Tuesday 30 April 2019


If you follow me on Instagram (@lifebyashasingh - do the things!) you'll probably already know what I wore on my UAE trip. With Dubai being such a popular holiday destination, I know this is something most people aren't really sure about.  So I'll break it down for you and show you what I wore.

What to wear in Dubai/Abu Dhabi/UAE in general as a woman

Don't worry, the UAE is probably one of the most Westernised places in the middle east. People wear bikinis at the beach like everywhere else in the world. It's also true that most local woman wear Abayas (Loose fitting robe). At the same time, you'll probably see more Gucci than anywhere in the world. Remember, being a Muslim country of course there are restrictions on what is deemed appropriate.

What you wear largely depends on where you're going.

Going to the beach? You can wear a bikini/swimsuit (or a burkini if that's you're jam).

Going to a club? Gurrrrl, you can totes wear that cute miniskirt.

Going to the mall? It's best to be considerate towards locals and not wear something too revealing. If you're in Dubai and wearing shorts or a tank top at the mall, it isn't such a big deal because most tourists dress like that anyway. HOWEVER, if you're anywhere but Dubai (So Abu Dhabi/Fujairah/Ras Al Khaimah) try to at least cover up a little - it's safest to at least cover your knees and shoulders and not wear something very tight).

Going to a mosque? If you're going to a mosque you'll have to cover up 100% head to toe as well as your hair

Tips on what to wear in the United Arab Emirates

In general if you're outside of Dubai, dress modestly. Abu Dhabi is also quite lenient BUT the more rural areas aren't.

Another good tip is to always carry a scarf, that way if you need to cover up, you can easily.

It's also a good idea to have a couple pairs of sunglasses. The Middle Eastern sun shows no mercy. 

What the locals/Emiratis wear

Women wear an abaya and a hijab or shayla on to cover their hair. Men wear a kandura (ankle length, white garment) and a ghutra on their heads.

And no, it's not at all necessary for you to wear that too.

So now that you have a lowdown, here is what I wore in Dubai, Al Ain and Abu Dhabi.


The only time I wore an abaya was to go to the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.


Let's be honest, going shopping is a whole mood and requires being stylish right off the bat. I chose comfortable yet chic outfits for my shopping days. 


We drove from Dubai to Al Ain to Abu Dhabi so carried some comfy outfits to travel in. I bought these pants at Global Village in Dubai.

My other travel outfit was this jumpsuit from 100% CO-OP in Gateway Mall in Durban. These shoes are also what I wore on the plane and they're from PEP stores.


How cute are these boots?! I got them on sale at Forever 21 in Dubai Mall and they became my staple for the rest of the trip.


Miracle Garden in Dubai is such an instagram paradise! I would suggest wearing something colorful to go with the colorful backgrounds. I wore this top I got in Turkey, this cute half skirt from Legit (In SA) and these sunglasses from THIRD eyewear.


Al Ain is a much smaller, more conservative city about an hour from both Dubai and Abu Dhabi. I chose to play it safe and cover up more here. I wore this top I bought at Koton in Al Ain, jeans and heels (Side note high heels aren't ideal for a day out exploring but they look amazing in pictures!)


This gorgeous throw over faux-dress was my choice for the Lourve in Abu Dhabi. It was R299 at The Fix (In South Africa) and ended up being my favorite outfit in Abu Dhabi. I wish I had more flowy outfits for the trip.


You never know when you're going to need to cover up a bit and carrying a scarf wherever you go is literally the best thing you can do. I wore my sleeveless jumpsuit in Al Ain and covered up with a scarf when I went to the mall and Jebel Hafeet.

So that's my guide to what to wear in Dubai and Abu Dhabi (And a chance for me to show off some outfit pics!). I hope this gave you some realistic outfit inspo.


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