Dress Code

Emiratis dress conservatively in traditional dress and can be offended when people dress inappropriately or not in accordance with Islamic values. Expatriates are strongly encouraged to dress appropriately in public places such as shopping malls, restaurants and parks. Clothing should not be transparent, indecently expose parts of the body or display offensive pictures or slogans. Be aware that if you enter one of these areas dressed inappropriately you may be asked to leave (most of the larger shopping malls display signs warning respectable clothing should be worn). Any form of nudity is strictly forbidden, including topless sunbathing. Swimwear should not be worn in any other area outside the beach, water parks, or swimming pools.

Emirati National Dress

Emirati clothing is an important part of the history of the United Arab Emirates UAE). The UAE is a country where tradition reigns supreme. If you are a traveler who is going to be visiting the UAE, it's absolutely crucial for you to be aware of the country's traditional clothing, customs, and culture before you set foot in the country. When going to Abu Dhabi, clothes are going to be very important to how you are perceived by locals. Be sure to dress conservatively especially in Abu Dhabi and other Emirates although Dubai is more Westernized in this regard.

emirati man

National Dress for Men

The national dress for men is the Dishdasha or Khandura, an ankle length shirt, typically white. Dishdashas are usually worn with a white or red-checkered head cloth known as a Gutra and a twisted black rope-like coil, the Agal.  Under the headdress is a Skull Cap (Gafia)


National Dress for Women

In public, national women are very elegant in the black Abaya, a long, flowing black robe that covers their normal clothes. They also wear a head scarf called a Shayla. Some women also wear a thin black veil covering their face, while some older women wear a traditional mask made of fabric known as Burkha, which covers the nose, brows and cheekbones (however this is now less common). Under the Abaya modern women wear the very latest in international fashions.