What To Wear At The Beach In Dubai | ExpatWoman.com

What To Wear At The Beach In Dubai

If you're unsure about what you can wear on and off the beach in Dubai, here's our guide

Posted on

28 April 2019

Last updated on 14 May 2019
Dress code at Dubai beaches

If this is your first time here, you may be unsure about Dubai's dress code at the beach.

The United Arab Emirates is a Muslim country but has strong Western influences, and so the line between what is appropriate and what isn't can be confusing for newbies in the country.

Despite this confusion, Dubai is in a Muslim country and thus, Islamic laws are enforced. As a result, there is a dress code in Dubai that both residents and travellers are expected to follow and respect whilst here. If you're worried about what to wear on a daily basis, we have a complete guide to Dubai's dress code here for you.

SEE ALSO: The top 10 beaches in Dubai to visit

Otherwise, we want to help clear any confusion related to our favourite weekend activity - and that's the beach.

We frequently receive questions from new expats who have just moved to the UAE regarding what they can and can't wear on any one of Dubai's beaches, so we hope our guide will offer clarification on the rules... We've even suggested some great key-pieces to have in your wardrobe!

What is the dress code for Dubai's beaches?

Due to the unique cultural make-up of the emirate, Dubai's standards and behaviour are more relaxed than in neighbouring emirates. However as a general rule of thumb, residents and visitors should dress modestly whilst here.

SEE ALSO: Dubai dress code mistakes that are easily avoidable

Avoid any excessive displays of cleavage, your mirdiff or legs. Ideally, shoulders and knees should be covered too - particularly during the Holy Month of Ramadan.

Saying that, this doesn't mean you need to be wrapped-up at the beach.

Dress code when you're on the beach

Dubai has several free public beaches that are used by locals, expats and tourists. Here, you will find an array of suitable sun-bathing and swimming costumes that are considered acceptable.

Bikinis, one-pieces and burkinis are all familiar sights on Dubai's public beaches and are fine to wear when you're on the beach itself.

Avoid transparent tops, skinny thong bottoms and don't sunbathe topless or nude at any time.

Here are some suggestions for beachwear in Dubai...

Thin Strap Flounce Top With Textured Bikini

"Love it! The bottoms aren't too high waisted, and aren't too low - which is perfect."

"Cute. One of the best swimsuits I've bought off of SHEIN. I wear a medium, so I ordered a large.

"I paid fast shipping and got it quick! Size is perfect. Just make sure you measure yourself before you buy.
AED 55

Palm Leaf High Waisted Tankini

"I love this! I've never felt more comfortable wearing a swimsuit. You can move freely in this. The pattern is just beautiful and it covers your butt nicely."

"Loved the leaf print but didn’t notice the hummingbirds in photos. EVEN BETTER. I’m tall so finding a true high waist bikini on me is difficult but this was great! Not see through when wet like many white suits. Padded circles inside are a little fidgety but workable/removable."
AED 55

Criss Cross Plunging Neck One Piece Swimsuit

"I really like this swimsuit! The material is very thick, it is very well lined on the inside and includes padding on the cups. The material isn't hugely stretchy and fits quite snug, it's a bit tight to remove once the material is wet. If I were being picky, I would argue that the swimsuit is just a little bit short in length I am 5ft 3 and 3/4."
AED 55

Dress code when you're nearby the beach

Dubai's hot temperatures means you might be tempted to wear beach apparel to a restaurant near the beach.

When you're not on the sand or close to the sea, it's advisable you cover up with something suitable. There are laws that strictly prohibit wearing revealing outfits in public areas (away from and nearby to the beach). To show respect for the local Muslim culture and to avoid unwanted attention, you should cover-up your swim wear when eating meals or drinking away from the beach/pool.

SEE ALSO: Why Ajman is the sunshine destination everyone should know about

For example, if you head to The Beach at JBR, wearing your swimsuit on the sand is fine but once you hit the pavement and you're nearby to the restaurants and roads on The Walk, you should be dressed suitably.

Our advice? Always visit the provided changing rooms before you exit the vicinity of the beach to ensure you're dressed correctly and respectfully.

Here are some suggestions for beach cover-ups in Dubai...

Jungle Leaf Print Batwing Sleeve Kimono

"Loveeeeee this kimono! Pictures don’t do it justice. Definitely a little darker than it appears on the website but it’s still really beautiful. Will be perfect for the summer!"

"Lovely colors and it goes amazing with some of the bathing suits sold in this same website. Love it. Lovely length."
AED 51

Tassel Hem Side Pocket Tee Dress

"What a cute dress, very fun. It is super comfortable and fits really well."
AED 47

Draped Collar Embroidered Detail Kimono

This white, 100% cotton half-sleeve draped collar kimono is perfect for covering up when heading to and from the beach.
AED 59

Public versus private beaches in Dubai

The rules above apply to all public beaches in Dubai - but what about private beaches? Those beaches attached to shoreline hotels across the emirate?

To get onto some of Dubai's best private beaches, you must be a resident, pay a daily fee or buy a membership. Here, it is a bit more acceptable to wear what you might wear on the beach elsewhere - and you'll see everything from tiny bikinis to modest cover-ups.

Again, nude or topless sunbathing is still a no-no here.

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