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Below are suggestions for first-time visitors to Abu Dhabi:
First-time visitors to Abu Dhabi may be unsure of what clothing to wear. There are varying ideas of the dress code, but bear in mind that the United Arab Emirates is a Muslim country and many of the expatriates living in the country also hold strong religious views. Traditional dress for men is a long white cotton shirt and head-dress secured by a leather rope. The traditional dress for women is a long black cloak over long loose clothing and a black headscarf. Some local women also cover their face in various ways (sometimes the face is completely covered).
Visitors are not expected to cover their heads or wear traditional clothing (except in mosques). However, it is advisable to wear long, loose clothing made from natural materials containing cotton or linen. It is one of the best ways to cope with the heat.
Skirts or pants/trousers should be knee-length or longer. Don't wear tight form-fitting clothes or expose thighs, cleavage, midriff or upper arms. Short sleeve tops are acceptable. It is a good idea to have a loose shirt/jacket or shawl with you at all times even in hot weather as the mall, restaurant and cinema air conditioning can be extremely cold.
Beachwear - Shorts are only considered suitable for the beach (for men and women). Normal western-style swimsuits (one or two piece) are acceptable at all beaches. Topless or nude sunbathing is not allowed. Men and women should always wear a shirt when away from the beach.