If you have packed poorly for a trip, you know how frustrating it can be to have a tube top when all you need is a parka. Choosing the right wardrobe for spending time in the United Arab Emirates is essential to your physical and cultural comfort. Read on to learn what you should pack for your trip to the United Arab Emirates in the summer. 

The Basics

The United Arab Emirates can get very hot and humid in the summer months. Between June and September, temperatures linger between 27 and 43 degrees Celsius or 80 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Humidity lingers near 90%. 


As a result, clothing should generally be light and made from natural materials, such as cotton, linen, or silk. Avoid synthetic materials or any fabrics that are not breathable. 


It is also good to consider wearing clothing that fits the cultural tendency towards modesty. Countries in the Arabic Peninsula have a range of rules relating to what’s appropriate to wear. The UAE is fine with most clothing, as long as knees and shoulders are covered. As a visitor, it is usually best to lean towards a modest type of clothing.  


Choose tops that are light and comfortable. Often a short-sleeved shirt or blouse will do the trick in the summer. In some cases, you should opt for a long-sleeved shirt if you want to stay protected from the heat or for modesty reasons. You likely will not need a jacket or sweater in the summer. However, you should bring one light jacket if you get cold at night. 


Pants and mid-length to long skirts are good choices for the UAE. Avoid short skirts. You can also wear leggings under skirts and dresses.


Long dresses, jumpsuits, and other items are acceptable options in the UAE. They should still follow the usual weather and modesty guidelines. When choosing shoes, find some options that are comfortable and look good. 

Dress for the Occasion

UAE culture values dressing appropriately for different occasions. Some activities require fancier attire, while others need functional and neat pieces. Comfort in the hot weather should also always get some consideration during your outfit planning. So, if you are planning a robust schedule for your trip, ensure your suitcase contains options for all activities. 

Nice Meal

Many restaurants have a smart casual dress code. As a result, diners can dress casually, but nicely. For example, try a neat shirt, smart trousers, and nice shoes. Avoid flip-flops or tennis shoes.


It is often a good idea to plan when getting dressed to eat at a restaurant. If you go out for brunch, you will likely have a whole day of fun ahead of you. While keeping style considerations in mind, you should also ensure your clothing will be comfortable for the rest of the day.  


You can wear whatever kind of bathing suit you want at the beach in the UAE. One-pieces, bikinis, speedos, and swimming trunks are all acceptable. The most vital consideration is to have something you can change into or use to cover your bathing suit when you are not on the beach. If you walk from the beach to a nearby restaurant, throw a light dress or t-shirt on before making the walk. 

Mosque Wear

Visiting a mosque in the UAE is a great way to understand the local culture and appreciate beautiful art and architecture. Before going to a mosque, ensure the one you choose allows visitors.  


There are not too many special fashion considerations to make while visiting a mosque. The main consideration is everyone should opt for long-sleeved shirts and pants or a skirt. While shorts are fine in many parts of the UAE, they are not ideal at a mosque. Women can bring their own headscarves. However, many mosques will also provide headscarves to visitors. 

Desert Safari Outfits

Going on a desert safari is one of the most popular activities for UAE visitors. These outings can include active fun, including riding a camel, riding dune buggies, touring the desert, and having meals. As a result of all these adventures, you need light, comfortable clothing that provides good coverage. 


Stick with a t-shirt, close-toed shoes, and light pants during the summer months. It can be a good idea to bring a light jacket along if you are going to be in the desert at night. It can get quite cold! Always be sure to wear plenty of sun protection, including sunscreen and a hat. 

What Clothing To Avoid

There are a few types of clothing you should steer clear of when planning for your UAE trip. Avoid any heavy winter-friendly clothing, anything too revealing, and synthetic fabrics. If you are not sure about how a piece of clothing will be received, it is usually a good idea to leave it behind. 


It is also a good idea to avoid any clothing that is falling apart. Keep the ratty 20-year-old band t-shirt reserved for pajamas. People in the UAE tend to dress tidily for special occasions and everyday outings alike. 

Where To Find Clothing in the UAE

If you arrive in the UAE and realize you did not pack the right wardrobe, you can easily pick up some items at the many malls throughout the area. Popular destinations such as Dubai or Ras Al Khaimah offer plenty of places for you to supplement your suitcase. 


These malls are packed with stores you may recognize as well as those new to you. You may even want to plan to shop in the UAE when making your packing list. 

Final thoughts

The bottom line when packing for your UAE visit is you should plan for comfort. Keeping cool is of the utmost importance in the summer in the Arabian peninsula. It is also a good idea to consider the cultural touchstones of both modesty and good style valued in the UAE. 

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