Now that you have your airline tickets booked for your holidays in Dubai, it is time to start packing for your vacation.
If you haven’t been to Dubai before, you may have some questions about what you should pack.
With this summer holidays in Dubai guide, you’ll understand what to bring and what to leave at home.
How to Pack for Your Summer Holidays in Dubai
What to Wear on the Plane
Planes are often cold so planning what to wear on the trip can be tricky. I suggest comfortable pants and a long-sleeve shirt. Bring a light sweater or sweatshirt along with you so you can wear it on the plane but tuck it into a carry-on when you land.
Summer Holidays in Dubai
It’s hot in Dubai in the summer. Temperatures routinely reach 40° Celsius (105° Fahrenheit) so you’ll want to be prepared.
The heat can make it difficult to breathe, especially if you have breathing problems. It’s a dry heat which makes it a bit more bearable, but humidity does rise in the evenings. You’ll likely want to plan to return to your hotel and change clothes after your daytime activities before you head out for the evening.
What to Wear in Dubai
The United Arab Emirates is an Islamic nation and you’ll want to dress moderately. That means warm weather clothing like shorts and tank tops isn’t going to be appropriate everywhere. It’s acceptable at water parks and some other locations but is out of the question in business facilities and religious facilities. When in doubt, dress conservatively, especially for women.
- Pants and Tops
T-shirts and tank tops are not a great idea. Modesty aside, you’ll want to cover up because of the sun. When walking around Dubai, you’re going to get direct sunlight and a lot of it. Long, loose-fitting pants and shirts are your best defence. Make sure they’re made from a breathable fabric. If you don’t, you will sweat and it won’t be pleasant.
Shorts and t-shirts are appropriate in some areas—you can spend an entire day at the Dubai Mall for instance—but make sure shorts come down below the knee and that your shirt covers your shoulders.
If you’re planning to spend most of your time in the shopping areas and malls, simple tennis shoes or business shoes will be fine. For women, you’ll want to wear flats most of the time, with heels reserved for special social events.
If you plan on visiting the Jumeirah Mosque or other religious sites, you’ll want to wear shoes that you can slip on and off easily as footwear is not permitted in areas of prayer. Loafers work well for this, as do sandals. One caveat, however, if your socks are going to be visible, make sure they’re relatively new and without holes. Deteriorating socks are insulting in some situations.
Also remember to pack sunglasses, hats, and towels. You won’t just want them at the beach, they’re a big part of handling the sun and heat every day.
No trip is really complete unless you’ve added to your collection of travel accessories. Here are some of the ones you’ll want to bring on your trip to Dubai.
- Beauty and Hygiene Products
Sunscreen. Sunscreen Sunscreen.
Even if you’re trying to avoid it, you will be spending enough time in the sun to get burned and burned badly. Bring a good one and use it.
If you use tampons, make sure you bring enough. While their availability has grown as more and more European and North American companies come to UAE, they still aren’t carried everywhere.
If you have a favourite local shampoo or deodorant, make sure you bring it. Most of the international brands are available in Dubai, but local brands are often unavailable.
- Money Carriers
Crime is unlikely, but it’s certainly a possibility. For the most part, you will be safe enough keeping things in your pockets, but if you’re looking for that extra reassurance, I suggest a money belt or the like.
Essential Travel Technology
A smartphone is essential, and you’ll want to check out my article on the essential travel apps for your trip.
International roaming charges can be severe so you’ll probably want to invest in a local SIM card. If you don’t get one at the arrival hall of any of Dubai’s International Airports, get one as soon as possible when you arrive your hotel. You’ll replace the card in your phone—make sure you put the original somewhere safe that you won’t forget—and you’ll have a new, local phone number for the duration of your trip.
One caveat, the SIM cards sold operate on a GSM-based frequency. You should consult your phone’s documentation to ensure your phone is also GSM-based. If it’s CDMA, you will want to purchase a prepaid phone instead of a SIM card as the SIM card simply won’t work.
Regardless of whether you’re purchasing a SIM card or a phone, you’ll save money if you purchase data and phone minutes in advance.
The camera on your phone is probably good enough for most snapshots, but if you’re even slightly interested in getting some truly great photos, you’ll want to bring a separate camera.
If you’re planning to do any work, you’ll want to bring a laptop or tablet. Regardless, if you bring any electrical devices at all, you’ll want to get a power adapter before your trip.
What You Won’t Need
A basic first-aid kit is never a bad idea when you’re traveling, but you won’t need anti-itch cream, mosquito repellant, or snake venom/poison removal kits. The deserts of UAE are much different than those of Australia or the southwestern United States.
Things to Do in Dubai in Summer
There are a number of water parks and tourist attractions in Dubai and you’ll want to take advantage of them.
In addition, Bounce Dubai (for kids) and Ski Dubai are indoor experiences that you simply can’t find anywhere else. Dubai Summer Surprises is open throughout the summer and offers a bounty of family-friendly fun.
Dubai is much like any other major business centre in the world. If you would wear something to a business meeting in London or New York, it’s going to be fine for a business meeting in Dubai. Just remember that you will be dealing with heat and you will most likely be walking a lot. You’ll want to make sure you have comfortable shoes and a plan for dealing with the heat. If you’re in business meetings all day, you’ll be fine. If you’re out seeing the sights, you’ll want to cover up, wear hats and sunglasses, use sunscreen, and wear loose clothing made of breathable fabrics.
Dubai is a fascinating and fun city to explore. If you can’t have fun here, you can’t have fun anywhere, just remember to do a little planning especially if you’re on a budget, account for the heat, and your trip will be one of the best of your life.
If you still need help preparing for your Dubai holidays after reading this article, contact me and I will personally help you.