Long weekend in Middle East, what to wear?(14 Posts)
So I have a last minute long weekend coming up at a posh resort in the Middle East and I have no idea what to wear. Can anyone help with some suggestions? I am short (5ft2) and a bit overweight (size 14) with an hourglass figure, so while I love the idea of romantic, floaty dresses I fear I would look like a parachute with legs if I embraced the beautiful chiffon dresses I'm drawn to.
Due to the nature of the trip I will be pretty much hotel bound so just need a few dresses for evening meals and a couple of outfits for lunches through the day.
I have a budget of about £300 all in and I'm struggling to know where to look.
Any suggestions would be welcome.
Well I would suggest your usual jeans and tshirts for the day and dresses which cover your shoulders and past your knee for the evenings, no cleavage etc you must be modest. This obviously depends on which country and where you're going hotel wise.
It's starting to warm up there now, so I'd pack my nicest summer clothing. If you have a local boutique you shop at regularly, it can be worth asking what they have had in for summer, even before they put the stock out. I did this last year before a visit and got a few useful linen T shirts.
Some department stores may have cruise selections which could have some possibilities. It's also a good time of year to shop for swimwear bargains, especially bra-sized mix and match bikinis. ANd I'm trying to think of the names but there are companies that specialise in holiday clothes online year round for sandals and caftan type beach cover ups.
I’m in the same position and a similar size/shape!
I’ve seen some nice jumpsuits on ASOS. Or off the shoulder like this:
Be careful with your shoulders, you are not suppose to show your shoulders if you are Muslim and it's considered disrespectful to show them in the presence of other muslims.
A pashmina wrap sorts the shoulder problem out.
In fact, do take or buy locally a pashmina stole. If you're in Dubai you may not need it for religious/modesty reasons, but you will be grateful to have one as the AC is likely to be fierce/arctic! In fact, if you are going to Dubai, anything reasonably sensible is going to be okay (don't show the soles of your feet, and you need to keep your torso well covered except at the beach, but most normal day wear will not draw comment. The rules will be stricter in Sharjah, RAK, Abu Dhabi (a bit); Saudi Arabia is another game. Oman is lovely, the nicest of all, but sensibly covered will do for most places except mosques. All have international resorts and are happy to take international tourist money so have quite normal standards. Don't drink too much and get affectionate in public; it doesn't go down well!
OCsock has it spot on, Qatar is pretty strict also.
Another thought, and one I found surprising. Linen is considered sheer; I carefully put on linen trousers and long sleeved shirt to see the (spectacular) Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, and was surprised to be issued with an abaya. Have a lovely time!
Linen is considered sheer
How weird - I have worn linen in very conservative ME countries with no probs - in fact a long linen tunic with loos-ish trousers is one of my staples out there. Have never been to Abu Dhabi though.
Cover your knees, cover your shoulders, don't have anything too low cut.
You are unlikely to be coming here (we don't have a posh resort) but we have a max of 30C on Sunday. And a Min of 11C coming. So pack some layers for early in the morning, and in the evenings, but summer clothes for the rest.
I live in linen trousers and cotton teeshirts. Never had a problem in Bahrain in this get up. Saudi it's irrelevant!!!
What is the rest of the ME like with sandals? The local ladies here never show their feet. I will wear sandals, but only ever with neutral polish on - I wouldn't go out with sandals and bright red toes, for example. But that may be a uniquely Saudi, non-resort, thing.
And a Min of 11C coming
YY - don't assume it will be hot at night. I have never been so cold as in Jordan in February! (at night) I always take a pair of opaque tights - great to wear under trousers if you're chilly in the evening.
Sandals OK in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria (obviously haven't been recently), even Iran for tourists. Haven't worn them in the Gulf states.
I’m going to Abu Dhabi shortly and will take a costume and cover up for swimming, a couple of maxi skirts and light tops with sleeves for evening meals, knee length summer dresses or skirt and top for daytime visit to malls. You can probably get away with most things in resorts but I would steer clear of minimalist bikinis, micro shorts and excess cleavage.
Don't worry about being too dressed up. Although you'll see lots of jewellery and some people will go glam, it's really not a place where you need to be too formal. I've stayed in, and eaten in, an awful lot of v expensive places in the ME over the years and now don't bother taking any very smart outfits. Dressy top with skirt/ankle trousers etc for dinner is absolutely fine (plus a really warm wrap for the glacial a/c and cool air temps mentioned above). I wear maxi dresses a lot, with flats (never had a problem with showing toes etc - obvs not been to Saudi / Kuwait). Also lots of linen trousers in different styles, with floaty tops/vest tops with a shrug etc.
In almost every big international hotel you'll see women in teeny evening dresses especially as most of the hotels have bars and clubs open v late. Also bikinis at the pool. This isn't my style, but it does mean you don't need to worry too much.
If you've got summer clothes that you like and which suit you, they will almost certainly be fine. Don't stress yourself too much worrying about buying new stuff if you're going to be in the hotel most of the weekend. All you need is 1 outfit for any excursion you end up doing: something like a maxi dress + little shrug or linen trousers/maxi skirt + a t-shirt/blouse. One thin scarf for head and long-sleeved top if you think you'll want to visit a mosque or similar (most people would just take this as an extra layer to put on top of their short-sleeved top once they get there, and everywhere is air-conditioned so you won't be too hot).
Have fun, I am envious and in need of some sun right now!
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