When planning your trip to Dubai, the questions you may have are; ‘how conservative do you have to dress in Dubai?’, ‘How dressy is Dubai?’ ‘How hot is Dubai?’, ‘Can men wear shorts in Dubai?’ and ‘Can women wear a bikini?’.
When choosing what to pack for Dubai a lot of your decisions can easily be made with a little respect for the local culture. Dubai does welcome tourist and is quite liberal, however there are some instances where it pays to dress slightly more conservatively, covering your shoulders and knees, and other times where you can dress for your own comfort. We have put together a very simple guide for what to wear in Dubai for men and women.
WHAT CAN I WEAR IN DUBAI AT MY HOTEL?
Assuming you are staying at a 4 star or 5 star hotel, when you are in the hotel you can wear what you feel comfortable in. Bikinis for women and trunks for men are very acceptable at the pool, however many hotels do request you cover your swimwear when walking inside the hotel. When going for breakfast you can wear shorts, sundresses or strappy tops if you wish. For information about restaurants, bars and nightclubs in your hotel, please see below.
WHAT TO WEAR IN DUBAI ON A CAMEL TREK OR DESERT TRIP?
When on Desert Safari, you can wear whatever you feel comfortable in. During the day throughout the year it can be quite HOT in Dubai so you may want to wear shorts and a sleeveless top or a comfy sun dress. It is useful to note that the desert gets rather chilly in the winter month as the desert is always cooler than the city in the evenings. Bring something warm if you are visiting Dubai in December to February. Bring a little day pack or purse for your necessities. You will probably want to feel the pristine desert sand between your toes, we recommend flip flops or sandals that can easily be removed.
WHAT TO WEAR IN DUBAI SHOPPING MALLS?
It is a requirement in most shopping malls in Dubai to wear clothes that cover your knees and shoulders for both men and women. As the air conditioning can be quite cold in shopping malls, putting on a cardigan or pashmina over you summer dress can be quite welcome. Men are fine in shorts to the knee and a t-shirt. The shopping malls tend to be quite big in Dubai so we recommend wearing a comfortable pair of shoes as you tend to do quite a lot of walking!
WHAT TO WEAR IN DUBAI WHEN ON CITY TOURS?
Dubai doesn’t have one central ‘city’, but is made up of different areas. Most ‘Dubai City Tours’ are around the older and more conservative areas such as The Gold Souk, The Spice Souk and Textile Souks in Bur Dubai and Deira. Although there are no rules as such, wearing clothes that are slightly more modest will help stop people starring. It is definitely better than it used to be 10 years ago due to the influx of tourists, however ridiculously short shorts, miniskirts and sheer, see-through clothes are not recommended.
WHAT TO WEAR IN DUBAI WHEN VISITING MOSQUES?
There are only a few Mosques that admit non-Muslims that wish to visit for touristic purposes. Women will be required to cover their head and both men and women will be required to remove shoes before entering. Both men and women will be required to have their arms covered to the wrists and legs covered to the ankles. If tourists are not covered pashminas or abayas may be available to borrow at the entrance.
WHAT TO WEAR IN DUBAI AT THE BEACH?
It’s perfectly acceptable to wear swimming trunks, bikinis or one piece swimsuits on the beach but it’s disrespectful to walk the streets in a bikini or in shorts and a bikini top. It is illegal for women to sunbath topless. G-string or thong bikini bottoms are disrespectful and should definitely be left in your drawer waiting for your Brazilian or Spanish holiday.
WHAT TO WEAR IN DUBAI WHEN GOING OUT AT NIGHT?
If bars and nightclubs are your thing, then you can get away with wearing pretty much what you would back home. All bars and clubs sell alcohol so they are not frequented by patrons likely to be offended by your dress (or lack thereof). Men are normally not permitted in bars after 6pm in shorts and sandals. It is good to keep in mind your journey to and from the bar or nightclub as you may need to bring something to cover up if you are in public places outside the hotel.
WHAT TO WEAR IN DUBAI AT RESTAURANTS?
If you would like a drink with your dinner, then you will need to go to a restaurant that is located in a 4 or 5 star hotel as these are the only ones with a liquor license. Since they are in nice hotels people do tend to get quite dressed up and again men are required to wear long trousers and covered shoes. Sandals are fine for women. Other restaurants that are not licensed would be a lot more casual and you are more likely to be dining with other patrons that are more conservative so keep this in mind.
WHAT TO WEAR IN DUBAI WHEN WORKING OUT?
If you are at your hotel gym it is fine to wear your normal work out gear. If you go out for a walk or a run outside your hotel, then a little more consideration should be taken. Around new areas such as Dubai Marina or Downtown it is not such an issue and men and women can wear shorts and sleeveless or strappy tops. If you are in some of the older areas like Deira or Bur Dubai then a little more respect should be shown and wearing a t-shirt and slightly longer pants is recommended. - via Platinum Heritage
How Can I Use My Phone in Dubai?
Du and Etisalat are two companies that have shops in the arrival halls of all three terminals at the airport of Dubai where you can buy a SIM card right away at arrival without surcharge. For buying a SIM card you need to show your passport. They will photocopy it in the store and have you fill out some paperwork to set up your phone. Outside of the airport, Etisalat and Du are present with their own stores in the major shopping malls. In small mobile stores in downtown souks and markets, vendors offer discounted SIM cards but can sometimes be sketchy. Better to stick with the airport or mall.
To pre-pay for your SIM and pick up on arrival at the airport , visit: klook.com
You can also just opt to contact your service provider before leaving the USA and set up an International data plan.
How Does Currency Work?
The name of the currency in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates is the dirham (AED or Arab Emirate Dirham – also commonly abbreviated to Dhs or DH) You can read all about the money and banks in Dubai here : MONEY IN DUBAI
Why Do I Need Travelers Insurance & How Do I Get it?
All travelers are required to obtain Travelers Insurance before going on the retreat. This is to protect you in case you have to cancel your trip, in case your luggage gets lost and ESPECIALLY in case you have a medical emergency. We are blessed in the United States to have hospitals that are required to treat us - even if we don't have money on hand. Most of the world does not work like this. Many hospitals will not even talk to you until you can show proof of a Travelers Insurance Plan.
While emergencies are extremely rare, it sure does feel good having the peace of mind while abroad. You are welcome to use any company you wish. Below is a list of 3 Companies we are comfortable referring you to:
This is the company that I have used a few times and been very happy with them. I know a few people that have actually had to file claims through them and they said that it was handled very well. So this is my first choice: https://www.allianztravelinsurance.com/
The best thing to do is to call the companies directly and tell them that you want to ensure a trip to Dubai. They will ask you your age ,where you live etc. Then you will tell them the approximate total cost of your trip. You will just calculate how much you are spending on the retreat that you booked with us along with the cost of your flights. Then they will give you a quote. I think I paid $120 last year and Nelson paid 140 because he’s older than me . But that’s a good ballpark price. (If you are taking multiple trips this year, you can sometimes get a “bundle” with lower pricing.)
How Will I Get from The Airport to Our Hotel?
Here is some info on getting from the airport to Nikki Beach Resort. Uber will range from 59 - 74 AED ( $16 - 20 USD ) Taxi will be about the same. There is a taxi stand outside the baggage claim.
If you prefer to book airport limousine service, kindly see the following quotations: Audi A6, BMW 5 or Infiniti Q70 · Airport Pick up: Chargeable at 55 USD per way & per car · Airport Drop off: Chargeable at 45 USD per way & per car
Taxis can be hired most anywhere in Dubai. You can also use Uber or Careem App ( the Middle East version of Uber ) or Metro Train. We will also be in touch with some local drivers during the trip. Getting around will not be a problem and since we encourage you to not travel alone, you will surely have some new friends to split cab fares with while exploring the city. We are staying on the beach so I doubt you will use it ....but if you are curious about how the metro station works in Dubai, read here:
If I could only share ONE gem of travel advice with my friends, this would be it! After learning the hard way many times ( and lots of research! ) I finally found the only converter that works for hair styling tools! Many people think that an adapter is enough when traveling , but hair styling tools need a converter. The one pictured above can be found on Amazon Here.
The hotel will have hair dryers so no need to bring one.
For more great info on converting electricity in the UAEREAD HERE.
What are Some Essential Arabic Words We Should Practice?
While in Dubai, almost everyone will speak English just fine. However, it is helpful to memorize a few key words. This not only shows the locals that you respect their culture but can also help when communicating with drivers or guides in your free time.
I found a girl on YouTube that shares some great beginner Arabic lessons. If you want to get more serious about your practice - Check her out HERE.
Did We Leave Anything Out?
Below it is a copy of the PDF that I emailed to you with lots more tips. Be sure to read it!