Traveling to Dubai As A Woman in 2023/2024: Clothing, Safety & Tips

Traveling to Dubai As A Woman? You must read this guide first, in order to avoid unpleasant situations and misunderstandings.

This post is written by Narcisa a fellow blogger who has lived in Dubai for 5 years and will be sharing some valuable insights into traveling to Dubai as a woman.

During my five-year stay in Dubai, I had the incredible opportunity to experience both the vibrant work culture and the rich tapestry of this captivating place.

Working in Dubai allowed me to witness its rapid growth and development, and it was a hub of innovation and ambition.

Outside of work, I spent my time exploring the city’s diverse neighborhoods, savoring the delicious cuisine, and immersing myself in the unique blend of tradition and modernity that Dubai offers.

From the bustling streets of Old Dubai to the awe-inspiring skyscrapers of the Marina, my time in this dynamic city was a truly enriching and unforgettable experience.

Dubai overview

Traveling to Dubai as a Solo Female Traveler: An Overview

Dubai, the dazzling gem of the United Arab Emirates, beckons adventurous souls from around the world with its awe-inspiring skyline, opulent shopping districts, and a unique blend of traditional charm and modern allure.

As a woman planning to visit Dubai in 2024, you’re embarking on a journey filled with the promise of unforgettable experiences.

However, along with the anticipation of exploring this dynamic city, you may have some questions and considerations that are specific to your gender.

This blog post is your comprehensive guide to ensure that your visit to Dubai as a woman is not just enjoyable, but also respectful of local customs and, most importantly, safe.

From understanding the clothing guidelines and fashion choices that can help you seamlessly blend in, to mastering essential safety tips that will empower you to navigate the city with confidence, I’ve got you covered.

Whether you’re visiting Dubai for its iconic landmarks, luxury shopping, or delectable cuisine, my goal is to provide you with valuable information that will enhance your trip, foster cultural appreciation, and ensure you have a safe and enjoyable stay.

Dubai awaits, and you’re about to embark on a remarkable journey that promises to be enlightening, enriching, and, most of all, enjoyable.

Is it Safe to Visit Dubai As a Woman?

Definitely yes, Dubai is widely considered a safe and welcoming destination for women travelers.

The city boasts a low crime rate, efficient law enforcement, and strict penalties for criminal activities, making it one of the safest places to explore in the world.

However, it’s crucial to be mindful of cultural norms and customs when visiting.

While Dubai’s safety record is impressive, it’s still wise to exercise general caution, such as staying in well-lit areas, using licensed taxis, and avoiding public displays of affection.

Staying informed about local laws and regulations is also a good practice.

By adhering to these guidelines and respecting the culture, you can fully enjoy your visit to Dubai as a woman with confidence and peace of mind.

Downtown Dubai.
Downtown Dubai Souk al Bahar & Dubai Fountains

šŸ’” Is Dubai Safe For a Woman Traveling Alone at Night?

Dubai is generally considered a safe destination for women traveling alone at night.

The city boasts a low crime rate, strict law enforcement, and a strong commitment to ensuring the safety of all residents and visitors.

The well-lit streets, bustling nightlife, and a significant expatriate population contribute to a comfortable atmosphere for solo female travelers.

However, it’s important to exercise standard precautions, such as being aware of your surroundings, avoiding poorly lit areas, and not accepting unsolicited offers from strangers.

While Dubai is generally safe, it’s always wise to remain vigilant and use common sense when exploring the city after dark.

šŸ’” Who Should I Contact in An Emergency?

In case of an emergency in Dubai, you should call 999 for immediate assistance with law enforcement matters, including reporting a crime or seeking help in any emergency situation.

If you require medical assistance or an ambulance, dial 998. Dubai’s emergency medical services are well-equipped to respond to medical emergencies.

If you encounter car trouble or need assistance on the road, you can call the Dubai Police Traffic Department at 901.

Dubai Burj al Arab.
Dubai Burj al Arab

Tips When Traveling to Dubai Alone as a Woman

Traveling to Dubai as a solo female can be a safe and enjoyable experience if you take certain precautions and follow some essential tips and by following these guidelines and respecting local customs, you are sure to have an enjoyable solo trip to Dubai.

šŸ“Œ Dress modestly: Dubai is a conservative city, and it’s important to respect local customs by wearing clothing that covers your shoulders and knees in public areas. While there’s no need to wear an abaya, modest attire is appreciated.

šŸ“Œ Be mindful of public behavior: Public displays of affection, like hugging and kissing in public, are considered inappropriate. Maintain a respectful and conservative demeanor.

šŸ“Œ Respect Ramadan rules: If your trip coincides with Ramadan, be aware that eating, drinking, and smoking in public during daylight hours is prohibited. Make sure to eat and drink only in designated areas during this time.

šŸ“Œ Use reputable transportation: Taxis and ride-sharing services like Uber are safe and reliable in Dubai. Avoid hitchhiking or accepting rides from strangers.

šŸ“Œ Stay in reputable accommodations: Choose well-established hotels or licensed accommodations to ensure your safety and comfort.

šŸ“Œ Keep a copy of your passport: Have a photocopy of your passport and visa with you while keeping the originals in a secure location. Share your itinerary and contact details with a friend or family member back home.

šŸ“Œ Stay in well-traveled areas: Stick to popular and well-lit areas when walking around at night. Avoid deserted streets and alleys.

šŸ“Œ Use reputable tour operators: If you plan on taking tours or excursions, research and book with reputable companies to ensure your safety.

šŸ“Œ Avoid excessive alcohol consumption: While Dubai has some bars and clubs, drinking in public or being publicly intoxicated is against the law. Consume alcohol responsibly and within designated areas.

šŸ“Œ Be cautious with photography: Always ask for permission before taking photos of people, especially locals. Avoid taking pictures of government buildings, military installations, or airports.

šŸ“Œ Use female-only facilities: Some public transportation, waiting areas, and parks have designated female-only sections to enhance comfort and safety.

šŸ“Œ Keep an eye on your belongings: As with any destination, be mindful of your belongings, especially in crowded areas and public transportation.

šŸ“Œ Trust your instincts: If a situation feels uncomfortable or unsafe, don’t hesitate to leave or seek assistance.

Dubai Burj Khalifa.
Dubai Burj Khalifa

What to Wear When Traveling to Dubai As a Woman

Dubai is a blend of modernity and tradition, which means that respecting local customs, particularly when it comes to clothing, is essential.

Dressing modestly, especially in public areas, is a sign of respect and ensures that you won’t draw unnecessary attention.

Being a diverse city you may see a wide range of clothing styles, especially in more cosmopolitan areas, However, it’s respectful and advisable to err on the side of modesty and cover your shoulders, arms, and knees when in public spaces.

šŸ‘‰šŸ½ Loose-fitting clothing: Opt for loose and comfortable clothing that covers your shoulders, upper arms, and knees. Maxi dresses, long skirts, and loose-fitting pants are great choices.

šŸ‘‰šŸ½ Long-sleeved tops: Pack long-sleeved shirts or blouses that cover your arms. Lightweight, breathable fabrics like cotton or linen are ideal for Dubai’s climate.

šŸ‘‰šŸ½ Cardigans or shawls: Carry a lightweight cardigan or a shawl to throw over your outfit in case you need extra coverage, especially in air-conditioned places.

šŸ‘‰šŸ½ Scarves: Consider bringing a scarf or a pashmina to cover your head and shoulders when visiting religious sites or in more conservative areas.

šŸ‘‰šŸ½ Swimsuit and cover-up: While it’s acceptable to wear a swimsuit at the beach or pool, have a cover-up or a sarong to wear when you’re not in the water.

šŸ‘‰šŸ½ Closed-toe shoes: Comfortable and closed-toe shoes are advisable for walking around the city. Sandals are fine but be respectful of local customs and consider more coverage for your feet.

šŸ‘‰šŸ½ Sun hat or cap: Protect yourself from the sun with a wide-brimmed hat or a cap.

šŸ‘‰šŸ½ Sunglasses: Bring a good pair of sunglasses to shield your eyes from the bright sun.

šŸ‘‰šŸ½ Undergarments: Ensure you have appropriate undergarments to wear with your modest clothing.

šŸ‘‰šŸ½ Modest activewear: If you plan on engaging in outdoor activities or workouts, bring active wear that covers your limbs appropriately.

šŸ‘‰šŸ½ Lightweight, breathable fabrics: Choose clothing made from breathable materials to stay comfortable in Dubai’s hot climate.

šŸ‘‰šŸ½ Swimwear etiquette: When wearing a swimsuit, be aware of local customs and avoid wearing revealing or thong-style swimwear, even at the beach or pool.

šŸ‘‰šŸ½ Topless in Dubai: Public nudity, including going topless, is strictly prohibited and illegal. Dubai follows conservative Islamic laws and cultural norms, and public decency is taken very seriously.

Dubai Business Bay.
Dubai Business Bay

Rules for Women Visiting Dubai

Familiarize yourself with the city’s laws and guidelines to ensure a respectful and enjoyable visit to this vibrant and diverse destination.

šŸ“• Respecting the Country, The Officials, and Islam

Respecting the country, its officials, and the Islamic faith is of utmost importance when visiting Dubai or any part of the United Arab Emirates.

Always show deference to the local culture and traditions by dressing modestly and adhering to established customs.

Be respectful towards government authorities and officials, as the nation places a high value on law and order.

Furthermore, Dubai is deeply rooted in Islamic culture, and it’s crucial to show reverence for the religion.

When visiting religious sites or participating in local customs and practices, demonstrate understanding and respect for the beliefs of the Emirati people.

By honoring these principles, you can enjoy a harmonious and enriching experience in this captivating country.

šŸ“• Visiting Religious Places in Dubai

When visiting religious places in Dubai it’s essential to show respect and observe local customs.

Dress modestly, covering your shoulders and knees, and remove your shoes before entering.

Always speak in hushed tones and maintain a reverent demeanor.

Women may be required to cover their heads in certain mosques, so it’s advisable to carry a scarf.

Taking photographs inside religious establishments might not be permitted, so always ask for permission or abide by posted rules.

By demonstrating sensitivity to the religious significance of these sites, you can fully appreciate the rich cultural tapestry of Dubai and its diverse communities.

šŸ“• Staying in a Hotel With Your Partner in Dubai

While Dubai exudes a contemporary and cosmopolitan vibe, still upholds its unique cultural norms and guidelines.

When planning lodging for unmarried couples, it’s essential to remember these traditions.

While numerous luxurious hotels in Dubai are open to hosting unmarried couples, it’s advisable to reach out to the hotel directly to understand their specific policies, as these can change over time.

Additionally, to enhance your romantic getaway, be sure to read my detailed post on the 45 Best Things to Do in Dubai for Couples.

šŸ“• Drinking Alcohol in Dubai 

Dubai allows the consumption of alcohol, but there are specific rules and regulations governing its use due to the city’s adherence to Islamic laws and customs.

Alcoholic beverages are primarily served in licensed bars, restaurants, and clubs within hotels.

Always consume alcohol responsibly and in designated areas, such as licensed establishments.

šŸ“• Public Display of Affection in Dubai

Public displays of affection (PDA) in Dubai are strongly discouraged due to the city’s adherence to Islamic values and conservative customs.

It is considered impolite and culturally inappropriate to engage in overt displays of affection in public spaces, such as kissing, hugging, or holding hands.

While the city is known for its cosmopolitan and diverse atmosphere, respecting local traditions and norms is essential.

Save romantic gestures for private settings to avoid inadvertently causing offense or violating local laws.

By being mindful of these guidelines and showing consideration for the culture, you can enjoy a smooth and respectful experience while in Dubai.

Jumeirah Dubai.
Jumeirah Dubai

šŸ“• Cross-Dressing in Dubai

Cross-dressing, the act of wearing clothing typically associated with the opposite gender, is generally not socially accepted in Dubai due to the city’s conservative cultural norms and Islamic values.

The United Arab Emirates, including Dubai, has strict regulations when it comes to clothing and attire.

It’s essential to respect local customs and laws, which often mandate modest dress codes and conformity to traditional gender expectations.

Engaging in cross-dressing may attract unwanted attention and potentially result in legal consequences.

Visitors should be aware of and adhere to these local regulations to ensure a respectful and hassle-free experience while in Dubai.

šŸ“• Drug Laws

Strict anti-drug laws are in place, and the possession, use, or trafficking of illegal substances can lead to severe penalties.

šŸ“• Photography

Avoid taking pictures of government buildings, military installations, or other sensitive locations. Always ask for permission before photographing individuals, especially locals.

šŸ“• Business Hours

Be aware of business hours during the weekend (Friday and Saturday) and during prayer times when some businesses may temporarily close.

Visiting Dubai as a Woman During Ramadan

Visiting Dubai as a woman during Ramadan offers a unique cultural experience, but it’s important to be especially considerate of local customs and traditions during this holy month.

šŸ‘šŸ¼ Proper Attire During Ramadan

While Dubai remains open to tourists during Ramadan, it’s essential to respect the fasting Muslims by refraining from eating, drinking, or smoking in public places during daylight hours.

Dressing modestly is even more crucial during this time, and it’s advisable to cover up and wear longer sleeves and dresses or abayas when in public.

Many restaurants and cafes are closed during the day, but they come alive after sunset, offering a rich variety of iftar (break-fast) options and evening festivities.

By being mindful of these guidelines and immersing yourself in the Ramadan spirit, you can partake in a culturally enriching experience in Dubai during this special month.

Tips When Traveling to Dubai Alone as a Woman

1. Dress Modestly: Dubai is a conservative city, so opt for modest clothing that covers your shoulders, arms, and knees when in public places. It’s a sign of respect for local customs.

2. Research Local Laws and Customs: Familiarize yourself with the laws and cultural norms in Dubai, as this will help you avoid misunderstandings and legal issues.

3. Use Reputable Accommodations: Stay in well-established hotels or licensed accommodations to ensure your safety and comfort.

4. Share Your Dubai Itinerary: Inform a trusted friend or family member of your travel plans, including your itinerary and contact details.

5. Be Cautious with Alcohol: While alcohol is available in licensed venues, don’t overindulge, and never drink in public areas. Public intoxication is illegal.

6. Respect Ramadan Rules: If your trip coincides with Ramadan, be mindful of the fasting hours and avoid eating, drinking, or smoking in public during the day.

7. Use Reputable Transportation: Stick to licensed taxis or ride-sharing services, and avoid hitchhiking or accepting rides from strangers.

8. Stay in Well-Lit Areas: Stick to well-traveled and well-lit areas when walking around at night, and avoid deserted streets and alleys.

9. Cultural Sensitivity: Be aware of local customs and etiquette, and always ask for permission before taking photos of people, especially locals.

10. Female-Only Facilities: Utilize female-only sections on public transportation and in waiting areas, which are designed for women’s comfort and safety.

11. Stay Informed: Keep updated on local news and any advisories from your embassy or consulate during your stay.

12. Trust Your Instincts: If a situation feels uncomfortable or unsafe, don’t hesitate to leave or seek assistance.

Ideal Places to Stay When Traveling to Dubai as a Woman

šŸ› Luxury: One&Only The Palm Dubai

One&Only The Palm Dubai luxury room with bed and balcony.
One&Only The Palm Dubai – Photo Ā© Expedia

One&Only The Palm Dubai is a luxurious and exclusive resort nestled on the lush, private peninsula of Palm Jumeirah.

This stunning oasis offers an intimate escape from the bustling city, with elegantly designed rooms, suites, and villas that provide breathtaking views of the Dubai skyline and the Arabian Gulf.

Guests can indulge in world-class dining experiences, unwind at the pristine beach, or rejuvenate at the exquisite Guerlain Spa.

The resort’s serene ambiance, top-notch service, and beautiful gardens make it a haven of tranquility, perfect for those seeking a lavish and secluded retreat in the heart of Dubai.

 It was an exclusive experience. It is a very luxurious hotel. The staff is very polite and everything was clean.

ā­ļøā­ļøā­ļøā­ļøā­ļø MURAT, SEPTEMBER 2023

šŸ› Arabic Atmosphere: Jumeirah Mina A’Salam

Jumeirah Mina A'Salam room with cozy bed and balcony.
Jumeirah Mina A’Salam – Photo Ā© Expedia

Jumeirah Mina A’Salam is a luxurious Dubai resort that exudes an authentic local Arabic vibe, offering guests a unique and culturally immersive experience.

Situated within the renowned Madinat Jumeirah complex, this elegant property captures the essence of traditional Arabian architecture and design, featuring meandering waterways, lush gardens, and an enchanting souk-style shopping experience.

The resort pays homage to Dubai’s rich heritage and offers a warm, welcoming ambiance that beautifully blends modern comfort with traditional charm.

Guests can savor Arabic cuisine, explore the nearby Souk Madinat Jumeirah, or simply unwind in an atmosphere that perfectly captures the spirit of Arabia.

This hotel is beyond expectations. I sincerely enjoyed the hotel and facilities. The staff was very accommodating to us and very polite.

ā­ļøā­ļøā­ļøā­ļøā­ļø michael, october 2023

šŸ› Shopping and Business Trips: Address Dubai Mall

Address Dubai Mall with cozy bed, tables and chairs and a balcony.
Address Dubai Mall – Photo Ā© Expedia

The Address Hotel Dubai Mall is a remarkable destination for both shopping enthusiasts and business travelers.

Located right next to the iconic Dubai Mall, it offers unparalleled access to a world of retail therapy, dining, and entertainment options.

Shopaholics can explore countless high-end boutiques, global brands, and luxury stores just steps away from their accommodation.

Moreover, for business travelers, the hotel’s strategic location in the heart of Downtown Dubai ensures easy access to major corporate hubs and offices.

With its modern amenities, impeccable service, and a central position within this dynamic city, The Address Hotel Dubai Mall strikes the perfect balance for those looking to combine business with leisure in the vibrant landscape of Dubai.

Location is very good. Direct access to Dubai Mall.

ā­ļøā­ļøā­ļøā­ļøā­ļø KHADIJAH, NOVEMBER 2023

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Female Tourists Have to Cover in Dubai?

While is not mandatory to wear an abaya or headscarf, covering your shoulders, arms, and knees in public areas to respect local customs and Islamic values in Dubai is advisable.

Can Girls Wear Shorts in Dubai?

Yes, girls and women can wear shorts in Dubai, but it’s advisable to choose modest and knee-length shorts to adhere to the city’s conservative dress code and respect local customs.

In more private or tourist-friendly areas, shorter shorts may be acceptable, but it’s wise to err on the side of modesty to avoid any cultural misunderstandings

Close up of Dubai Damac Park Towers.
Dubai Damac Park Towers

Can You Show Your Legs in Dubai?

You can show your legs in Dubai, but it’s important to be mindful of the local dress code and cultural norms.

While knee-length shorts, skirts, and dresses are generally acceptable, it’s advisable to dress modestly in public areas to respect the conservative values and customs of the city.

In more private or tourist-friendly settings, such as beach resorts and hotels, wearing shorter attire is usually acceptable, but it’s a good practice to be aware of the context and environment when choosing your clothing.

Can I Wear Leggings in Dubai?

Leggings are comfortable and can be a practical choice, especially when paired with a longer top, tunic, or dress that covers the hips and bottom.

As with any clothing in Dubai, it’s recommended to ensure that the overall outfit maintains a level of modesty and covers the knees and shoulders, especially in public places, to respect local customs and cultural norms.

Can You Go Out at Night in Dubai?

Dubai offers a wide range of entertainment options, including restaurants, bars, clubs, theaters, and more.

It’s a safe city to explore at night, but it’s important to exercise the usual precautions you would in any urban area, such as staying in well-lit areas, using reputable transportation, and being aware of your surroundings.

Keep in mind that some areas have specific dress codes and public displays of affection should be kept to a minimum to respect local customs.

Additionally, during the holy month of Ramadan, the city’s nightlife scene may operate under different hours and regulations.

Can You Show Tattoos in Dubai?

While tattoos are generally accepted, some locals may still associate tattoos with a criminal or negative connotation.

To avoid any potential misunderstandings, especially in more conservative areas, it’s a good practice to cover tattoos when possible, especially if they are in prominent or sensitive areas of the body.

In tourist-friendly areas and at beaches or resorts, you can generally display your tattoos without any issues.

Can I Wear Ripped Jeans in Dubai?

In general, Dubai has become more liberal regarding fashion, and many people, including tourists, wear ripped jeans without any issues.

However, it’s wise to choose ripped jeans that are not overly revealing, with modesty in mind.

Rips that expose too much skin, especially above the knees, might be considered inappropriate in certain settings or more conservative areas.

Is There a Dress Code for Burj Khalifa?

Basically, it’s the same dress code for most areas in Dubai. It’s recommended to wear modest and decent clothing.

Avoid beachwear, such as swimwear or shorts.

Is it Allowed to Take Selfies in Dubai?

Dubai is a city that’s very active on social media, and taking selfies is a common practice for tourists and locals alike.

However, it’s essential to be respectful of your surroundings and the privacy of others when taking selfies.

Can You Wear Sleeveless in Dubai?

While it’s generally acceptable to wear sleeveless clothing in Dubai, it’s advisable to be mindful of local customs and context.

Sleeveless tops and dresses are commonly worn by residents and tourists, especially in private or tourist-friendly areas like hotels, beach resorts, and shopping malls.

Wide shot of the Dubai Marina.
Dubai Marina

Final Thoughts: Traveling to Dubai as a Woman

All in all, traveling to Dubai as a woman can be a fascinating and rewarding experience. While Dubai offers modernity and luxury, it also holds dear its rich cultural traditions.

By respecting local customs, dressing modestly, and being aware of the city’s regulations, women can explore the city safely and enjoy its unique blend of history, hospitality, and vibrant urban life.

This Post is written by Narcisa Rusu | A luxury Voyage Blog

Hi, Iā€™m Narcisa! I am sharing my abroad experiences and travel tips from all the places I lived in and visited. Whether you are looking for weekend getaways, cultural exploration, or insider insights into living abroad, here are my travel tips and guides!