Travel, travel, travel…such a therapy. Travel is to live, travel makes you richer, opens your horizons and makes you take a journey into yourself. Travel is an addiction.
Funny thing to say somebody who has been abroad only three times in life (well I’m still young). Actually, the only places I have ever been(abroad to) is France, which I went to twice, and Dubai. However, I still believe that travelling makes us people better in all the ways. And you may wonder, why you haven’t been to other places if you really believe that? Well I will explain. First, I am a college student, so this makes my daily schedule kind of busy, and secondly, the rest of the days that I am not in class I have to go to work. As a result, no time for me to travel…
But this is not the case.
Despite all that, I am glad that I have managed to be in a place that almost none of my fellow classmates or friends have ever been, and this is Dubai.
Dubai is the largest and most popular city in the United Arab Emirates. It is full of skyscrapers, big roads, fancy cars, huge malls and luxuriousness. For me it’s a dream place, with hot weather throughout the year. Also, Dubai apart from the high temperatures is also known for the high humidity, and their strict policies.
When I went to Dubai I was a 15-year-old, short and thin human being, so people could easily recognize that I was a child. Little did I know I went there during August, when the temperatures where on the rise and we were sweating even on the way from the parking to the entrance of the house. However, all I had in my suitcase was sleeveless shirts and shorts, so I wasn’t feeling so hot.
Generally, all the days rolled up nicely up until the last one.
I was at the Dubai mall with my aunt, cousins and my younger brother, dressed up with the clothes I mentioned above and suddenly a security guard appears in front of me and gives me an angry look along with a small black paper.
I can admit that I was terrified, because I didn’t know what it was until I checked the paper. For my surprise it was a dress code notification. It was written that, only clothes which reach to knee and shirts that cover the shoulders should be worn. Seriously, this was the most embarrassing time of my life. People were staring at me as i had done something bad and I felt that I was so provocative, while in reality I was just a young child dressed up in the way I would dress in Greece.
But this is the case, people.
Every country has its own habits and customs and we need to accept and respect them. You don’t have to wear a hijab or a burka in order to be respectful, as there are other outfits that suit their customs as well.
However? what could someone wear in a conservative country in order to not be warmed up, and also be fashionable and respectful at the same time?
Well, from November to April, when the climate is cooler, women can wear trousers, jeans, long skirts, and boots on the bottom while on top the can wear anything they want as long as they cover it with a pashmina, cardigan, jacket or kimono (like in the pictures).
Preferably, a pashmina is an ideal cloth, since it is not heavy, but at the same time it covers up the shoulders. Women can wear it on top of a sleeveless shirts instead of wearing a longer sleeve one. Also, they can choose a pashmina with either a print or some colors, to give their style a fancier look. In that way, they can be both respectful but also in fashion, while expressing themselves.
This post can help you find further information: How to Dress for Conservative Countries: Modest Clothing Essentials.
Moreover, from May to October, when the heat and humidity is unbearable, the ideal kind of dressing can be linen or rayon loose and cool clothes. However, because inside the malls or other buildings the air-conditioning is always turned on, again a pashmina or cardigan can be very useful.
As I already said, in order to stay cool in the heat, the fabric plays a very important role. Fabrics such as linen, artificial silk and cotton, are the best choice for hot and humid climates as they “absorb moisture and allow air circulation”. On the other hand, fabrics such as polyester can be imprisoning as it does not allow the warm air to “flow out”.
Some nice and fashionable ideas could be: a long linen dress along with a pashmina and maybe a saucer shaped hat or a cardigan upon a tank top and wide leg jeans.
Overall, being in a conservative country doesn’t mean that you can’t dress fashionable or with your personal style. All you have to do is to wear anything you like as long as you respect their culture and cover your shoulders and knees. Believe me, you don’t want to be given a dress code notification, it’s pretty embarrassing.
If any of you have a similar or other embarrasing experience during your trip i would love to hear! Ciaoo.