Dubai dress code: What to wear in Dubai on any occasion. A guide for tourists!

dubai dress code

When going abroad, no matter where we go it’s always recommended to follow the culture in that country. Dubai is well-known for having a particular dress code for particular occasions and can often get confusing when trying to decide what to wear in Dubai. We’ve come up with the dress code for male and female tourists in Dubai to ensure you have the perfect holiday in Dubai that you’ve been dreaming about. For more information, also check out our blog post with plenty of tips for first time visitors to Dubai.

Beach or by the pool

Women – When in the water, “modest swimwear” in Dubai is encouraged to help cool you off. So women, bust out the bikinis and shove them in your suitcase as you’ve got the go-ahead. However, don’t sunbathe topless as it is illegal. It is important to remember that when you’re moving from out of the water to the hotel or restaurants nearby, you must cover up again, especially if you’re going inside. When moving around, the Dubai dress code is to cover up so we recommend for women a maxi dress.

Men – The dress code for male tourists in Dubai is fairly similar to women so feel free to wear whatever swimwear you wish but as soon as you get out of the water it is encouraged to cover up. Throwing on a shirt and some shorts is probably the best bet when walking to and from the water.

Souks, Malls and in between

The popular large malls have an official policy on what you should wear in Dubai.  If you do not dress appropriately, it can be very embarrassing with a security guard approaching you about your clothing.

Women – For women we recommend wearing a shirt that covers your shoulders (or a light cardigan) as well as trousers or skirts that cover your knees. The air conditioning will be on so you won’t need to worry about getting too hot inside.

Men – Again, Dubai clothing for men is similar to women so make sure to wear something that covers your knees and shoulders so no muscle shirts or shorts that you might wear if you were in the Caribbean.


Mosques are extremely strict, it is a place of worship and so you must respect and abide what they are asking of you.

Women – A head scarf must be worn to cover your hair so be sure to carry one around with you in your handbag; women must also wear long sleeve tops and loose clothing. If it is not acceptable, do not worry, generally the mosques will be able to lend you a black gown or a black headscarf. Shoes must also be removed before entering.

Men – The appropriate Dubai clothing for men is a little more lenient. You must cover your knees and shoulders with loose clothing. If you are not dressed appropriately, you will also be able to borrow clothing before entering the mosque and your shoes must be removed.

In the desert

In the desert, the Dubai tourist dress code isn’t as strict as in public areas. Shorts and tank tops are okay to wear however, it isn’t recommended. You need to think about what activity you will be doing and what you will be most comfortable wearing, we recommend stretchy pants; short sleeved shirt and a jacket or jumper as it does get relatively cold at night.

With the dress code for men and women in Dubai being fairly similar, it is worth remembering what is deemed appropriate when packing. Be sure to always carry an overall with you ladies to cover up your shoulders and following the tips we’ve mentioned should be absolutely fine. It’s not that hard to remember, right?

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