Around the Hotels, Water Parks, Beach/Pool, Dubai Mall & Aquarium
We trawled the web tirelessly trying to find out what we can wear and what we couldn't wear, what age is a child still considered a child )I.e my 12 year old certainly a child but, in Dubai is she frowned upon for wearing her beloved crop tops?!
We struggled to find a simple answer and whilst we booked fully intending to respect the rules, we felt a bit like we might do when you arrive to a party fully fancy dressed-up, whilst everyone else is in their normal clothes. We didn't want to go to all the effort of buying in new linen trousers, shoes, full size t shirts for the kids and a load of new shoulder cover ups for the mrs, if we didn't have to.
We gathered snippets of advice from various sources and went with it being semi-relaxed.
Let us tell you now, it IS completely relaxed!
We stayed in the Al Qasr, part of the Madinat hotel complex (Jumeriah Group) which was, I have to say lovely. In the entire hotel complex of indoors, pool areas, private beaches and restaurants I didn't change out of shorts once.
Day Time - Pool/Beach
Swim shorts and flip flops for me. T-shirt for 'during transit to/from inside the Hotel'.
Nancy (the wife!) - Bikini, Flip flops. She took a thin beach cover up for walking back and forth to the beach bar or inside the hotel.
Kids - As above.
Water Parks - same as above.
Night time - inside the 40+ restaurants around the Madinet and Jumeriah Beach Hotel, shorts and Polo for me + boat shoes or smart trainers. I STILL spotted men wearing flip flops!
Nancy wore dresses, skirts and tops including those a little off the shoulder. Everyone was dressed just like we would be if in Mallorca with a few exceptions of 'Football Kit W*nkers' you tend to get in Europe :)
Kids wore the same, with sandals/smart trainers or Haviana's.
The Dubai Mall - AHHHHHHH, It's much stricter here!
Only joking. It was pretty much the same!
We spotted over 10 men wearing flip flops or Birkenstock style footwear, same for women.
Women wore one extreme to the other of fully local covered up attire to skirts and vest tops whether it showed a bit of shoulder or not. In fact, your biggest worry as a lady is whether the air con will freeze your shoulders or not, so you might want to bring an over throw cardi just for that!
Kids wore exactly what they'd wear at Bluewater/Lakeside/Westfield/Trafford Centre. Actually, so did i. Shorts, Polo top and boat shoes!
As a summary, don't stress yourself. Unless you're planning to dine in the Burj Arab's top floor posh (no kids allowed) restaurant, or somewhere down town that's up market then you're pretty safe to leave your trousers at home. All tourist attraction day time places like theme parks, water parks are just like the hotels.
After our first visit, we'd definitely go back and STILL not find a need to venture too far out for dinner time. It's a great holiday within the Hotel complex's before you even attempt to head elsewhere.