Visiting the desert sand dunes is one of the must-do activities when in Dubai. Knowing what to wear in the Dubai desert is critical so that you can be comfortable and engage in various adventure-filled activities. This ultimate guide on what to wear on a desert safari will remove the guesswork and ensure that you pack the right clothes for your Dubai trip.
What NOT to Wear
in the Dubai Desert
Before you decide what to wear in the Dubai desert, it’s important to know what you shouldn’t wear. The desert is going to be hot and treacherous. Therefore, you want to avoid articles of clothing that will not provide adequate comfort and support.
A few examples of clothing that you should avoid wearing when on a desert safari are:
- Tight-fitting clothes
- Heavy and thick fabrics
- Dark colored clothing
- Baggy clothes
- Skirts (for women)
- Heels or footwear that makes it difficult to walk on the sand
Now that you know what not to wear, use the tips below to help you plan what to wear for the desert.
The ideal outfit to wear in the Dubai desert is loose-fitting clothes (emphasis on loose, not baggy). Baggy clothes should be avoided because they could get blown around by the wind as it can get very windy in the desert. They should be loose enough to facilitate breathability and help keep you cool under the desert sun.
It is also best if you wear linen or cotton clothing since these fabrics offer high breathability. They can keep you comfortable and cool despite the heat of the desert. Opt for long-sleeve tops to offer protection against the sun.
For your bottom half, you could wear pants or shorts that are also made with soft and breathable fabric. However, you should refrain from wearing shorts if you are going on a camel ride as it can be uncomfortable. If you can find zip-off trousers that can easily convert into shorts, that would be a better option.
If you are going to stay the night in the desert, make sure to pack sweaters and shawls. The temperature falls significantly in the desert at night. You need an extra layer of protection to keep you warm. You can also use these layers during the day to protect yourself from the sun.
Choosing the right footwear for the Dubai desert requires practical consideration. Make sure that your footwear makes it comfortable to walk on the sand, especially if you are going to do a lot of walking.
Sneakers and light boots are the ideal choices for walking on the sand and for various desert safari activities. You can wear flip-flops and sandals, but make sure you get enough protection for your feet against the sun. Also, it is important to pack extra footwear for the night and keep it warm.
You can refer to this list of dressing tips for a desert safari in Dubai according to the season.
Winter is the best time for a Dubai desert safari. The weather is cooler than any other time of the year, especially during early mornings and after sunset. Here are some dressing tips for the desert in winter:
- Dress in layers. If it gets too warm, you can always remove any extra layers.
- Wear jeans or long pants to keep your legs protected and warm, especially after sunset.
- Wear a hat and ear muffs to protect against the cool breeze of the desert.
- Pack a scarf or shawl to give extra protection from the sun and the desert breeze.
Exploring the Dubai desert in the summer means you can expect scorching hot temperatures and high humidity levels. The best way to survive the extreme heat is to wear breathable clothing and lightweight materials. Even if the nighttime temperature drops a bit, it is still recommended to wear loose clothing. Make sure to pack your sunscreen, too.
- Jeans or leggings can protect your legs against the sun and keep you comfortable.
- Wear loose shirts that are made of cotton, linen, and other natural fibers.
- Always pack your shawl or hat. You can use these items to cover your head from the scorching sun.
- Avoid wearing clothes that might expose any body part, such as your arms, shoulders, or legs.
Spring in Dubai is from March to May. The weather is more pleasant than summer but not as cold as winter. You can skip the layered clothing and opt for something more casual.
- Wearing a t-shirt is fine for this weather, but always pack a jacket or a cardigan. You will need the extra layers if you want to spend the night in the desert.
- Shorts are fine if you don’t plan on camping in the desert. If you do, make sure to pack extra pants or leggings.
- Be sure to pack a hat or any protection for your head for those extra sunny days.
- Sneakers are your best bet for footwear, but sandals and flip-flops are okay, too, if you won’t be doing anything adventurous.
The temperature might start to drop a little bit during the end of September and toward early November. However, winter has not officially started yet so it’s not yet time for layered clothing.
- Switch the shorts for pants or leggings as it could get chilly at night. However, it’s not too cold yet so you can get away with breathable fabric and styles (such as culottes and leggings).
- For men, you can ditch the t-shirt for a linen shirt or buttoned-down shirt. Boots and sneakers make the transition easier from day to night in the desert.
The Bottom Line
There is no one-size-fits-all guide on what to wear in the Dubai desert. However, you can use the information here to help you when packing for your Dubai trip according to the season and what activities you plan to do in the desert. Being smart and planning ensures that you can be comfortable and make the most of your desert safari experience.