Dubai and any of the other emirates welcome tourists from all over the world and treat everyone equally. If you are really keen on being a part of locals here and do not wish to stick out like a sore thumb, understand and respect the culture of Dubai. Practice the famous saying ‘Be a Roman when in Rome’ and you will really enjoy your long stay here.
While Residing at Hotel:
When residing at beach hotels in Dubai, you can wear anything you like including bikinis and thongs, but when you are out in the other areas of the hotel such as shops, stores and restaurants, dress conservatively.
While on the Beach:
As said earlier, wearing beachwear such as swimsuits, bikinis and thongs are fine if you are at the pool or on the private beach. Going topless is not forbidden on private beaches but you are sure to get a warning from the beach manager. Wearing shorts, T-shirts and sandals invite no problems.
While Out in Public Areas:
Dubai, being an Islamic country, is quite conservative when it comes to dressing styles while in public areas. Westerners can wear freely whatever they like as long as Dubai’s Muslim culture is respected and public decency is not offended. In general, most "normal" clothing styles are welcomed as long as they do not dishonour or disgrace the culture and the people. However, to be respectful to the culture of the UAE, wearing clothes that cover shoulders, knees is advisable.
It is a most common misconception that women have to cover themselves up with veils when in Islamic countries but the fact is, non-muslim women need not cover their faces, hair, heads with a scarf or similar when in public, but while visiting mosque the rules are different. When visiting mosques such as the Jumeirah Mosque in Dubai, it is necessary for men to wear long trousers and for women to cover hair and legs even if you are a foreigner, tourist or even an expat.