A Guide To Wearing Swimwear in Dubai

Dubai is one of the trendiest destinations in the Gulf region. It is great for shopping, beaches and luxury breaks or spa holidays. Dubai has some of the most stylish hotels and resorts in the world, and the shopping centres are famous too.

What to wear on the Beaches

Dubai has a beautiful coastline on the Arabian Gulf with lots of sandy beaches. The beaches are clean, sunshine is almost guaranteed and there are great water sports opportunities. Many beaches in Dubai are private and belong to the many luxury resorts or private apartment complexes. If you stay in a resort in Dubai, you will probably have access to a private beach with excellent facilities. Non-guests have to pay a fee to access these beaches. On private beaches most beachgoers will be foreign tourists or expatriates.


Dubai is the most relaxed part of the United Arab Emirates, and it has an international population. Nevertheless you are visiting a Muslim country, and it is important to respect local culture and to wear appropriate clothes. When sunbathing on the private beaches that belong to hotels and resorts, normal swimwear is fine and women can even wear bikinis. Nude or topless sunbathing is not acceptable even on the private beaches.

However, when you leave the beach to go back to your hotel room, or to have a drink in a
restaurant, you will need to wear clothes again. Wrapping up in a towel is not enough, even if you are simply walking back to your room through the reception area. This applies to both men and women. Dubai also has public beaches that are free to enter. Many people on public beaches wear clothes even when swimming, and you may feel more comfortable if you wear a t-shirt and shorts rather than swimwear.

What to Wear When Shopping

Dubai’s shopping centres have large signs at their entrances that inform visitors about appropriate dress codes. Women should cover their shoulders and their knees. Three-quarter pants are fine for men (or women), and t-shirts that cover the shoulders are fine too. Anything see-through, too tight or skimpy is not a good idea. If you are wearing a spaghetti-strap top or a dress, an easy way to cover your shoulders is to use a scarf or a shawl. The shopping centres, restaurants and other indoor spaces are air-conditioned and can be quite cold, so it is a good idea to bring something long-sleeved anyway.

Dress codes for men are simple, as long as you wear a shirt and your shorts are not too skimpy. Shorts are worn widely, although they should probably be the longer rather than the shortest variety. Walking around without a shirt on is only acceptable on the beach or by the pool.

Dubai is a great destination, and more than 120 airlines fly there. Emirates is the national carrier. With so many daily flights to choose from, it is easy to find cheap airfares via Momondo so you have more money left for shopping.

Author Bio: David Bell is a freelance writer and blogs about travel, interior design, online marketing, telecoms and small business solutions. Follow him on Twitter @DavidBellWriter

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