Clothing in the United Arab Emirates

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Clothing in the United Arab Emirates is characteristic of Arabic countries. It is an aspect of the Bedouin life in the Arabian peninsula. It is designed for comfort in high temperatures to keep with the religious beliefs in the country. Emiratis wear veils and long sleeved robes, worn especially in the summer. Clothing that cover more parts of the body from the sunlight can be preferred. However, the black female dress, abaya, captures heat due to light-absorbing color.[1][2]

Woman wearing the abaya and veil
Emirati keffiyeh

Traditional clothing[edit]

The United Arab Emirates warned its citizens to avoid wearing traditional clothing when traveling outside of the country after a businessman named Ahmed Al Menhali was mistakenly arrested in Ohio after a hotel clerk thought he was a terrorist. [3][4]

The UAE has also used Twitter and Facebook campaigns to create awareness on various issues. A recent campaign which was launched in May 2012 and has gained prominence and controversy is the "UAE Dress Code" campaign. It was started by two Emirati women, Hanan Al Rayes and Asma Al Muhairi, to create awareness and educate tourists and expatriates on dressing appropriately, respecting the country's culture and sensibilities.[5]

Sandals are the common footwear for both Emirati women and men.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Özlem Sandıkcı; Gillian Rice (1 January 2011). Handbook of Islamic Marketing. Edward Elgar Publishing. pp. 422–. ISBN 978-0-85793-602-8.
  2. ^ Ian Yeoman; Victoria Management School Ian Yeoman (4 June 2009). Tomorrow's Tourist: Scenarios & Trends. Routledge. pp. 145–. ISBN 978-1-136-35489-2.
  3. ^ "UAE Warns Citizens To Avoid Wearing Traditional Clothing While Abroad - News -". Retrieved 2016-08-26.
  4. ^ "UAE: Dress Code Campaign Urges Extra Inches of Clothing · Global Voices". Retrieved 2016-08-26.
  5. ^ Khalid A. Al-Sayed (21 September 2013). GCC and Arab Spring. The Peninsula Publishing. pp. 19–. GGKEY:2D1WJHWK02L.


  • Benesh, G. C. (2008). CultureShock! United Arab Emirates: A survival guide to customs and etiquette. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish International (Asia) Ptd Ltd.