Style Guide for Dubai

How to conquer Dubai's fashion scene
Discovering Dubai Fashion: A Style Guide for Travelers
BY Anni Leppälä

Understanding Dubai's Fashion Scene

Dubai's fashion scene combines traditional styles with modern trends. With people from all over the world living there, the city's fashion reflects a mix of cultures, making it both diverse and classy.

When it comes to contemporary fashion, Dubai embraces a diverse range of styles, reflecting the cosmopolitan nature of its residents. While modesty is often valued, especially in public spaces, Dubai's fashionistas also embrace bold and avant-garde designs.

For women, flowing maxi dresses, elegant kaftans, and tailored jumpsuits are wardrobe staples, perfect for both casual outings and evening soirees. Pairing vibrant colors with luxurious fabrics adds a touch of glamour to any ensemble.

F20 Alexis Mabille dress would be the perfect attire for a dinner out.

For men, clothing in lightweight fabrics are a smart choice, especially during the warmer months. Linnen top and pants are the most worn pieces in the warm climate.


In recent years, Dubai has emerged as a global fashion hub, with a burgeoning industry that celebrates innovation and creativity. From luxury boutiques in high-end malls to vibrant street markets, the city offers a plethora of shopping destinations catering to every taste and budget.

Traditional Attire

While Dubai embraces modernity, it also cherishes its rich cultural heritage, evident in the prevalent use of traditional attire. Emirati men often wear the elegant kandura, a long white robe, paired with a ghutra (headscarf) and egal (a cord to secure the ghutra). Women commonly do the graceful abaya, a flowing black robe, often adorned with intricate embroidery or embellishments, paired with a shayla (headscarf) or niqab (face veil).

A traditional kandura and ghutra.
An abaya with a shayla.

In Dubai, the weather is usually warm, especially during the summer months. To stay comfortable in the heat, opt for lightweight and breathable clothing like cotton shirts, flowing maxi dresses, and linen trousers. Don't forget to accessorise with a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to stay cool and protected from the sun's rays.

Tips for Dressing in Dubai

Respect Local Customs: While Dubai is a cosmopolitan city, it's essential to respect local customs and traditions, especially when it comes to clothing. Dress modestly when visiting religious sites or public spaces, and avoid overly revealing outfits.

These are some pieces I would pack with me.

Perfect for a quick modest swim cover up when heading to the hotel from the beach. SHOP SHIRT HERE

Stay Comfortable: Dubai's climate can vary from hot and humid to pleasantly mild, depending on the time of year. Opt for lightweight, breathable fabrics like cotton and linen to stay cool and comfortable in the heat.


Accessorise Thoughtfully: Accessories can elevate any outfit, adding personality and flair. Opt for statement jewellery, scarves, or a stylish hat to complete your look while staying within the bounds of modesty.


Footwear Matters: With plenty of walking to do, comfortable footwear is a must. Choose stylish yet practical options like sandals, loafers, or breathable sneakers to navigate Dubai's streets with ease.


Packing Essentials for Dubai

When packing for your trip to Dubai, consider including the following essentials in your suitcase:

Modest Clothing: Pack lightweight, modest clothing items such as maxi dresses, tailored trousers, and long-sleeved tops to adhere to local customs while staying stylish.


Sun Protection: Don't forget to pack sunscreen, sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat to shield yourself from the intense desert sun.


Versatile Layers: Dubai's indoor spaces, including malls and restaurants, are often heavily air-conditioned. Pack a lightweight cardigan or shawl to layer over your outfits for added warmth when indoors.


Comfortable Footwear: As mentioned earlier, comfortable footwear is essential for exploring the city. Pack a pair of comfortable sandals or sneakers for sightseeing and a dressier option for evenings out.


Swimwear: If you plan to visit Dubai's stunning beaches or indulge in poolside relaxation, be sure to pack swimwear and a cover-up for modesty when transitioning to and from the water.


Even if there is not a dress code in Dubai, you are encouraged to dress modestly to respect the local culture.

Dubai Outfits

Dubai Desert Safari Outfit

In the vast expanse of the desert, where the golden sands stretch endlessly beneath the blazing sun, fashion takes on a unique blend of practicality and panache.

Credit: Pinterest

Dressing for a desert adventure or a thrilling safari isn't merely about style; it's about mastering the art of chic functionality, embracing both the scorching heat of the day and the chilly nights under the starry sky.

Credit: Pinterest

Embrace the allure of safari-inspired essentials: tailored khaki trousers, utilitarian vests, and button-down shirts that effortlessly blend sophistication with adventure.


Accessorise thoughtfully, letting each piece serve a purpose. A sturdy pair of sunglasses guards your eyes from the glaring rays, while a lightweight scarf doubles as both a fashion statement and a shield against the swirling sand.


Opt for comfortable, closed-toe shoes that offer both support and style, ensuring you're ready to wander wherever the desert winds may take you.


Dubai Brunch Outfits

For a Dubai brunch, think chic and glamorous with a touch of effortless sophistication. Opt for lightweight, flowing fabrics in vibrant colors or elegant neutrals that capture the essence of the city's opulence.

Outfit inspiration for brunch. Credit: Metti Forssell

A stylish maxi dress or tailored linen pants paired with a breezy blouse exudes laid-back luxury.


Complete your look with statement accessories; a bold clutch, oversized sunglasses, and strappy sandals to add a dash of glam to your ensemble.


Whether you're sipping champagne at a rooftop brunch or indulging in delectable dishes by the sea, let your attire reflect the vibrant energy and cosmopolitan flair of Dubai's brunch scene.

Dubai Party Outfits

For a Dubai party, it's all about making a statement with your style.

Choose a figure-flattering cocktail dress in luxurious fabrics like silk or satin, adorned with embellishments or sequins for added glamour.


Alternatively, a tailored blazer paired with statement trousers or a chic jumpsuit that exude modern elegance.

Credit: Pinterest

Don't forget to elevate your look with eye-catching accessories; a statement necklace, sparkling clutch, and sky-high heels, to add an extra touch of dazzle to your ensemble.


Whether you're dancing the night away at a rooftop soiree or mingling at a trendy nightclub, let your fashion choices reflect the vibrant energy and allure of Dubai's nightlife scene.

Dubai Shopping Day Outfits

For a day of shopping in Dubai, your outfit should be equal parts comfortable and stylish to navigate the bustling malls and designer boutiques with ease.

Credit: Pinterest

Opt for chic yet practical attire, starting with a breezy maxi dress or tailored shorts paired with a lightweight blouse for effortless elegance.


Comfortable footwear is key, so opt for stylish flats or low-heeled sandals that will keep you on your feet all day without sacrificing style.


Layer on a versatile denim jacket or a lightweight cardigan for those air-conditioned interiors.


Complete your look with a crossbody bag to keep your hands free for browsing and a wide-brimmed hat or sunglasses to shield you from the sun as you stroll along Dubai's glamorous shopping avenues.


With your outfit perfectly curated, you're ready to indulge in a day of retail therapy in style.

Dubai Beach Day Outfits

For a day at the beach in Dubai, channel effortless chic with a touch of resort-style glamour.

Credit: Pinterest

Start with a stylish yet functional swimsuit in a bold color or playful print, complemented by a breezy beach cover-up for added flair.


Opt for a lightweight kaftan or a flowy sarong in a sheer fabric that allows the gentle sea breeze to caress your skin as you stroll along the shore.


Slip into comfortable yet stylish sandals that can easily transition from sand to street, and don't forget to accessorise with oversized sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat to shield yourself from the sun's rays.


Pack your essentials in a roomy tote bag that doubles as a statement piece, and you're ready to soak up the sun and surf in style on Dubai's stunning beaches.