A suitable dress for Old Dubai

You will need a suitable dress for Old Dubai. When visiting Dubai you need to be culturally sensitive. That especially means you should dress for Old Dubai appropriately.

When it comes to finding a suitable dress for Old Dubai it can seem like a minefield! On a recent trip there I took loads of clothes and asked for lots of advise. Often the advice given sounded pretty strict and I’ll cover that below, but in my actual experience and the experience of other more regular Dubai travellers it’s a little more relaxed in practice.

I wanted to discover the delights sightseeing Old Dubai the stylish way and I didn’t want to be covered head to toe. I wanted to keep my identity as a Western women yet be respectful at the same time.

 

A Suitable Dress For Old Dubai. Advice and experience on how to dress culturally sensitively in Old Dubai as a Western Woman.

 

PIN for later!

You will need a suitable dress for Old Dubai. When visiting Dubai you need to be culturally sensitive. That especially means you should dress for Old Dubai appropriately. When it comes to finding a suitable dress for Old Dubai it can seem like a minefield! On a recent trip there I took loads of clothes and asked for lots of advise. Often the advice given sounded pretty strict and I'll cover that, but in my actual experience and the experience of other more regular Dubai travellers it's a little more relaxed in practice...

 

You will hear that you shouldn’t this and that – but in general most outfits are tolerated as long as they are not too daring. Dubai is made up of 90% foreigners so it is quite liberal compared to other Emirate states. On our trip to Old Dubai we saw it all. Women were wearing straps, shorts and body clinging dresses.

However, in historic areas of Dubai, where there are a higher local population it is more appropriate to dress according to their codes.

 

A Suitable Dress For Old Dubai. Shoulders Should Be Covered.
Shoulders should be covered.

Shoulders should be covered and showing bra straps is considered highly offensive and is prohibited.

As a Western women you aren’t expected to cover your head, unless you are in cultural areas i.e. Mosques and, I was told by our hotel concierge, Museums.

 

A Suitable Dress For Old Dubai As A Western Woman.
No need to cover your head at the Souks.

The next ‘danger’ zone is the cleavage. You shouldn’t show one. But you can still get away with a flattering V-neck as long as it doesn’t plunge too deep, which is highly prohibited.

This dress is the one I’m wearing and it shows just enough to be flattering but respectful. I wouldn’t go ANY deeper than this!

This dress has a rounded neck, with a slight V at the back, so if you are at all concerned it’s a safer bet. I love the pattern AND it’s on SALE!!

 

A Suitable Dress For Old Dubai. No Cleavage Allowed.
No cleavage allowed.

This dress is the same shape as my flattering dress, but is a gorgeous shade of pink.

I love it’s pockets – because the material is so good, you can hide a mobile in the pocket without a horrible bulge!

 

A Suitable Dress For Old Dubai. Stylish Dress For Women.
Pockets for a light head scarf and a lip balm.

The weather can be extremely hot but it is unadvisable to wear a dress higher than your knees when in the historic and cultural areas of Dubai.

Whereas my choice has a subtle split at the front this dress covers your legs a little more! It has a very flattering tulip shape, with a back split hem.

 

A Suitable Dress For Old Dubai. Cover your Knees.
Cover your knees.

What is confusing when deciding how to dress for Old Dubai is you will see other Western women wearing strapy or cleavage showing tops and short skirts – but personally I would be mortified if I was stopped and given a warning, a police arrest or fine. If you wear ‘offensive’ clothing in certain areas, you take that risk.

 

A Suitable Dress For Old Dubai.

 

Maxi dresses with sleeves are the safest bet. But, I loved this dress and felt comfortable in it. I didn’t receive any bad looks or unwanted attention.

 

A Suitable Dress For Old Dubai.

 

This dress is gorgeous and very similar to mine, except a bit longer on the sleeves. It is designed for the fuller figure with sizes 18 and up!

The restaurant we visited in Old Dubai was full of tourists and therefore the dress code was relaxed. Which meant I felt perfectly relaxed with my knees showing as I sat at the table.

 

A Suitable Dress For Old Dubai.

MY DRESS

 

It is a confusing place to be as I felt I was dressing relatively conservatively to other Western women, even around Old Dubai. However, even though we saw women entering the museum with tee-shirt and shorts on and strapy dresses, I chose not to enter without a headscarf.

 


Disclosure: I get commissions for purchases made through the links on this page. There is no extra cost to you and everything I pick I love and would 100% wear myself! Thank you so much for supporting my business and the brands that support my blog.

 

I hope this has helped you with ideas on how to dress for Old Dubai – or if you just like looking at pretty dresses! If you want to read more about the dress code in Dubai click here. My advice is based on my experience (and the experience of others), advice received directly and items read.

Let’s stay connected!

FACEBOOK          |          INSTAGRAM          |          TWITTER          |          PINTEREST

Other fashion posts you might like

 

The Perfect Dog Walking Dress

 

Jumpsuits For Women Over 40

 

Other Dubai posts

 

Things To Do In Old Dubai

 

Things To Do In New Dubai Outside Your Hotel

 


Linking to #fakeituntilyoumakeit  | #HoneybeeLinky  | #iwillwearwhatilike  | #TriumphantTales  |   #TurningHeadsLinky  | #BloggerClubUK  | #fortheloveofBLOG  |  #TBBstylelinkup  |  #StyleontheDaily  |   #OhHeyGirl  | #Brilliantblogposts  |  #FashionShouldBeFun  | #TopoftheWorldStyleparty  |  #hellomondaylinky   | #Twosdaylinkup  |  #stylefile  |  #foxydomesticside

68 Comments - Write a Comment

    1. Don’t be fooled – this dress hides a lot of my flabby faults (it’s a great material)! The style is really flattering for curvy women, which is why they make them in extra curvy sizes! x

      Reply
  1. What a lovely dress. Living in Qatar where we have to dress like this all the time it is so hard to find clothes that cover shoulders, knees AND cleavage! As you say you will see people walking around with their shoulders “out” or showing their knees but I just don’t feel right doing that. now when I go home I find myself staring at people and making rude comments about how under dressed they are haha

    Reply
    1. I found the lack of ‘beauty’ posters everywhere refreshing in Dubai. When we got home the advertising seemed a bit desperate! They say travel is an education x

      Reply
  2. Happy to know that you showed immense respect for the religion and culture while you visited, despite what others were doing. I’m excited to read about your experience in dubai. It’s a wonderful tourist spot. We’ve been there a few times.

    Reply
    1. I feel like it’s another reason why travelling is such a formative thing to do. It opens your eyes to other perspectives and makes you a touch wiser each time x

      Reply
  3. I love old Dubai, it’s pretty much how the whole of Dubai was when I was growing up there. Love your dress, it’s so feminine without showing off too much. I still find the whole ‘getting the flesh out’ a bit overwhelming and I’ve been back in the UK nearly 20 years ha ha. Xx

    Reply
    1. Actually I always have haha! I’ve been happy when Autumn comes round and I can layer up, so I’m thrilled with this dress because I can feel like a lady and stay cool. It’s fascinating how quickly Dubai has changed x

      Reply
  4. What a great post!
    I LOVE the dress you have on and although I have never been to Dubai when I was in India I covered myself up, just as a mark of respect… maxi dress and a head scarf.
    Some women were in strappy tops and tiny shorts, I felt awkward for them :op
    It’s much more relaxed and enjoyable if you use a bit of common sense and you have proved that you can be modest and still look stunning!

    Thank you for linking up to #fakeituntilyoumakeit!
    XXX
    Samantha
    http://www.fakefabulous.com

    Reply
  5. i live in dubai and I’ve spent the day wandering around wearing a spaghetti strap dress which is long and skirts the floor and often wear shorts and a vest top when ut and about doing my normal day to day stuff. The only place other than a mosque where I’ve been asked to cover my shoulders and was provided with a freshly laundered pashmina to do so was when i visited a government building to sort out our driving licences, otherwise, unless you dress like you’re in a night club, it’s really not an issue #triumphanttales

    Reply
    1. Thank you so much for this insight! Advice seems to vary from person to person and so it can feel a little confusing. Maybe, it comes down to individual choice and interpretation of the cultural sensitivities? x

      Reply
  6. Another gorgeous piece! I love the colours, they’re really pretty. Dubai must have been amazing to visit! Thank you for linking up with Honeybee Linky, see you for this week’s too I hope! xxx

    Reply
    1. Thank you Lucy! I’m so glad you like this dress. I can’t get over what good value it is. It’s been such a great buy, I’m thrilled with it! x

      Reply

Post Comment

More in latest, Style, Winter style
Things To Do In Old Dubai. The Cloth Market.
Things to do in Old Dubai

Close