Before going to Dubai (on a FlyDubai FAM) I searched the net to know more about the dress code for women in Dubai. What I found suggested that it is better to dress on the conservative side. I also gathered that malls were the places where you could dress more liberally. Now, I am back from my trip and the following are my observations.
Most malls in Dubai display a courtesy policy for the public. You can see they advice covering knees and the shoulders which is very similar to the Buddhist temple policies. So a short sleeve T shirt and anything below the knee is fine!
However, I love clicking what I see women wearing at a destination. A lot for them simply ignore the courtesy policy. Anyway all through the world official rules and there interpretations differ!
In December the weather was pleasant in Dubai, the days were warm and nights slightly chilly. This girl who was out for a jog on a bright sunny day was doing so in a shorts and t-shirt in the Jumeirah area. I don’t think she attracted any extra attention.
On the same Jumeirah Promenade I saw this photo session in progress. My guess is that the tourists asked the local to click a picture. And you can see the tourists are dressed like they dress anywhere on a holiday!
For sure a lot of women (and men, see the picture above) dress conservatively according to their culture and norms. But you can see that even the official policy doesn’t expects the visitors to follow the same norms.
I spotted the girls at the same mall where I clicked the courtesy policy. You can see clearly that the stated policy and the tolerated policy are starkly different.
Even when it comes to conservative dressing the norms seem to be different, some just cover their hair and not the face while some would cover everything but the eyes!
Dubai is a city of malls and like I said before, people dress nicely when they go out.
Dubai Mall has a similar stated policy as the Mall of Emirates (where I clicked the picture of the policy) and yet people interpret it in their own ways. I spotted the mom and the daughter admiring the at the aquarium at the Dubai Mall.
I briefly visited the Jumeirah Public Beach in the morning. The beach was not too crowded and I saw no one in a bikini. But I was told that it would get crowded in the afternoons and evenings and it was fine to wear a bikini on the beach.
As you can see in the pictures there is a difference in the stated courtesy policy and what people follow. I personally wore something that covered my shoulders and knees most of the time. However, I wore a sleeveless top the day I went to the top of the Burj Khalifa.
I leave it to you in the end to decide what you wish to wear in Dubai. I feel it is useful to know the stated courtesy policy but it is by no means written in stone!
I started writing the dress code for women posts because I search for it when I am visiting a country for the first time. I disagreed with some of what I read after visiting a destination, so I decided to do my own series. Here is what I observed about the dress code for women in Philippines.
My thoughts are based on a 10 day trip to Philippines where I visited Manila and Boracay. How I interpret the dress code also depends on where I come from, which is India! A 10 day visit makes me no expert but here is what I saw.
I start with Micaela Rodriguez who blogs at Senyorita and is a local. We were speaking at the same panel at TBEX which is a blogging conference and this is the lovely dress she chose to wear with a matching jacket. Short dresses are fine in Philippines.
Here is our guide from Boracay, Homma, in blue on the left, dressed for a day out at sea. She is a local too. Like anywhere in the world, people put their swim suites beneath a short dress so they can get into water when they wish!
I saw these pretty ladies at a show in Manila. And look at their beautiful gowns! I included this picture just to show that how strikingly beautiful the local dresses can be! I can’t imagine this to be normal wear though! If you search for festival gowns they seem to be available for rent too!
This is from a closing night TBEX party at Manila where you can see how social media people dance! I quite admired the guy who danced with his video camera, it must be heavy! The girls were dressed to party!
The days in Manila were hot in October, quite the same for me back home in Delhi too! So you can dress the way you feel comfortable on a sunny day! Dresses, shorts all are fine!
Both bikini and one piece swim suites are fine on the beaches in Boracay and my guess is all over Philippines. So do pack accordingly for your holiday.
To sum up women dress well in Philippines and most of the dresses you wear at home should be fine in Philippines.
PS. I was a speaker at TBEX Malina and my trip to Philippines was sponsored by Philippines Tourism Board!
If you are in a hurry and you need to read about dress code for women in Israel here is all you need to know- you can wear pretty much anything you wear at home! The only exception are some religious site in Jerusalem where they require both men and women to cover their shoulders and knees. In such places, all you need is a t-shirt with sleeves and capri which goes below the knee. There, you are sorted about the dress code for women in Israel. But if you have time you can read further!
I just got back from Israel, I was invited there by Ministry of Tourism, Israel. In August it was hot during the day. And I loved the fact that you could wear anything you found comfortable and go about the place!
I used my cell phone (Xperia X) to click these pictures. A cell phone attracts less attention than a SLR! It was easy to click well dressed women, they are all over the place!
While flying to Tel Aviv from Mumbai I watched an Israeli move- Apples from the Desert. It is a story of a young girl who runs away from her orthodox Jew family. Her mother used to dress like this in the movie. But then the orthodox men dress even more conservatively! And no one expects you to dress like that, not even in religious places of Jerusalem!
Youngsters dress like anywhere in the world! And they also pay a lot of attention to their phones! You can see the girl is dressed for a sunny, warm day!
And then there were moms, dressed for a hot day too. This is the port at Tel Aviv and when I visited it was truly hot!
I close the series with this shot of my colleagues on the trip with a local woman. You can see the sun was out and and the umbrella too!
On the beach swimwear is common both bikini and single piece swimsuits. To sum up, when I got the invitation to visit Israel, it was written in the welcome document that you could wear whatever you want. After the visit, I couldn’t agree more. Only the religious sights in Jerusalem expect you to cover the shoulder and knee, and it is a common in Buddhism too. I wore shorts and dresses sometimes and I just could blend well in the crowd. The dress code for women in Israel is pretty cool overall!
PS. I was invited by the Ministry of Tourism, Israel on the trip!
As Bhutan is our neighbor I was not too worried about the dress code for women before I went! Looking at the temperatures in July I knew I would need to wrap up. So I packed accordingly. Now that it has been some time since my visit I try to construct the dress code for women in Bhutan through pictures.
I saw a lot of women (men as well) in Bhutan wearing their traditional dress. It looked pretty, demure and classy! While walking through the souvenir shops of Thimphu, I asked this lady if I could click her picture. She agreed quite easily. The Bhutanese national dress for women is called Kira. I am not sure if this is Kira or a variation of it, but it looks so pretty.
It is quite common to see women in modern attire as well. Jeans and capris were quite common, some would wear shorts too. But in the same picture, in the left hand corner you can see women in their traditional attire as well!
The younger generation usually dresses in a trendy way, like anywhere else in the world! I met the girls at the Buddha Point at Thimphu as well. They were shooting for a tourism catalog. The weather is such that it is sensible to have a warp, you never know when you would find it cold.
The was a dress code at the religious places. At the Phunaka Dzong you are not allowed to wear a sleeveless top. I was wearing one, but as I was carrying a full sleeves jacket, I just wore it over my top. What the lady in the picture is wearing is fine, even a short sleeve will do at the Dzongs. But carrying a warp or a full sleeve jacket is such a wonderful idea, it keeps the cold away and it can come in handy to meet any such dress code requirements!
Here is a full picture of the traditional Bhutanese dress, Kira. For a while I was tempted to buy one for myself but I knew I would hardly ever wear it, and shopping in Bhutan is not cheap at all.
In conclusion, to me western dresses looked fine, women commonly wore jeans and shirt. Sleeveless was fine as long as you were not visiting a religious place! I also feel that women do cover up a bit more than what may be the norm in the western world. I did not see too many low necks or short skirts or skimpy shorts.
PS. I was invited to visit Bhutan by Makemytrip.