Before visiting Oman, I had been to Dubai, Sharjah and Ajman. So, I almost knew what to expect when it comes to dress code for women in Oman. These countries have a courtesy policy which asks men and women, both, to cover up their knees and shoulders. But this post is only about women, as that is what I always focus on.
If you cover your knee and shoulders you are good in Oman. That means a t-shirt with sleeves and a capri below the knee is absolutely fine in most of the places.
However, there is an exception to this, if you wish to visit the Grand Mosque in Muscat, you need to cover up like the local women. Only hands and feet remain uncovered while visiting the mosque. I wore a long sleeved kurta, long skirt and carried a duppata (a long scarf will do). The ladies at the entrance of the mosque draped the duppata around my hair. If your dress does not meet the requirement you can rent appropriate clothes for a fee. Do remember that the Omani Rial is equal to 2.5 dollars. It is cheaper to dress correctly rather than rent!
But other than the mosque there is a lot of tolerance for the dress code, particularly for foreigners and tourists. As you can see in the picture above, you can wear shorts and a cropped top but it will attract a lot of attention.
Within a resort swimming pool everyone wears a swimsuit or bikini. You can do so at the sinkhole or the beach too but outside a resort it will attract more attention.
In urban and touristic settings wearing sleeveless tops is also alright. The stated policy, as I said at the beginning of the post, is to cover the shoulders and the knees. But like Dubai, Oman too is quite tolerant of its tourists.
PS. I was invited to Oman by the Oman Tourism Board. The views stated in this post are entirely mine.
I visited Yangon and Inle Lake in Myanmar for Escapers17. It was a fast paced super fun event. I still found time to look at what was the dress code for women in Myanmar.
The local women dress beautifully in Longyi and tops. Men also wrap the same longyi in a slightly different style. Given the hot weather, the comfortable skirt makes a lot of sense. It is almost the same as the wrap around skirts worn in North East India and Thailand.
I clicked this picture at the Yangon Airport. You can see both men and women wrap the same longyi but slightly differently. They wear it with a t-shirt/shirt/top. This is by far the most common way to dress in Myanmar.
When it came to tourists, they have more leeway in the way they decide to dress. It might be a little contrary to the local dress code but I don’t think wearing sleeveless or spaghetti is going to raise too many eyebrows, though locals certainly cover up more.
Women (men too) in Myanmar put Thanaka on their face. It comes from the tree (not sure what is the Indian equivalent) bark and it is applied on the face to prevent sunburn. It is also used as a beauty product in Myanmar. I tried it out too, it is cool stuff!
The people in Myanmar are friendly, but many may not speak English! I saw this group walking by on the road! Not sure what they were talking about but I am sure wearing sleeveless tops in no way affected their conversation!
By now I was used to clicking beautiful women in Longyi but I was wondering why these two were wearing an identical dress. I was in the Scott Market in Yangon and my guess is they worked in a place where this was the uniform? But then what do I know, I am just a curious tourist!
And nearby, a tourist was dressed for the hot summer afternoon in Yangon! Let me bring in the temple code here. If you are dressed like this you cannot enter a temple (pagoda, shrine etc) in Myanmar. Like many other Buddhist places in South East Asia it is required that you cover your knees and shoulders. If you are wearing a short dress you can cover the knee by simply carrying a longyi! For shoulders many places will give you a wrap.
At Inle Lake which is in the Shan State of Myanmar women wear a headgear which I am sure can be part of a ramp model’s style! Inle Lake has cooler weather so you can see women wearing a jacket over their top. Longyi is still by far the common dress here too.
I close the post by a picture of the woman I chanced upon in Inle Lake. She was smoking the local cheroot. She has swag!
You can virtually wear anything and be comfortable in Singapore. The dress code for women in Singapore easy, there are no special requirements. Visiting places of worship would be the only exception. I am writing this post from a tourist’s point of view. I would say dress according to the weather! It is hot and humid during the day and slightly cooler during the night!
As you can see women dress for comfort and style in Singapore. Shorts is fine, sleeveless is fine, basically you can dress as you dress at home! And it is cool to click the Marina Bay Sands.
It was equally fine if you wish to dress conservatively according to your religion. It was common to spot people who would cover up and that too was fine! I clicked this picture in the China Town.
Places of worship need a special mention. I visited a Buddhist temple in China Town and the Sultan Mosque, located at the Muscat Street. I was wearing a sleeveless top that day. At both the places they gave me robes to cover up. y Singaporean friend Sy was wearing shorts. He was also given a sarong. The rule applies both to men and women. So, the dress code for religious places is that you need to cover your shoulders and knees. This is true for most of the Asia.
By now you have a fair idea of how it goes in Singapore and what you can wear. The rest of the pictures are fun pictures of people. I loved the way mom and daughter were posing for the father!
Here is another one from the Bugis Street, close to which I stayed. I actually love places like Singapore where you can just be!
I would close this post with this picture from the Botanic Garden, which is the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Singapore. See Sy, I went there after all!
Singapore is an easy country when it comes to the dress code for women. You can dress the way you like. The only places that do require some attention are the places of worship.
I have now visited Dubai, Sharjah and Ajman and crossed through Fujairah. However I have stayed only in Dubai and Sharjah for a few days on separate trips. I hoped over to Ajman from Sharjah on a whim. It was a short day trip, I really did not send much time in Ajman. Still, here is a quick take about the dress code for women in Ajman.
The first thing that surprised me was women in bikini on the Ajman Beach, which is a public beach. There was this young women who wore her shirt but didn’t bother to cover her legs. I could also see that no one was paying them any extra attention so that might be the norm.
Then there was this older woman on the same beach in her bikini! Now that was interesting to me. I also saw a couple (but could not photograph them even from far) where the girl was wearing a capri and short sleeved T-shirt.
I was wearing a jeans and a long sleeved sweater as it was cold after the rains in Sharjah. I was walking down the public beach when a traditionally dressed man approached me and politely asked about my well being. I replied and to make things clear added, I was a tourist staying in Sharjah. He pointed to his car (BMW) in the parking area nearby and offered to drop me to Sharjah! He would speak some Arabic in between his English. I told him I did not understand him and walked away. He waved from his car, tried to attract attention but went away eventually. This was an absolute first for me in UAE. Before this, no one, absolutely no one, tried to talk to me unless I asked for something!
I twice took a taxi in Ajman (as I was short on time) and both the drivers were Pakistani. They were amiable young men, ready to answer all my queries. One of them remarked when I told him I was staying in Sharjah, “here it is not like Sharjah, if you wish to, you can go out with anyone willingly.” In Sharjah apparently opposite sex is not encouraged to mingle unless you are related.
In Ajman I also noticed that not everyone was wearing black (the lady in the first picture is wearing a pink abaya) but many still covered their head. The girl in the restaurant where I had lunch was covering her head but wearing a shirt.
As I said I saw only a little of Ajman but my feeling is that it has a more liberal dress code for women than Sharjah.