Dubai is welcoming to Westerners and women living in Dubai find they don’t really have to change their habits that greatly. Since the government is constantly increasing tourism and expatriate investment, both male and female expats are welcome from around the world.

Unlike Saudi Arabia, the UAE, along with other smaller Gulf states offer women the same rights as men including traveling along, driving, owning and renting cars and dressing as they please. However, it is advised that western women take a conservative approach to dressing out of respect to the culture. This does not mean that you have to wear a headdress, for example, but do avoid low cut V-neck tops, mini skirts or tank tops. A word of advise if you travel into the middle of the country or small villages that people will tend to be a lot more conservative that the busy metropolitan area.

Some definite no-no’s include topless sunbathing, scantly clad outfits. However, moderate-length shorts, sleeved t-shirts and tee’s are acceptable. During the Ramadan season, it is advised to dress conservatively.

One of the downside which most western women find is the tendency of men to stare at women, which can be very uncomfortable. These stares are not sexual in nature and, while they can be infuriating, are more out of curiosity. Unfortunately there is little you can do to stop this. Sheikh Mohammed has ordered a directive where men who are caught harassing women are punished and ‘named and shamed’ by having their pictures printed in the newspaper.