Mosques – Although we have covered a few pointers on this, we can look at this section with a bit more focus. When visiting places of worship in the Middle East, it’s imperative that you respect the dress codes that are instructed on the signs as you enter.
At the mosque, you will be required to remove your shoes and if your regular clothes require more cover, abayas and kandouras are available that can be worn over whatever you are already wearing. In some instances headscarves are kept for women, but it’s better to bring along your own. Finally, make sure that whatever you choose to wear before entering a Mosque is not too tight or revealing.
From Souk Markets to Shopping Malls – You will come across quite a few foreigners whom blatantly ignore the notices and signage requesting appropriate attire. You will find these signs at most malls and public markets, but in smaller restaurants outside malls you’ll find none.
When heading out in public, you’d want to avoid a potentially mortifying situation of coming face to face with a security guard, asking you to cover up. This applies to men too. No muscle tanks or short shorts.
Ladies, now’s the time to live your finest fashionable moment in a lightweight jumpsuit and a silk shawl to cover your shoulders with. Covering up has never looked this good. Gents, follow suit with tapered Bermuda shorts that drop on the knees and a summery linen shirt. Finish off the look with a fedora and canvas sneakers.
Desert Safaris – Out there in the open, it’ just you, nature and camels – Your guides won’t care much for what you choose to wear, but again: it’s all quite conflicting. As long as you don’t show up in your Daisy Dukes and revealing tank tops, then all should be fine.
I would opt for classic linen and cottons to make your camelback trip an enjoyable one.
Dubai Opera and Nightlife – Dubai Opera… It’s glorious. Dressing up is a must. It’s a fantastic experience if you can afford it, and while there is no official dress code, you will stand out like a sore thumb if you show up in casual attire, and will get some pretty dirty looks to boot.
Smart dinner jackets with bow ties and tailored trousers will set the tone for rubbing shoulders with the elite of Dubai. Keep your colors neutral and do yourself a favor by going for a local grooming/shaving experience.
I have seen women arriving at the Dubai Opera in ball gowns and sleek designer dresses, but you can also put your unconventional foot forward with slim, tailored pants and a ‘blingy’ blouse. Accessorize with statement jewelry and your best heels.
Dubai Nightlife – The parties happen inside (on top of) most hotels and private resorts and beaches, since they are the only places that are allowed to obtain a liquor license.
At most clubs and bars (even some pubs) men are stopped at the door when showing up in flip-flops and shorts. Your beach-look stays down by the shores. Wear your dress shoes, smart sneakers, trousers or jeans. Team it up with a nice shirt and your most dashing smile.
Women in Dubai most certainly dress to the nines when heading out. It’s a sight to behold, so be well prepared if you are heading out for a bit of a soiree.
Pack your halter neck, sleeveless Bodycon mini dress and your most eye-catching heels. You’ll thank us later…