UAE Customs and Culture

Abu Dhabi FAQ

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UAE customs and culture are quite unique! A city brimming with culture, tradition and custom, Abu Dhabi has enchanted visitors from near and far. Every year foreigners come to enjoy the experience and beauty of this amazing place. However, those who visit, whether for business or pleasure, may have questions about dress and grooming.

Dress codes can be strict but more than that, respect for the local custom is what dictates what is viewed as acceptable. So, what does one wear while in Abu Dhabi? Here are some general guidelines to help you through your travels to Abu Dhabi.

There are many popular and must-see destinations in Abu Dhabi. Beaches, bars, mosques, hotels and places of business are among these. To begin, it should be noted that a good rule of thumb to follow when in doubt is to keep your clothes low key and modest. This includes for women, not showing cleavage, upper arms, thighs or midriff. Generally speaking, men don't wear shorts or open toed sandals. These are of course not set rules, but guides.

For a more specific list, read on.


Beaches

The public beaches at Abu Dhabi are gorgeous and a great way to spend the day. Whether you bring the family or go alone, a few basics should be kept in mind when it comes what to wear. Shorts and other beach wear is perfectly fine. As far as bikinis and bathing suits are concerned, as long as it is modest and not too revealing.


Mosques

A visit to a mosque is a cultural and historical experience that will be hard to forget. When you go, men should wear long trousers. Women are expected to cover their legs and also their hair. Some mosques offer scarves for visitors so don't worry if you forget yours. The Grand Mosque will give women an abaya and a headscarf to wear. Beware you will not even get to the counter of the Grand Mosque if you are wearing a short skirt, shorts or a tank top so cover up before you go!



More UAE Customs and Culture

Hotels

If you are staying at a hotel, holding a meeting or are attending to some other business, a smart casual approach is acceptable. For men this includes no open toed shoes or shorts.


Sightseeing

Wearing comfortable and light clothing is fine. Keep in mind some places have the air conditioning on at impressively low temperatures, so keep a sweater on hand.


Children

There is no need to worry too much about what your children wear. So long as there are no offensive slogans, language or gestures children are pretty much free to wear whatever.


Abu Dhabi has a rich culture and history.Part of that beauty is tied up in custom and tradition.

To preserve the unique feel here, giving attention to what you wear in Abu Dhabi shows respect and appreciation. Dressing modestly and unassumingly will get you through without a hitch.

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