Whether you’re looking for sun-kissed beaches, world-class dining, scenic hikes or cultural sights, Dubai has been known to be a tourist destination where you can find all of this and more.
The city is a melting pot of cultures and welcomes people from all nationalities with open arms, making it a much-loved vacation spot for the worldly traveller. It’s also a hub of activities — be it business or leisure or shopping or events — and a place of many conveniences, solidifying it as a spot that travellers depend on to maximise their time off without much fuss.
As the city cools down, and more and more eager travellers have their eye on a big Dubai holiday, here’s a handy guide on what you should be packing, depending on what kind of holiday you’re looking for.
For the adventurer
UAE nationals and residents love to use the cooler season to embark on hikes and treks through some of the country’s mountains and trails, or take to the desert for camping, dune bashing or sandboarding. For those who are travelling to experience this exhilarating part of the city, here are some of the items you should carry with you …
Hiking boots: Get some hard-wearing shoes to wear on hikes and treks.
Sportswear with SPF: While the weather will be cooler, the sun will still be beaming down on us in full force. It’s best to be on the safe side and be fully covered with clothes that have in-build sun protection factor and a cooling effect.
Sports sunglasses: Don’t forget to protect your eyes with sunglasses that have high-quality protective lenses.
Water bottle: This is a no-brainer. Keep hydrated!
Backpack: Bring a bag that can be comfortably used while on rough terrain and for everyday use.
Travel towel: A mini towel that dries quickly will come in handy.
Sleeping bag: Set up camp and get cosy under the stars!
For the fashionistas
Ready to go mall-hopping and for afternoon tea in your most stylish clothes? The city has some amazing opportunities to put your most fashionable foot forward. However, don’t forget to be mindful of your outfits depending on where you are in Dubai. Opt for modest clothes that don’t expose your shoulders and knees when in religious or cultural buildings, or in the older parts of the city.
Classic black slip dress: A simple dress like this can be worn in many ways for a fresh look.
Maxi dress with puffy sleeves: The boho trend is all over the place now and is perfect for a Dubai winter. This style is comfortable and modest while also being stylish.
Pair of black or nude heels: Keep it simple with simple low-heeled mules or a slink pointy toe shoe.
White shirt and high-waisted blue jeans: This combo will serve you well as it never goes out of style.
Cardigan or light sweater in graphic print: The weather isn’t likely to get unbearably cold, but it’s good to have an eye-catching knitwear item for those chilly nights.
Oversized blazer or leather jacket: A neutral, large blazer or a slouchy leather jacket goes well with dresses or T-shirts. If you can’t pick one, why not both (if your baggage limit allows)?
Statement purse: Make an impact with a small, colourful purse that can fit your essentials for a night out on the town.
Hair tool: Most hotels have hair dryers, but it’s a good idea to bring along a straightener or curling tongs to get your hair looking its best. If all else fails, slick your hair back into a ponytail and use clips to make a statement.
Trendy sneakers: If you’re a mall fiend, a comfortable pair of sneakers that are high on the style quotient are a must for long shopping excursions.
Gold hoop earrings: This is one accessory that always looks complementary, no matter the outfit or the individual style — go bold with thick, wide hoops, or opt for small dainty ones for everyday wear.
For the beach lovers
Some might think it’s too cold to get into the water at this time, but there are water babies who can’t resist no matter the temperature drop (people from colder climates might even think it’s warm enough for a dip). Even if you opt to stay on the sand, these items need to be thrown into your baggage if you love the beach …
Beach towel: Opt for a playful and bright beach towel that’s unique (one that is easy to spot on a crowded shoreline).
Colourful swimwear: Channel your inner rainbow with your choice of swimsuit — whether it’s a two- or one-piece!
Swimwear cover-up: When heading out of the beach, it’s important to cover up before entering malls, restaurants and other establishments.
Face and body SPF: Sunny days are what people come to Dubai for, and that’s what they’ll get. So don’t forget to enthusiastically apply your sunscreen when soaking in the rays.
Straw or bucket hat: This is another trendy and easy way to protect yourself from the sun.
Gel manicure and pedicure: The pre-holiday mani-pedi is almost tradition for some women. If you’d like it to last multiple dips in pools and the beach, then a gel mani is your best friend.
Essentials checklist for every type of traveller. This doesn’t cover everything you might need, but it’s a good starting point for any type of trip you’re making.
- Casual shirts
- Format shirts/blouses
- Casual dress
- Formal dress
- Walking shoes
- Dress shoes
- Light jacket
- A long scarf/sarong in case you need to cover up unexpectedly
- Swimsuit cover-up
- Qtips and cotton pads
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Contact and lens solution
- Shaving tools
- Sanitary products
- Battery pack for your phone
- Memory card
- A small first aid kit
- Copies of your medical prescriptions (make sure your medications are allowed into the country)
- Copy of travel insurance