14 Clothing Items That Won’t Make You Look Like A Tourist in Dubai

Dubai, a city that effortlessly blends tradition with modernity, presents a unique landscape shaped by its diverse population and constant sunshine. 

For about nine months of the year, the answer to how one finds Dubai is simple: hot. 

From sandstorms sweeping in from the desert to winter temperatures reaching 79°F, the climate demands a wardrobe adaptation.

Navigating this vibrant city, with its eclectic mix of over 200 nationalities, introduces an array of fashion influences. 

Whether strolling through malls or relaxing on the beaches, the dress code remains flexible. 

However, for visits to more traditional locales like souks or areas outside the city, a more conservative wardrobe is advisable and becomes necessary in religious spaces. 

Being mindful of cultural differences in this Muslim country is not just a courtesy but a requirement. 

Explore this curated list of wallet-friendly options for an authentic Dubai look without breaking the bank.

Tiered Mini Dress

Tiered Mini Dress
Image: Oneinchpunch

The tiered mini dress is the go-to choice for a hassle-free, chic ensemble. 

It’s spacious enough for a relaxed day indoors yet effortlessly transforms into a more sophisticated look with just a few accessories. 

This dress style adds a playful touch to your wardrobe, moving with you as you gracefully transition from one destination to the next. 

Bonus points for the sleeves, providing extra coverage without making your arms feel confined.

Silky Slip Skirt

When seeking a versatile skirt that seamlessly transitions from day to night and adapts to Dubai’s varying temperatures, opt for a neutral-colored midi style in a lightweight, silky material. 

This dependable choice complements a casual T-shirt and sneakers or pairs elegantly with a matching blouse and smart flats for a professional setting.

Black Tank Top

Black Tank Top
Image: Traveloffpath.com

A must-have in your wardrobe for Dubai is a ribbed black tank top. 

This versatile piece effortlessly complements baggy jeans, work pants and layers well under blazers and sheer fabrics. 

Its adaptability makes it a travel essential, even for a short journey to the neighboring emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Fashionable and Multipurpose Hat

Fashionable and Multipurpose Hat
Image: Globalcastaway.com

Embrace the hat life in Dubai, where it’s more than just a fashion statement. 

A hat becomes a crucial addition to your UV protection arsenal, offering shade for the scalp, face and neck while ensuring your hair stays moisturized and healthy. 

Opt for a cotton bucket hat for everyday errands – easy to fold and stow away in your purse. 

For extended sun exposure, choose a hat with a wider brim, perfect for desert excursions or beach days.


Image: freestocks on Unsplash

Transform your look with sunglasses that make a style statement and define your entire aesthetic. 

Think Audrey Hepburn’s iconic cat-eyes or Tom Cruise’s Wayfarers in Risky Business. 

Like Anna Wintour, consider sunglasses as an extra layer of privacy. 

Darker styles, especially in larger silhouettes, provide both style and protection, essential for enjoying sunny days in Dubai.

Statement Earrings

The bun has become a popular hairstyle choice for visitors aiming to beat the heat and maintain a sleek appearance in Dubai’s climate. 

With outfits often starting at the earlobes due to slicked-back buns, opting for chunky and vibrant earrings is a quick and effective solution to enhance simplicity.

Two-in-One Swimsuit

Two-in-One Swimsuit
Imagr: mostafa meraji on Unsplash

With a residence near the ocean, investing in swimwear that transcends traditional beach attire becomes essential. 

The focus shifts towards swimsuits that can seamlessly transition into stylish tops when paired with a long skirt or jeans. 

One-pieces, specifically those designed with wearable fits and comfortable fabrics, excel in executing this multi-style strategy. 

Their versatility extends beyond the shore, promising lasting wear and chic style for various occasions.

Sparkly Heels

Adjusting to the car-centric lifestyle in Dubai, visitors may miss the walkability and public transport connectivity of cities like Paris or New York. 

However, the advantage lies in the realm of footwear. 

With reduced risks of ankle twists on subway stairs or tricky cobblestones, pumps and platforms become a safer choice. 

Evenings in Dubai call for heels; in true Dubai fashion, the shinier, the better. 

Embrace the sparkle and elevate your evening looks with confidence and comfort in the city’s glamorous atmosphere.

Oversized Trousers

For tourists navigating the bustling locales of Dubai, particularly the Dubai Design District and the Dubai International Financial Centre, the choice of attire can play a crucial role in professionalism and comfort. 

In such instances, the tourist appreciates the sophisticated aesthetic of a suit, albeit with a preference for a more relaxed fit.

Opting for oversized trousers offers a polished appearance while ensuring ample ventilation in the warm Dubai climate. 

The looser fit prevents the fabric from clinging to the inevitable sweat and presents a versatile style. 

These baggier styles effortlessly pair with heels, sneakers, or flat loafers, providing diverse tourist options for a genuine back-to-business vibe. 

White Sneakers

When touring Dubai’s vibrant streets and attractions, every tourist seeks a balance of style and comfort. 

White sneakers emerge as the perfect footwear choice, blending casual chic with the practicality of exploring diverse destinations. 

While wandering through the bustling markets or strolling along the picturesque waterfront, these sneakers complement various outfits and provide the comfort required for a day of sightseeing. 

The versatility of white sneakers ensures they pair seamlessly with oversized trousers, adding a touch of contemporary flair.

Sandals with Little Heel

Tourists often transition from daytime exploration to evening activities as the sun sets over Dubai’s stunning skyline. 

For those warm Arabian nights, sandals with a little heel epitomize effortless elegance. 

These sandals offer a subtle lift and strike the perfect balance between comfort and style. 

Whether heading to dinner at a chic restaurant in the Dubai Design District or attending a cultural event in the city’s heart, these heels provide sophistication without compromising comfort.

Light Jacket or Shawl

Light Jacket or Shawl
Image: Gulfnews.com

With its warm days and cooler evenings, Dubai’s climate calls for versatile wardrobe choices. 

A light jacket or shawl becomes a traveler’s best friend, offering style and functionality. 

Whether exploring the modern architecture, enjoying an evening stroll along the city’s promenades, or engaging in both, having a stylish layer adds a touch of comfort. 

These lightweight and easy-to-carry options provide just the right warmth. 

They ensure the tourist is prepared for the varying temperatures Dubai offers.

Traditional Wear for Mosque

Traditional Wear for Mosque
Image: Oana-Maria Sofronia on Unsplash

Cultural respect and modesty are key considerations for tourists planning to visit the grand mosques of Dubai. 

Embrace the local traditions by opting for traditional wear. 

Women often find the abaya, a loose-fitting black cloak, a suitable and respectful choice. 

Pairing it with a suit salwar adds a touch of elegance, creating a culturally sensitive and aesthetically pleasing ensemble. 

This traditional attire not only aligns with mosque etiquette but also allows tourists to blend with the rich cultural heritage of Dubai.

Cotton White Shirt

Cotton White Shirt
Image: Moon on Unsplash

A white cotton shirt is a versatile wardrobe essential for tourists navigating the diverse scenes of Dubai. 

It is a chic and breathable cover-up for sun protection during daytime exploration. 

It effortlessly pairs with jeans for a casual and comfortable look.

This classic piece becomes a valuable addition for those venturing into cultural sites, offering a modest option when visiting mosques or other sacred places. 

The cotton white shirt transforms into a stylish layer as a cover with a sleeveless dress, providing both modesty and a touch of sophistication. 

Its adaptability makes it a practical and stylish choice, catering to the varied experiences and fashion needs of tourists in Dubai.


1. What should we wear to religious places?

When visiting mosques or other religious sites, it’s respectful to dress modestly. 

Women should cover their shoulders and knees and men are encouraged to avoid shorts. 

Remember to remove your shoes before entering.

2. What can we wear to the desert safari tour in Dubai?

For a desert safari, prioritize comfort and protection. 

Go for breathable clothing to combat the heat and consider wearing long sleeves and pants to shield against the sun and potential desert elements.

3. What should men not wear in Dubai?

While Dubai is modern, it’s respectful to avoid overly casual attire in public spaces. 

Men are advised against wearing shorts outside of designated areas. Reserve swimwear for the beach or pool.

4. What do children under 12 need to wear inside mosques?

Children should adhere to the same modest dress code as adults when entering mosques. 

Girls under 12 are encouraged to cover their hair; everyone should avoid wearing shorts.

5. What do children under 12 need to wear inside mosques?

Children should adhere to the same modest dress code as adults when entering mosques. 

Girls under 12 are encouraged to cover their hair; everyone should avoid wearing shorts.

6. How should tourists in UAE dress during Ramadan?

During Ramadan, dress conservatively as a sign of respect. 

Avoid eating, drinking, or smoking in public during daylight hours. 

Opt for modest attire to align with the solemnity of the occasion.

7. What’s the impact of Ramadan on tourists in the UAE?

While tourist areas operate normally, remember local customs during Ramadan.
Dressing modestly is appreciated and note that some bars may be closed or have limited hours.

8. What can women wear to the beaches in Dubai?

Beachwear is acceptable in designated areas. 

However, when not by the beach or pool, it’s appreciated to maintain modesty in your choice of clothing.

9. Can tourists wear traditional clothing in Dubai?


Embrace the local culture by donning traditional attire like abayas or kanduras. 

While it’s not obligatory for tourists, it’s a respectful and enriching way to immerse yourself in the cultural experience.

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