Want to know what to include in your Dubai packing list?
The pride of the UAE (United Arab Emirates), Dubai is a melting pot of cultures and cosmopolitanism witnessing an influx of thousands of tourists year-round. From gorgeous beaches, communities, restaurants, and nightlife destinations to fabulously enticing shopping malls, major commercial hubs, fast cars, and the mesmerizing desert, Dubai offers a plethora of attractions for you to enjoy. However, Dubai, like the rest of the UAE, is conservative with stringent rules and regulations. This means when in Dubai, you should not only dress up but dress properly.
But don’t worry. In this article, we will give you all the details about what you should pack for Dubai and how to dress to visit different destinations in the city.
Dubai Rules and Regulations
The UAE is an Islamic country and is traditionally more conservative than what you would expect across several North American or European nations. So, when in Dubai, be mindful of the differing expectations for women and men along with their modes of interaction. Following are some of the general rules on how you should behave and dress during your trip to Dubai:
Dress Codes for Both Genders
- Dress modestly with your chest and shoulders covered.
- Loosely fitted casual and formal wear is allowed.
- Dresses and skirts should be at least knee-length. Anything above it is not allowed.
- Tight, fitted, or see-through clothing is prohibited.
- Don’t wear T-shirts with inappropriate or offensive slogans.
- Swimsuits and bikinis are only allowed in private beaches or pool areas. Burkinis, sports suits, and wetsuits are allowed on public beaches and water parks.
General Rules of Conduct
- Avoid public displays of affection in Dubai, irrespective of your relationship status. It is illegal.
- Refrain from taking pictures of anyone without permission.
- Do not talk to women, shake hands with them or touch them casually.
- Avoid drinking in public and smoking in government areas, shopping malls, and offices.
- Do not swear or get involved in aggressive arguments in public.
- While drug abuse is strictly prohibited in Dubai, you should also ensure that the prescribed medications that you are taking with you are legal in the state.
- Homosexuality is illegal in the UAE. Fines of up to 10 years in jail and a death penalty under Sharia Law.
What To Place in Dubai Packing List?
You need to pack a lot of things when taking a trip to Dubai. And, since Dubai has set dress codes, Dubai packing list must have the right clothes for your trip along with other necessities is essential. Check out the list below to see what you need to pack for your Dubai travel.
General Dubai Packing List
- 3-5 pairs of socks which are breathable and can dry quickly, considering the heat.
- 5 pairs of undergarments.
- 3-5 tops to keep the shoulders covered and layering.
- Pajamas and a pair of leggings/tees/shorts.
- 1-2 sets of workout apparel without opting for yoga pants/tanks.
- 1-2 pairs of casual Capri/shorts/skirts covering the knees.
- 1 pair of sandals or flip-flops.
- A pair of comfortable shoes for walking.
- A cardigan, lighter jacket, or sweatshirt.
- A warp or sarong that covers the shoulders.
- A swimsuit strictly for the hotel pool.
- An elegant outfit for a night out in Dubai.
- A pair of elegant shoes for venturing out at night.
- If you are going on business, then women should consider formal trousers and shirts with suits. They may consider business dresses as well with suitable covering.
Vacationing in Dubai in Different Seasons
Dubai is mostly surrounded by deserts and has a flat coastline. Owing to its hot and arid climate, the city experiences hot and dry summers and mild and short winters.
However, the best time to visit the city of gold for a wholesome experience is in the winters when temperatures are between 17 and 30 degrees celsius. The transition months can also be enjoyable as temperatures mostly range between 25 and 38 degrees celsius. Discover what clothes you can wear in each of these seasons below:
Although day temperatures are pleasant in Dubai, at night, it becomes chilly. So, both men and women can pack some cardigans, sweaters, long jackets, and pants. Women can also wear long skirts and dresses during this season.
Summer and Transition Months
Vacationing in Dubai in the summers can be painful as the mercury rises to a scorching 55 degrees centigrade. So, if you are traveling to the city between April and August, pack some light cotton clothes to breathe easily.
However, always carry a light cardigan, hoodie, or shawl in your bag, as almost all the buildings have the air conditioners running in full blast. So, when you enter any of them, it is like you have been transported from the hottest to the coldest place in seconds. Carry a similar set of clothes if you are going to Dubai during the transition months of September and October.
For Dubai Sightseeing
Dubai is a cosmopolitan metropolis with a stringent dress code. However, these dress codes become more important when you are visiting places like mosques, souks, and museums. So, let’s get all this straight so that you can arrange your itinerary likewise and have the best time in your Dubai vacation.
Mosque & Souks
For women, t-shirts, jeans, pants, and long dresses are great choices to visit mosques and souks (Arab markets or marketplaces). You can even wear a traditional salwar kameez or caftans. You will have to cover your head when visiting mosques. Men can wear any casual full pants or trousers or kurta pajama for that traditional look. As for shoes, wear sandals, trainers or flip-flops.
When visiting shopping malls, you can wear knee-length or long dresses with short sleeves. Sleeveless dresses are also allowed in the mall. You can also wear any casual tops, t-shirts, jeans, and pants and accompany them with any shoe or flip-flop.
Men can wear any casual or formal attire, including cotton pants, trousers, jeans, knee-length shorts, shirts, suits, t-shirts, vests, and the like.
Eateries and Restaurants
Brunch and dinner dress codes are mostly casual but make sure that you look respectable and decent. Avoid wearing clothes that expose too much skin. Always wear your shoes. You will not be allowed barefoot or in swimsuits in the hotel brunch area if you come straight from the pool. Dinners are fun in Dubai as you can wear anything you want without being indecent. Ladies can get ready to party in their cocktail dresses.
However, make sure you are dressed in smart-casuals or formals when dining at some posh hotel like Atmosphere in Burj Khalifa or Skyview Bar at Burj Al Arab. It’s mandatory on your part to maintain the dress code of the restaurant you are having brunch or dinner in.
When you are going on a desert safari, be mindful that you will be staying there for an entire day. So, wear loose and as comfortable clothes as possible. Make sure not to wear anything short as the desert sun can burn your skin, and the local driver can be conservative. Caftans or long dresses are the best choices for women to wear. Men can wear shirts and t-shirts with any pants. For both men and women, wear sandals with straps around the ankles.
Apart from clothes, there are several other essentials that you need to carry on your Dubai trip. These include toiletries, gadgets, documents, etc. So, check out the list below to not miss out on any of them while preparing your Dubai packing list.
Toiletries To Pack
- Baby wipes/tissues.
- Shampoos and conditioners.
- Toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Hair products and accessories.
- A scarf or buff for desert outings.
- Contact lens solution if applicable.
- Shaving essentials.
- Sanitary products and makeup options.
- Insect repellant.
- Baby powder.
- More sunscreen products.
- Hats and caps.
- Pen and diary.
- Rain jacket, umbrella, and poncho only for the period between December and March.
- Travel insurance.
- Eco-friendly water bottle.
- Tiny purse/wallet.
- Phone and battery pack.
- Your medicines and essentials. Know the generic name of medicines you are taking to find their counterparts in Dubai as well.
- Copies of all immunizations/prescriptions, the phone number of your doctor, and details of your travel/health insurance.
- Ibuprofen, Imodium, Benadryl, Paracetamol, Antacid tablets, and the like.
- Asthma inhalers, allergy medicines, and eye drops.
- Anti-diarrhea products.
- Hand sanitizer.
- Anti-itching cream.
- Balm for muscle sores, headaches, and sinus-related problems.
- Essential oils for wellness.
- Band-aids or bandages.
- List all allergies ahead of your trip.
- E-reader with its charger.
- Headphones, smartphone, chargers, and external battery pack.
- Voltage/adapter converter for UAE outlets.
- Memory cards, chips, and cables with the camera.
- Computer/laptop/tablet and chargers.
- External HDD (hard disk drive) or portable flash drive for back-up purposes.
Documents To Carry
- Visa or E-visa
- A negative COVID – 19 RT PCR test certificate for test taken not more than 48 hours before departure along with QR code.
- Health certificates
- Travel insurance
Spending time in Dubai is truly a wonderful experience. You will revel in the countless attractions and love the cosmopolitan ambiance of the Emirate. However, always pack things that have a specific purpose and remember to dress modestly. Respect the local culture, stay open towards cultural engagement, and keep applying sunscreen as much as you can. Don’t forget to carry the required documents and your medical kit. Happy traveling!
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