How To Dress Like A Local In Dubai?

Dubai is a vibrant city with a rich culture and interesting traditional attire. Visiting Dubai is an amazing experience, and one way to immerse yourself in the culture is to dress like a local.  Dresses in Dubai are renowned for bright colors and patterns. To dress like a local in Dubai you should look for light and airy fabrics that are suited to the hot climate, such as linen and cotton which have neutral colors such as beige, white, or black as these are popular in Dubai locals. Let’s learn deeply about the Traditional dresses of men and women in Dubai.

How To Dress Like A Local In Dubai

Glimpse into Dubai’s Traditional Attire

The traditional dress for men in dubai is the kandurah, which is a long white shirt paired with a light-colored waistcoat or bisht. Women typically wear an abaya, which is an ankle-length black cloak, sometimes decorated with colorful designs. Other items commonly seen in traditional Dubai attire include kaffiyehs (headdresses), belts, and sashes. Traditional footwear includes leather sandals and slippers that are usually made from goat leather. This combination of modern fashion elements and classic Arabian style makes the dresses of Dubai truly unique and eye-catching. Pre And Post-Ride Checklist For ATV Sand Riding

Traditional dress for men in Dubai


The traditional dress for men in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is called a kandura. It is a long, white, ankle-length garment with long sleeves and often features a high collar. A belt or sash is usually worn around the waist to keep the garment closed at the front. The kandura is often made of cotton but can also be made from synthetic fabrics such as polyester and nylon. This traditional dress has been passed down through generations and continues to remain popular in UAE culture today.

The Gutras and Shemaghs

The Gutras and Shemaghs are also traditional garments of Dubai. Men wear a ghutra, which is a square piece of cloth that wraps around the head and covers the neck and shoulders. The Shemagh is a large square or rectangular scarf that is wrapped around the head and shoulders to protect from sun and sand.

Both of these garments are popular among locals and tourists alike in Dubai. Traditionally they come in white and cream colors but nowadays they can be found in various colors and styles to match any wardrobe. They are not just functional but also serve as a way to express one’s individuality. Gutras and Shemaghs are symbols of Middle Eastern culture, representing respect for tradition, religious beliefs, and cultural pride. They have become part of the modern-day fashion trend in Dubai, giving people a sense of identity while still maintaining the traditional values of their country.


Agal, or the traditional headdress of Dubai, is an integral part of Emirati culture. It is a band of rope or cord worn around the head to hold the ghutra in place. The agal is usually made from black wool and consists of two cords- one to secure the ghutra in place and another to tie around the neck.

The origins of Agal can be traced back to ancient Arabia where it was used by Bedouin tribes as a symbol of distinction. In modern times, it is still seen as an essential part of traditional Emirati dress and has become popular among international visitors looking to experience authentic Emirati culture. Agal is one of the most recognizable symbols of traditional Emirati dress and its presence at official gatherings serves as a reminder that Dubai’s cultural heritage continues to be respected and celebrated in contemporary times.


The Bisht is a traditional robe worn in Dubai, and throughout the Arabian Gulf. It is usually a long, flowing garment made from wool, cotton, or synthetic materials such as polyester. The Bisht is usually white or off-white in color and can be decorated with intricate embroidery. It is typically worn over a thawb, or traditional Arab male dress, as well as other clothing items such as turbans and shemaghs. It is commonly seen at formal occasions where it gives men an air of sophistication and elegance, such as eid or a wedding.


The Ghafiyah is similar to the cap Muslims wear when they pray. The only distinction is that it is richly decorated and can scarcely be seen since it is put on beneath the Kaffiyeh to shield the individual from direct sunlight on the head.

Traditional dress of dubai women


The traditional dress of Dubai women is the abaya. It is a long, loose-fitting robe that is often worn over other clothing. It is typically black and may be decorated with sequins, embroidery, or beading. The abaya protects from the heat of the desert sun and also serves as a symbol of modesty for women in this region. Traditionally, the abaya was made of light fabrics such as cotton or silk but nowadays, it can also be found in heavier fabrics such as wool and polyester. The neckline, length, and sleeve style can vary depending on personal preference and occasion.

Abayas are available in various styles including open-front designs, long robes, short jackets, and flared or fitted skirts. They may also feature different closures such as buttons or zippers depending on the style chosen. For formal occasions such as weddings or religious ceremonies, some women may choose to wear more ornate designs with intricate details like beading or embroidery. Regardless of design choice, the abaya remains an iconic traditional dress for Dubai women.


The burqah has long been considered a traditional dress for women  in Dubai. It is a long, loose-fitting garment that covers the entire body from head to toe as well as the face, leaving only the eyes visible. This traditional dress is typically worn in public by women to remain modest and conservatively dressed. While this garment is commonly worn by Emirati women, it has also become popular among tourists visiting Dubai.

The burqah can be found in many different colors and styles, ranging from traditional white to more modern designs with vibrant colors and patterns. It is often paired with an abaya (a full-length cloak) for added modesty or even accessorized with jewelry and hats. The burqah is a timeless symbol of Dubai’s culture and tradition, making it an iconic part of any visit to the city.


The Kaffiyeh is a traditional dress of Dubai and is often worn by men in the region. It is a type of headdress, usually made of cotton cloth, and it has long been used to protect against the harsh sun. The kaffiyeh can be seen in many different colors and patterns, with each color and pattern having its significance. For example, white kaffiyehs are most commonly associated with respect or wisdom, while black ones are often linked to strength and power.

Kaffiyehs are also traditionally adorned with red-and-white checkered designs that represent good luck. In Dubai, kaffiyehs are typically accompanied by a pair of aviator sunglasses or a turban for extra protection from the sun’s rays. The traditional dress of Dubai’s citizens is often completed with colorful accessories such as beads and bangles that add to its unique style and flair.

Kaftan or Jalabiyya

This beautiful outfit is made of lightweight fabric, usually cotton or linen, and is often embroidered with intricate designs. It typically features a long, full-length robe with wide sleeves and a high neckline. The style of the dress varies from region to region – some featuring a more formal, structured look while others are more casual and comfortable. It can be worn for both formal and informal occasions and is suitable for both men and women. The colors of the dress range from bright shades like reds and oranges to earthy tones like greens, blues, and browns. The Kaftan or Jalabiyya has become an iconic symbol of Dubai’s culture due to its timeless elegance and versatility.


The hijab is a head covering that is worn by Muslim women as a symbol of modesty and respect for their faith. It can be worn in different styles and colors, depending on a woman’s preference. The traditional hijab is usually made from lightweight fabrics such as cotton, silk, or polyester and often includes some kind of embroidery around the edges.

In Dubai, the hijab is an important part of the culture, with many women wearing it for religious reasons. Wearing the hijab also serves to protect women from harmful UV rays when out in the sun. The hijab has even become an iconic symbol of Dubai’s fashion culture and style, with some embracing it as a fashion statement in its own right.


Gishwah is a traditional dress of Dubai that has been around for centuries. It is usually worn by women and is often part of their everyday attire. The dress is typically made of lightweight material, such as silk or cotton, which provides comfort in the hot weather.

Gishwahs come in a variety of colors and patterns, ranging from simple to intricate designs that are handmade by local artisans. The embroidery on the fabric often has motifs that have cultural significance and represent the wearer’s beliefs and values. Women can also add accessories such as jewelry to their gishwahs to further personalize their looks. Gishwahs are an important part of the culture in Dubai, representing beauty and gracefulness while providing practicality for everyday life in the desert climate. Experience Dune Buggies Dubai By Buggyrents


Dressing like a local in Dubai is not difficult. As long as you are aware of the cultural norms and follow them, you should be able to dress appropriately while exploring Dubai. While being comfortable and fashionable, it is important to respect the culture by covering up your body, wearing modest clothing, and avoiding revealing or tight-fitting clothes. Additionally, if attending religious ceremonies or visiting religious sites it is essential to cover your head with a hijab or other headscarf and wear loose-fitting clothing that covers the arms and legs. By following these guidelines and the above-mentioned information on the traditional dresses of Dubai, you can easily dress like a local in Dubai and enjoy your experience in this beautiful city.

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