What to wear in Dubai

A playground for the rich and famous, Dubai’s streets are defined by extravagance. From super-cars to skyscrapers, the UAE city is a hotspot for those looking to indulge in the finer things in life. However, you’ll need to follow the fashion rules during your time in this majestic city. Here, designer footwear retailer, Daniel Footwear, shows you what to wear in Dubai:

Dubai has a distinct fashion divide. On one hand, Emirati women can be seen wearing traditional dress, including an abaya (long black robe), sheyla (scarf) and sometimes the niqab (face covering). Expats and tourists, on the other hand, tend to adopt more Westernised styles. When visiting Dubai, tourists aren’t expected to adopt traditional dress, however, it is assumed that you will remain respectful of the city’s dress codes.

Dress codes can vary depending on where you’re visiting. The following is intended as a guide only and you should always double-check the specifics of the dress code beforehand.


At the pool or beach

With sweltering temperatures, you’ll undoubtedly want to take a dip during your time in Dubai. Whether you’re lounging around the hotel pool or dipping your toe into the Persian Gulf, you’ll need to dress right if you want to look the part.

At hotel pools, there are generally few rules regarding swimwear, although you shouldn’t go topless. Likewise, you may be asked to cover up if you wear thong or revealing bikinis. To complement Dubai’s thriving, colourful culture, choose a bikini or swimsuit in a bold print or colour — rich jewel tones are a great choice.

To the mall

If you enjoy a spot of retail therapy, Dubai is definitely the destination for you! The Dubai Mall is more than just a shopping centre. Home to the likes of Christian Louboutin, Chanel and Tiffany & Co, when you’re not browsing the luxury boutiques, why not visit the in-mall aquarium or ice rink?

So how do you dress for Dubai’s prestigious, do-it-all malls? Most will have dress code signs near their entrances, although there are some general rules to follow to make sure you don’t have to dash back to the hotel and delay your shopping trip any further.

The malls may be located near the beach but it’s not acceptable to stroll off the sand and into the mall while still wearing your swimwear or short-shorts. Avoid wearing bikini tops, sleeveless tops, short skirts and sheer or revealing clothing to the mall.

Dress codes will vary from mall-to-mall, but covering your knees and elbows is generally a sign that you’re dressed appropriately. Chic maxi dresses are a great option — wear yours with a thin cardigan cover-up. You may think Dubai is too hot for knitwear but trust us, the air conditioning in the malls makes it feel exceptionally cold, so you’ll likely be glad you covered up.

In terms of footwear, flats are a great choice. The malls are huge, so leave the heels behind if you’re planning a serious shopping trip!


On the tiles

You’ve soaked up the sun and shopped ‘til you dropped; it’s time to head back to the hotel to get ready for a big night out in Dubai. You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to city centre hotspots, with a huge range of fine dining establishments, cocktail bars and popular nightclubs to choose from. As these are normally located in hotels, the dress code offers a little more freedom.

In hotel bars, restaurants and nightclubs, you can flash a little more flesh — with short skirts, sheer detailing or sleeveless dresses all acceptable. Pack your cocktail dress and go-all out with glitzy accessories and party-ready heels. If you’re venturing outside of your hotel, you should always check what the dress code is.

If you’re jetting off to Dubai this year, make sure you pack the following in your suitcase:

ü  Cocktail dress

ü  Cover-up cardigan

ü  Party-ready heels

ü  Colourful swimwear



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