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Dubai’s Food, Dress Code and Culture Essay

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Updated: Apr 2nd, 2020


Dubai is a city located in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) within the Arabian Desert (Dunston and Carter 15). The city attracts tourists and businesspersons from different parts of the globe because of its rapidly growing economy. Dubai is a Muslim city. Therefore, cultural aspects such as dress code, behavior, etiquette, and communication are based on religious practices, beliefs, and values. Religion is an important in aspect in Dubai because it influences the lifestyle of the people and forms the foundation of their culture.

Visitors are required to understand and embrace the natives’ dressing styles, behaviors, and cultural practices (Dunston and Carter 17). Hospitality and courtesy are two of the most important values that the people of Dubai practice. The city is unique because of its culture, food, location, dress code, and a rapidly growing fashion industry. Dubai is a modern city that serves as the business hub of the UAE.


The major type of food consumed in Dubai is Arabic food. It is available in many hotels and restaurants. For instance, shawarma diners can be found in different locations in the city. Shawarma is a type of grilled Arabic food that is prepared by combining lamb, chicken, turkey, and beef. For visitors, fast foods, Chinese cuisines, and South Asian cuisines are available in selected restaurants and small hotels.

Consumption and sale of pork as well as alcohol are regulated because of the religious values of the natives (Dunston and Carter 18). Sale of alcohol is permitted in certain bars. On the other hand, Muslims are barred from buying or consuming pork. Other types of foods available in Dubai include biryani and cuisines from different parts of the world. The city offers various foods because of the cultural and ethnical diversity of the inhabitants and visitors.


Dubai is located in the United Arab Emirates on the coast of the Persian Gulf (Dunston and Carter 21). It borders with Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and the sultanate of Oman. Its land area is approximately 4,110 square kilometers.

A large portion of the land was reclaimed from the sea in order to increase the size of the city. Dubai is also located within the Arabian Desert, which is dominated by gravel deserts. However, its landscape of is different from that of the Arabian Desert because it is dominated by sand deserts. Its location with regard to religious affiliation and geography influences the dress code of the inhabitants.


The culture is founded on the precepts of Islam and certain traditional Arab beliefs and practices. The culture is much different compared to that of the UAE region because Dubai is a cosmopolitan society. Its music, dress code, food, and lifestyle are heavily dependent on religious precepts (Jayyusi et. al, 36). The dress code is not fixed. However, everyone is expected to dress modestly. The dress code depends on occasion and area. For instance, swimwear is restricted to swimming pools and beaches (Jayyusi et. al, 37).

Clothes that cover shoulders, legs, and arms are recommended for visits to mosques and other sacred places. Women usually cover their hair, legs, and arms when entering sacred places as required by their culture. Kanduras and white cloaks are common among males because they are the most appropriate attire for the hot climate (Jayyusi et. al, 39).

Western dressing styles are also common among visitors and foreigners who reside in the city. Courtesy and hospitality are core aspects of the culture. Entertainment is dominated by traditional folk songs adapted from the Bedouin culture. In addition, art plays a critical role in the culture of Dubai.

Influence of Dubai’s location on clothing

As mentioned earlier, Dubai is located in the UAE, which is a Muslim region. Therefore, the dress code is highly influenced by the precepts and values of Islam. For instance, white cloaks and Kanduras are common because they form part of the Islamic dress code (Jayyusi et. al, 38).

Women wear the abaya because they are required to cover up their heads, legs, and arms. On the other hand, the dress code is affected by Dubai’s location within the Arabian deserts. This implies that the weather is usually hot. Kanduras are appropriate for the hot climate. In addition, men and women also prefer white cloaks because they reflect sunlight and thus keep their bodies cool (Krane 27).

The fashion market

Dubai is gradually growing into a global city and a business centre in the UAE. The fashion market is growing as rapidly as the economy. The city’s fashion sense is reflected in the luxurious and modern designs that include man-made islands and expensive police cars (Krane 33). Dubai is in the process of boosting its glamour and luxurious life through the development of a billion dollar fashion industry that will be unrivaled in the world.

Designers from the United States, Japan, and European countries have dominated the fashion industry. The government is in the process of constructing a facility that will be dedicated to the city’s fashion industry. The Dubai Design District will be home to design studios, luxurious apartments, boutique hotels, and shopping malls that will bring people of different origins and cultures together (McLaughlin-Duane par6). The main aim of the project is to encompass designers from around the world in one place.

The district will also conduct events and fairs to display the fashion and culture of Dubai. As mentioned earlier, Dubai is a cosmopolitan city that is home to people of different nationalities. That is the main reason for the rapidly growing fashion industry. Statistics reveal that 90 percent of the city’s population comprises foreigners (Krane 34). Therefore, designers are motivated to introduce their fashion to the residents.

Reports have revealed that in 2012, more than $2.5 billion was spent on fashion (McLaughlin-Duane par4). Despite the fact that the Muslim dress code is common among residents, other designs are also embraced equally. Many local brands have flourished because residents value them more than international brands (McLaughlin-Duane par7).

The retail industry forms a core part of Dubai’s economy. It is highly developed because of the many visitors that visit the city every year. Finally, fashion is one of the many tourist attractions that earn great revenue every year (Krane 37).


Dubai is a cosmopolitan city in the United Arab Emirates that is located within the Arabian Desert. Its food, dress code, and culture comprise some of its most famous tourist attractions. Many aspects of the culture are based on religious values and precepts. The fashion industry is growing rapidly because fashion is a tourist attraction that earns great revenue, which is used to develop the economy. Dubai’s population that comprises more than 200 nationalities is one of the factors that account for the rapidly growing fashion industry.

Works Cited

Dunston, Lara, and Carter Terry. Dubai. New York: Lonely Planet, 2007. Print.

Jayyusi, Salma, Holod Renata, Petruccioli Attilion, and Raymond Andre. The City in the Islamic World. New York: BRILL 2008. Print.

Krane, Jim. The Story of the World’s Fastest City. New York: Atlantic Books Ltd, 2009. Print.

McLaughlin-Duane, Rebecca. . 2013. Web.

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