Skip to Content

What to wear in Abu Dhabi

What to wear in Abu Dhabi

Are you wondering what to wear in Abu Dhabi? No matter whether you are visiting the UAE capital in Summer, Winter, Spring or fall we have stylish outfit inspiration for you that meets Abu Dhabi dress codes and can also deal with the weather!

Important Note: This post may contain affiliate links which means if you click through and make a purchase I will make a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

Weather in Abu Dhabi

The weather has to be one of the largest considerations when putting together your Abu Dhabi packing lists. If you are not familiar with Abu Dhabi weather I think it is worth mentioning that in the Middle East there are only really two seasons: summer and Winter. However, for most visitors from Europe and North America, the temperatures will feel warm no matter when you visit.

How Hot is Abu Dhabi?

Historically the coolest month in Abu Dhabi is January with average highs and average lows of 24°C / 15°C. While August is traditionally the hottest month with temperatures of 42°C / 31°C.

Therefore you can say that it is never very cold. For this reason we recommend always packing lots of light loose layers made out of natural fabrics that can cope with the temperatures. But also always having some light layers with you for Winter evening chills, desert nights and also just to deal with air conditioning.

Does it rain in Abu Dhabi in Summer?

Rain is not something people associate with Abu Dhabi at any time of year however you do get rain even in the desert but it is a rarity. The rainiest month tends to be April but even then you shouldn’t be worried about no matter when you are traveling.

Abu Dhabi Dress Codes

Woman in Hijab at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi
What to wear in Abu Dhabi (Dress Codes and Packing List)

Before we start to put together the guide to what to wear in Abu Dhabi it is important to understand the Abu Dhabi dress code. Abu Dhabi, and the UAE as a whole is an Islamic country, and therefore has strict rules about what you can and can’t wear.

Now the UAE generally doesn’t have as strict a dress code as other parts of the Middle East. Dubai is known to have the most relaxed dress code, as it is the tourist hub. Abu Dhabi on the other hand is the business and cultural hub of the country and therefore is slightly stricter with what you can and can’t wear.

However, I think it is respectful to adhere to the rules no matter where you are and no matter how many other people are breaking the rules.

The general rules for the Abu Dhabi dress code for both men and women is

  • Keep your shoulders covered
  • Keep your knees covered
  • Nothing overly revealing.

And it is important to remember that these rules apply to both men and women. Lots of people assume that rules connect to the Abu Dhabi dress code are solely aimed at women but this isn’t true.

For a complete guide on what NOT to wear in the UAE check out this post. However, it is also worth pointing out that on 5* hotel properties aimed at international tourists you will be able to be more liberal in your clothing by comparison to public places.

For more information on what to wear in specific places in the UAE be sure to check out our guides:

Tips for how to dress in Abu Dhabi

Alongside the Abu Dhabi dress code rules as stated above there are a couple of other things you should consider when putting together your packing list.

Air Conditioning

Even though the temperatures are high in Abu Dhabi you will find the air conditioning fierce in some indoor places, especially in the summer. For this reason, you will want to add some items like cardigans, sweaters and pashminas to your packing list.

Beaches, Beach Clubs, Swimming Pools and Water Parks

Depending on where you are heading to indulge in some swimming you will need to adjust your swim wear accordingly.

Bikinis are more appropriate at beach clubs and private spaces while public beaches you should have a more modest piece of swimwear.

Religious Sites

If you are planning to visit some religious sites while in the UAE such as the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque you will need to ensure you have very modest clothing with you. Shoulders and knees must be covered at all times and clothing shouldn’t be tight or overly revealing.

What to wear in Abu Dhabi for Women

Woman in Orange dress with abu Dhabi skyline in background
What to wear in Abu Dhabi (Dress Codes and Packing List)

So now you know the rules and considerations to take into account when packing for Abu Dhabi we will turn our attention for the best things for women to pack in the UAE.

Maxi Skirt

A Maxi skirt is always on my Abu Dhabi packing list. Maxi skirts are a great modest but cool piece of clothing providing that there isn’t an overly high slit that reveals your knee.

We recommend picking loose and flowing skirts in natural fabrics as they are better in the heat.

Maxi Dresses

A Maxi dress is another staple of my Abu Dhabi packing lists. I try and pick one made of a natural fabric such as cotton so it is more breathable.

I would advise picking a dress that has at least some cap sleeves to make it more appropriate for the Abu Dhabi dress code otherwise be sure to have a pashmina with you.

Click here to shop Maxi Dresses


It might sound strange to be heading to a country that has daytimes temperatures in the 40s and recommends taking a cardigan but I am. Indoor venues such as the malls or indoor theme parks, or in hotels have very fierce air conditioning so you will definitely want a top layer with you.

T Shirts

A T Shirt that covers the shoulder is great wherever you are heading in Abu Dhabi.


When I am travelling to Abu Dhabi my preference is to take a one piece for swimming. That is because they can work at whatever beach or pool you are at and are also more comfortable to wear on water slides such as those at Yas Water World.

If you are traveling and using the private beaches and beach clubs however then you can wear whatever type of swimwear you desire.

Beach Cover

Now although you can wear swimwear in Abu Dhabi on beaches and in the waterparks, swimwear is definitely only appropriate at these places. As soon as you leave the beaches and water parks and head onto the boardwalks, shops, restaurants and bars you will need to cover up.

We advise choosing a beach cover that covers both your knees and shoulders again to adhere to the Abu Dhabi dress club.

For this reason I usually opt for beach kaftans such as the one below

Depending on how long your Abu Dhabi itinerary and how often you are planning to hit the beach and pool will affect how many covers you want to take. Personally I usually travel for one week in Abu Dhabi with two kaftans.

Click here to shop kaftans for Abu Dhabi.

Shorts (Longer Length) / Pants

We often get asked “Can I wear shorts in Abu Dhabi?”. And the answer is surprisingly yes but they have to be the right type especially for in public places.

As the Abu Dhabi dress code requirement states knees should be kept covered you will want longer length shorts with you. However if you plan on wearing these just at your hotel and private pools and beaches you can pick whatever style of shorts you want.

However for a more versatile pick we recommend adding long linen trousers or loose cotton trousers to your list instead.


This goes without saying.


For any trip to Abu Dhabi whatever time of year you are traveling we recommend taking a pashmina. This is for two reasons:

  • The air conditioning can be very strong so you may want to have a pashmina as an extra layer for some indoor locations.
  • It can be used to make an outfit more modest when required i.e at mosques.


Sun hat

The sun is very strong in Abu Dhabi so to protect your face from the sun while walking around the city and for hanging out on the beach.

Click here to shop sun hats


Sun safety in Abu Dhabi is very important so be sure to pack a good pair of sunglasses that have good UV Protection.

Best Shoes for Abu Dhabi


When I am thinking about the best shoes for Abu Dhabi I would also suggest taking sandals. The sun is hot in Abu Dhabi and these can be used in a variety of places such as the mall and the beaches.


Our go to brands are:

  • Hoka,
  • Sketchers Go Walks or
  • All Birds

However I also like the versatility of a white sneaker.

Click here to shop good sneakers

Flip Flops

Although the most important shoes for Abu Dhabi are definitely sandals and sneakers, you may also want to pack a pair of flip flops with you for wondering around the pool and beach.

Click here to shop flip flops

What to Pack for Abu Dhabi for Men

Although many people think Abu Dhabi dress code rules only apply to women but they apply to men too. Therefore be sure that men keep shoulders and knees covered when out in public in Abu Dhabi.

Cotton Pants / Linen Trousers

To keep your knees covered for certain public places but keep cool we recommend wearing lightweight cotton pants.

T Shirts

T Shirts are appropriate throughout Abu Dhabi for men.

Longer Length Shorts

While at hotels and on the beach shorter length shorts are fine, we recommend packing a long length pair for certain public places.


While T shirts are appropriate in most public places, button down shirts should be added to your packing list if you plan on eating at some of Abu Dhabi fine dining establishments.

Abu Dhabi Packing List (non clothing)

Woman walking along beach in abu dhabi with background wearing white trousers and pink blouse
Abu Dhabi packing list

Now we have covered the clothes you should pack for Abu Dhabi, we will look at the non clothing items to put on your Abu Dhabi packing list

  • Documents
  • Crossbody Bag  – I always travel with this type of bag as it is a great pickpocket deterrent anywhere in the world although I have never felt unsafe or at risk of pickpockets when I have been in Abu Dhabi.
  • Backpack – for storing items on your day trips such as when doing a desert safari or heading to Abu Dhabi.
  • Universal Travel adaptor – to make sure your electronics are compatible with local plugs.
  • Power Pack / battery packs
  • Camera
  • Travel First Aid Kit
  • Blister plasters
  • Toiletries (optional) – for our essential toiletries packing list click here. It is easy to pick these up locally but you can bring with you if you have space.
  • Suncream / sunscreen
  • Aloe Vera
  • Lip Balm with SPF
  • Medication and their related prescriptions
  • Water bottle – it is important to stay hydrated in Abu Dhabi
  • Cooling Towel
  • Quick Dry Towel

What else would you add to this Abu Dhabipacking list?