing trashy and dressing elegantly!
Yes you most certainly can go to hotel resturants with your shoulders out and dresses above knee and no one would bat an eyelid!!!
the only place i have ever been stared at (and wearing perfectly normal t shirt and shorts is when you go places like the gold souk and downtown etc, where it is prodomiently indian men who do gawk! ( and my sil who lives in dubai is indian before and racist comments!))
If you are going to the upmarket hotels (which most will have lots of nightclubs and bars), then wearing something elegant but showing shoulders is not a problem! as you will see for yourself!
i dont understand the huge misconception people put on dubai!, its like anywhere else in terms of dress!!! unless your planning on going out in an outfit like the programmes on magaluf, benidorm on the tv at the moment then you will be fine!
I remember been stared at a lot and I wore long sleeves. I just think you should respect local customs.
i wear strapless dresses all the time there! obv you dont go to malls with anything revealing on but strapless dress for dinner is fine! i wear (as does everyone else i have seen) exactly the same to dubai nightclubs as i would at home.
Its been quite while since I have been there but I would cover up. Maybe a pashmina?
Hi, off to Dubai next week just wondering if anyone can give me advice on clothing. Will be eating in a mix of restaurants, family and upmarket, doing a few activities and desert trip.
Is strapless ok or a no no, should I cover shoulders when out and about, or is it quite relaxed and liberal? I'm not really a skimpy dresser but I seem to have a large collection of halter tops for summer!
I don't wear bikinis normally a conservative one piece.
Grateful for any feedback!
Join the discussion
Please login first.