Dubai is a staple in Middle Eastern fashion

Olivia Rajska

This spring break, I had the opportunity to visit Dubai and Abu Dhabi. It was a wonderful cultural experience, and I got a chance to explore Middle Eastern fashion.

As the Middle East has stricter dress codes than the United States, I got the privilege to learn about different styles and conservative yet fashionable trends.

During city tours, I was informed that women and men should wear respectful clothing that covers their shoulders, arms and legs. It’s culturally expected that everyone dress respectfully in Middle Eastern attire in mosques, which I got to visit. Hijabs were worn to cover hair and robe-like gowns were worn to cover the body. It is important to be open to cultural experiences and respect different cultures and religions.

I enjoyed wearing something new and realized you can still accessorize with strict attire. Many women wore statement handbags to make their outfit unique. I wore my favorite black-bow gemmed sandals and big sunglasses. Outside the mosques, women wore long-sleeved loose tops tucked into their skinny jeans with accessories of jewelry and sandals for a very chic look. It brought a different light to fashion and I respected their form of conservative attire.

During the building tours, which included the Burj Khalifa, I like to stay comfortable in a dress and sandals, but I had to keep in mind to not show too much skin. To stay on the safe side I brought my versatile cream cardigan to go with my outfits.

During a dolphin-watching boat ride, my cardigan came in handy to protect me from the breezy ocean. Also, in air-conditioned buildings, like the Dubai Mall, I would suggest having your shoulders covered not only for respect of the culture but to keep from being cold while shopping.

During a safari ride in the dunes, the car ride was just like a roller coaster so I wore a side braid to make the trip easy going and truly enjoyable. At our destination, I got a chance to take part in a camel ride. Because this was held in the desert, I wore strappy sandals as to not have to worry about taking off my shoes and cargo pants to embrace the safari vibe.

Whether you choose to go to the Middle East or another part of the world, be open to experience a change of culture, language and dress. Expand your style horizons and live your life to the fullest wherever your destination takes you.