Girls Guide to Packing for Dubai

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This post is for females, and more specifically females without children. You dream or have decided to visit Dubai for a vacation, lets say your trip is 5 days long and you’ll be doing roughly the same activities or similar ones mentioned in my  5 day Dubai itinerary. What do you bring besides the obvious underwear and clothing? But also, what kind of clothing do you bring, aren’t there some crazy rules on how to dress in Dubai if you are a woman?


The dress code you will have when you visit Dubai is this: No large amounts of cleave showing, shoulders and knees covered, stomach and back covered. Preferably no see-through clothing. When you are walking around the street, mall, etc. this is essentially what you should be looking to wear. This is the “safe” clothing for women. You are not required to wear a full outfit of Abaya and Hijab. You can wear skimpy clothing in downtown but by following the above rules you are less likely to be removed from a shopping center or be harassed.

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The idea for this guide is to provide you with suggestions of items to pack that offer the most versatility so you have a lighter bag coming in and more room to fill with fun souvenirs (read my guide to souvenir shopping Here). It is warm in Dubai all year round so it is easy to pack for.


  • Don’t plan on wearing too much makeup, your sweat will wash off a lot of it anyways.
  • Try and go natural with your hair. Braid it or wear a hat, the humidity and your sweat will ruin your style anyways.
  • If you plan on purchasing clothing in Dubai, bring less in your bag.
  • Visa and Mastercard are the most widely accepted credit here but make sure you have cash on hand since smaller shops may not accept card.
  • Garment cleaning is available all over so you can probably get items cleaned and returned the same day to use again on your trip.

Shoes: 1 pair of comfy heels and 1 pair of flats (fly in the flats or sandals).

You will want heels if you plan to go anywhere nice such as the Burj Al Arab but flats that you can walk a lot in for all the museums, theme parks, souks, and malls you’ll visit.

Dress Clothes: You have some options here. You can bring a blouse and skirt or a dress (again for nice venues).

If you choose the blouse and skirt, try to make it a blouse you can reuse for other activities and the same for the dress. Flowing, breathy, and lightweight fabrics and styles are best to reuse for a trip. A summer dress is easy to dress up with jewelry and heels for one place and make more casual with flats and a cardigan for something else.

Pants and Shirts: After choosing a dress or skirt you should only need two more bottoms (You’ll be wearing a third on your flight to Dubai. You will want 5 tops total in your bag.

Good news, it is warm year round in Dubai! Skinny jeans are good with anything so it is good to keep it simple and have two pairs. Another bottom that is nice is a loose pair of harem pants. Your tops should be a lightweight fabric and either cover all the areas mentioned previously or have an undershirt if you think you might need it.

Extra Items: There are some things that are always good to have handy!

  • A cardigan is perfect if you get cold in a mall or restaurant and you will want one when you go on a Mosque tour (read about the Abu Dhabi Grand Mosque, Here).
  • You can bring a scarf from home if you have a favorite, or buy one at one of the souks, this will come in handy for those tours also.
  • A cute swimsuit is a must, and if you go to the big water parks, hotel pool, or major beach then there wont be a problem with your belly showing.





What to keep in your purse: You may need these items a little more than you think.

  • Look good and protect your eyes,  pack some fancy shades!
  • Avoid looking like a lobster and wear some sun block.
  • It may not seem like it but baby wipes are great to keep on hand for messes, a toilet paper-less bathroom, etc.
  • It is nice to have a wallet or booklet to keep your documents and money within easy reach as well, I love these passport holders.

Other Things to Consider

Beyond what we know is essential to bring with us, there are a few things that are not as obvious or just really cool to have for travel.

  • This power adapter has you covered pretty much wherever you go.
  • International flights can be really rough so a nice pillow and face cover like this one is pretty sweet.
  • No one likes the ones the airlines provide so bring your own better headphones and adapter.
  • Don’t miss out on taking pictures because of fear of water, avoid that with a waterproof phone lanyard! Thank me later.

I hope that this guide helps you for your trip to Dubai! It can be so hard to pack light for a trip but when you are going to a place with as much fun and amazing things to do as Dubai. You don’t extra junk, it’s wasted space in your bag when a lot sits unused in your hotel room.

What are some must have items for you to bring on your flight to Dubai?

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  1. Natalie Brown | 17th Aug 17

    Great advice for people travelling to Dubai who have never been to the Middle East before – same advice will see you right in most Middle Eastern countries. Love Dubai – miss it!!

  2. Tara | 17th Aug 17

    I have never been to Dubai, but if I ever do I will refer back to this post for ideas. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  3. Keri|flipflopweekend | 17th Aug 17

    Excellent, informative post! I would love to visit Dubai one day!

  4. Danielle G | 17th Aug 17

    Dubai is on my bucket list. Pinning this so I can refer back when I go!

  5. Sarah | 17th Aug 17

    Dubai is on my bucket list of places to go…I now know what to pack if I manage to do it! Thanks for sharing!

  6. sarah | 18th Aug 17

    I would love to visit Dubai! I have heard it is amazing! This is a great detailed travel list for people visiting any Middle Eastern countries. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  7. Jessica | 18th Aug 17

    I hope one day this list comes in handy!! But even if I never get the chance to go I think I’m still going to buy ALL the outfits! Super cute.

    • thehaywirehoney | 18th Aug 17

      Haha, I have managed to get two or three items here myself but I still have the others on my wishlist.

  8. Allison | 18th Aug 17

    I’ve always wanted to visit Dubai! These are great tips !

  9. Shell | 18th Aug 17

    Great advice for those traveling to this amazing place!! I hope to be able to visit one day too 🙂

  10. Stacie | 18th Aug 17

    I’ve never been out of the country but Dubai is on my list… this is a great and informative article.. especially with knowing what not to wear…. I wear a lot of shorts so I may have been in trouble… lol

  11. Alex | 18th Aug 17

    Such good tips, thanks for sharing!

  12. Ashley | 28th Aug 17

    Wow this a very insightful and surprising list of things, I would have never considered appropriate wear depending on the country! This take into account all the “what if” scenarios and will leave you fully prepared for your trip. Great content!

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