So, you’ve finally booked your trip to Dubai! Amazing news. We hope you are prepared for lots of sun, sea, delicious food and that feeling of luxuriousness!
We don't want to rain on your parade, but there are a few things to bear in mind when travelling to the UAE, and the Middle East in general, with respecting local traditions and laws being high on the priority list.
We know you’ve been working hard for your bikini body (and good for you!) but please note you’ll only be able to show off your new toned figure at the beach. Just remember that in Dubai, local customs are faithful to more conservative laws, and dressing inappropriately might offend some locals. But fear not, we’ve got you covered with a basic set of the dos and dont's.”
When you get off the plane expect to be greeted with that warm blast of humidity – that’s just confirmation that you’ve made the right holiday destination decision!
At the beach you are allowed to wear a bikini, although we’d suggest wearing a more conservative one rather than choosing something too skimpy. Even if you've got a booty like Beyoncé, we advise to leave the string-like attire behind. Topless sunbathing is actually illegal, so be sure to keep your goods contained at all times! As soon as you leave the beach vicinity, be sure to cover up your legs and arms – a kaftan is advised and light and easy to carry around, especially if you are at a beach front hotel. Most hotels are now a bit more liberal, but be sure to be respectful as not to cause embarrassment for yourself or others around.
We know that Dubai is an attractive destination for a couple’s getaway, and we couldn’t agree more, but it is highly important to be aware and be respectful of the rules. When you go away with your loved one, it is normal that you want to show that PDA whenever you get the chance, but you simply can’t do that in Dubai. “Holding hands for a married couple is tolerated but kissing and petting are considered an offence to public decency..
Public displays of affection, as well as sexual harassment or randomly addressing women in public places, is liable to be punished by imprisonment or deportation.”
Mr Bose, a partner at the Dubai-based law firm Dar Al Adalah, said: “The code of behaviour basically reflects the Islamic traditions of the country. Public decency and morality laws throughout the UAE are very strict.
If you would like to gain more knowledge about the do’s and don’ts of public affection and experiencing Duabi as a couple, then you can click here to read more.
If you have to take a taxi to and from the beach ensure your arms and legs are covered and that your neckline is not too exposed. Taxis can actually refuse to take both men and women who are underdressed.
Walking around the Souks is a must in Dubai. It is fun, and you can pick up some great traditional souvenirs for your family and friends back home. Be sure to have your shoulders covered, and wear shorts or a skirt that reach knee length. Contrary to popular belief it is not obligatory to cover your hair, although be prepared to have people look at you, but do not take offence.
If you are visiting a place of worship then it is advised that you cover up in a much more conservative way. You’d be better off wearing loose clothes which show off very little skin other than your elbows and ankles. When approaching the religious area there will probably be signs that say no shoes and ladies may also be asked to cover their hair in certain places – if this is the case they usually have a large shawl for you to borrow. Some places have male and female only areas, so be sure to adhere to these rules!
Shopping malls also have dress codes – they are all strongly air conditioned, so you wont feel the need to wear your skimpiest summer dress! Just be sure to not expose too much skin – leggings are acceptable so long as they extend past the knee and that would be better off paired with a longer top to cover your derriere. Cropped tops or clothing that shows your midriff is not advised unless by the pool area. (Trust us when we say that you genuinely will need a cardigan/jacket/shawl for being indoors in Dubai, that AC is on a different level!)
Be sure just to take a shawl with you if you are uncertain – you can use it to cover your shoulders, or fashion is into a long skirt if needs be. If someone gets upset and does happen to say something to you, just politely apologize. It is better than starting an argument, as if the authorities get involved this can cause more problems for you and completely ruin your holiday!
To summarise, when you are inside your beach resort or by the beach/pool, do not worry too much about your attire, just keep what we have stated above in mind. It’s when you are out and about, particularly in the Souks and any religious area, that you really must be aware of what you are wearing.
All you need to do is be prepared! If you have any additional questions then do not hesitate to contact any of our U&I Travel team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can tweet us @UILifestyleLtd.