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Dress Codes

Jul 20, 2009  Travelling to Luxor
4.5 of 5 stars based on 49 votes

What to wear and what not to wear

  • Category: Recent trip
  • Traveler type: Culture, Sightseeing, Never been before, Repeat visitors
  • Appeals to: Business travelers, Couples/romantics, Honeymooners, Singles, Families with small children, Families with teenagers, Large groups, Seniors, Students, Budget travelers, Active/adventure, Tourists
  • Seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
  • 1. Overview

    Egypt is a Muslim country and ladies are expected to dress accordingly. This doesn't mean you should be covered up from head-to-toe, but customs should be respected and the less skin you show, the better. Unfortunately, the young men of Luxor see Western women as being 'easy' and they will make advances towards you, especially if you are dressed inappropriately. The local women too do not like to see female tourists dressed in skimpy clothes and you may find them hissing at you or making comments towards you. Be prepared for the fact that even if you DO dress appropriately, some Egyptian men WILL still make advances towards you and perhaps make some VERY inappropriate comments.

    However, if dressed appropriately, it is likely that you will experience a little less hassle than you would do if dressed inappropriately.

    The gents are also not immune to advances - there are also occasions where male tourists too have been approached and offered services they did not want!

  • 2. Ladies dress codes in general

    While at the pool either at the hotel or on board the boat, it is acceptable to wear normal pool attire, but topless sunbathing is prohibited and bathing suits/bikinis should not be too revealing. Remember to wear high factor sunscreen and to seek out the shade when it gets very hot. A hat is also recommended. A sarong or wrap is also very handy for covering up when going to the pool bar or as protection from the sun.

    The dress codes within the hotels and on the boats are mostly casual but you can dress smartly if you wish. One hotel restaurant that does have a strict dress code is the 1886 in the Old Winter Palace where ladies are expected to dress smartly and, in the evenings, shorts are not allowed. If wearing trousers though, you should wear 'proper' sandals or shoes - no trainers. Dress codes in other restaurants, whether in the hotels or independent, are fairly relaxed and usually smart but casual. The La Fleur at the Jolie Ville also requires smart clothing (no jeans).

    A pashmina or wrap can come in handy here too where some hotels and restaurants have their air conditioning up very high, so this can be used in this instance to keep warm!!

  • 3. Ladies dress codes in the street or sight-seeing

    When walking in the streets or out sight-seeing, it is best to wear loose fitting clothes in natural fabrics, especially in the summer months where the temperatures rise dramatically. As previously mentioned, ladies should cover up as much as possible with T-shirts or tunic tops (nothing strappy or revealing) and long skirts, long trousers or cropped trousers (no mini-skirts or short shorts). Do not show cleavage and upper arms and knees should be covered. Clothes should not be clingy or show curves for women, i.e. tight fitting body-hugging t-shirts or tops are not recommended, especially if you are a bit larger up top. A true story is that young males actually stopped and took a photo of a well-endowed lady using the camera on their mobile phones!!

    Again, make sure that any skin showing is covered adequately by high factor sun cream and a hat is recommended. Some people actually take umbrellas with them and use them for shade as, when you are visiting some of the sites, there are not many shady places.

    You should be aware that, although most toilet facilities in Luxor are of western design, you can and do encounter squat toilets in some places. You will find that if you do need to use one of these, wearing a skirt is more practical than trousers.

    I should probably mention footwear at this point too. The ground when visiting the major sites can be rough, stony and sandy, therefore you should make sure that you wear comfortable shoes or sandals. If wearing sandals, make sure you remember to put sun cream on the tops of your feet (very painful if you forget!). Also, many of the pavements in Luxor are in a poor state of repair with many broken parts and holes, and the kerbs are very high. High heels are fine in and around the hotels, but I'm afraid they are not a good choice when walking in the streets of Luxor.

  • 4. Gents dress codes in general

    For gents, smart or casual is accepted in most places, however if you wish to visit the 1886 Restaurant in the Old Winter Palace, you MUST wear a jacket and tie, which is strictly enforced. If you don't take one with you, they supply a jacket and tie for you. Your footwear should be 'proper' shoes and not trainers, sandals or flip-flops. Also, in the evenings in particular, you are not allowed to wear shorts in the bars of the Old Winter Palace. In fact, I think in many of the hotels, gents wear either long trousers or cropped trousers in the evenings. This is also the case within the restaurants.

    When walking in the street or out sightseeing, gents should wear a loose shirt or t-shirt and shorts (but not short shorts), long trousers or cropped trousers. Walking around bare-chested is frowned upon. Remember too, to wear high factor suncream and, if wearing sandals, remember to put this on the tops of your feet. Please be sure to wear something comfortable on your feet. A hat is also recommended.

  • 5. Travelling in the winter months - ladies and gents

    Although it will still be lovely and warm during the day, you will find it cooler in the early mornings and as the sun goes down in the evening. You will probably need to take a lightweight fleece or jacket or cardigan with you - wear this for travelling, so that it won't weigh your case down too much! It's during this time of the year when you will also see the local people wearing warmer clothing. Just as an aside - if the swimming pool at your hotel is not heated, you will find the water VERY cold indeed.