Ritz Carlton Hotel image

Planning Your Trip

Whether you are visiting Abu Dhabi for business, pleasure, or both, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates offers a wide range of cosmopolitan, cultural, and natural attractions to captivate you beyond the length of your stay. Here’s what to bring along.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Abu Dhabi
What To Pack

There are a few things to keep in mind regarding photography in the UAE. In general, taking photos or videos in public is acceptable unless explicitly stated otherwise — areas that may be restricted include government buildings, military sites, bridges, and airports. Don’t photograph locals, particularly women, without permission. With those guidelines, be ready to capture your own unique views of one of the world’s most photogenic destinations. Keep in mind the bright sun and monumental scale of Abu Dhabi’s sculpted skyscrapers can be challenging. 

Business Travel

In general, those of non-Middle Eastern descent should wear their usual corporate attire when traveling on business in the UAE, though keeping modesty in mind.

Women need not wear a headscarf or hijab. Wear a dress or skirt hemmed at least to the knee or full-length trousers. Shirts must cover the shoulder; avoid low or plunging necklines. Open-toe shoes and sandals are fine.

Smart business casual — long pants, a collared shirt — is fine in most professional environments, though if in doubt check with your company or err on the conservative side with a necktie and suit jacket.

Avoid synthetic fabrics that can trap heat in favor of natural fibers such as cotton, silk, linen, and tropical wool. Bring an outer layer such as a light jacket or scarf as strong air conditioning is common.

Exploring the City

Throughout the UAE, dress for a mix of comfort and modesty. There’s no need to sacrifice your own style while respecting local traditions.

Abu Dhabi has a desert climate, with hot summers, ideal winters, abundant sunshine, and little rainfall.

Lightweight, comfortable clothing in natural fibers such as cotton and linen is ideal in hotter months. Bring a sweater, jacket, closed-toe shoes, and socks for cooler months (November to April), when temperatures may descend to the mid-50s (Fahrenheit) or mid-teens (Celsius).

Indoor areas such as malls and restaurants will be well-air-conditioned; it’s a good idea to take along a pashmina, wrap, or sweatshirt.

Cultural Considerations

While clothing customs in the UAE may differ from that of many visitors countries, a few simple guidelines ensure a smooth trip:

In public areas, women should wear clothing that covers from the shoulders to the knees. Men may wear shorts to the knee; a T-shirt is considered more respectful than a tank top or muscle T-shirt.

Swimwear (including bikinis, one-piece suits, and swimming trunks) is appropriate for the beach, but not as streetwear.

Dress more conservatively when visiting the Grand Mosque or other religious venues. Women should be covered from wrists to ankles and cover their hair (abayas may be borrowed on-site) and men must wear trousers and shirts with sleeves. Remove shoes before entering a mosque.

Dress with special care during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, when rules are more likely to be officially enforced.

Ritz Carlton Hotel image
Ritz Carlton Hotel image
Abu Dhabi
What To Reserve

Take advantage of Abu Dhabi’s esteemed good life: year-round sunshine, a beautiful bay, cultural treasures, a diverse population, and top-notch global cuisine. Here’s what to reserve in advance.

Garden House and Suite Surroundings
Garden House and Suite Surroundings
Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is one of the world’s rare destinations that can simultaneously enchant and excite — a place where thousand-year-old traditions and ultramodern attractions commingle to create an entirely new type of desert oasis. Visitors already have a dizzying array of outstanding options in everything from international cuisine to daily entertainment, and the capital of the United Arab Emirates has ambitious plans for cultivating and expanding its cultural and culinary offerings even further. Imagination and enterprise have no boundaries in Abu Dhabi, which means your visit will be an experience without equal.