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Dress code for women travellers in Dubai

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Hi, I am heading to Dubai soon and I would like to respect the local culture. As a woman, how am I expected to dress? I.e is there particular parts of the body which should be covered and how short of dress is considered appropriate?
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Modified 9 months ago
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Here is the official advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom for travellers to the United Arab Emirates on the local dress code:

"Women should dress modestly when in public areas like shopping malls. Clothes should cover the tops of the arms and legs, and underwear should not be visible. Swimming attire should be worn only on beaches or at swimming pools.

Cross-dressing is illegal."

Their advice to UK expats living in the UAE is:

"Emiratis dress conservatively in traditional dress and can be offended when people dress inappropriately or not in accordance with Islamic values. In public places such as shopping malls, restaurants and parks, you are encouraged to dress appropriately. Clothing should not be transparent, indecently expose parts of the body or display offensive pictures or slogans. Be aware that if you enter one of these areas dressed inappropriately you may be asked to leave (most of the larger shopping malls display signs warning respectable clothing should be worn). Any form of nudity is strictly forbidden, including topless sunbathing. Swimwear should not be worn in any other area outside the beach, water parks, or swimming pools."

The UAE Embassy in the UK recommends the following:

" The dress code in the UAE is generally relaxed however visitors should take note not to wear excessively revealing clothing in public places, as a sign of respect for local culture and customs. Some Emirates adopt a more conservative dress code as well as some hotels. Swimwear is acceptable on the beaches and at hotel swimming pools.

As for the weather requirements, lightweight summer clothing is suitable for most of the year (summer, spring and autumn), though a light sweater or cardigan could be handy when visiting a shopping mall, hotel or restaurant where the temperature might be kept too low to counter the outdoor heat. Slightly heavier clothes are needed for the short winter season, especially in the evening."

The Dubai Mall, the largest mall in the world by its surface area, has an official Courtesy Policy that states that your shoulders and knees should be covered.
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Updated 8 months ago
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