UAE Teacher Dress Code: What to Wear Teaching in the United Arab Emirates

As a teacher in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), it’s essential to dress appropriately to show respect for local culture and Islamic values. Whether you’re teaching at a public school, private international school, or language center, understanding the dress code expectations is key to presenting yourself professionally and setting a good example for your students. In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the UAE teacher dress code.

General UAE Teacher Dress Code

In general, teachers in the UAE are expected to dress in business professional to business casual attire, erring on the conservative side. Public schools tend to have stricter dress codes, while private international schools and language centers may allow a bit more flexibility. However, it’s always best to dress modestly and avoid anything too revealing or tight-fitting.

For Women:

  • Cover your shoulders, cleavage, midriff, back, and upper arms
  • Wear skirts or dresses that fall below the knee and aren’t too tight
  • Avoid sheer or see-through fabrics
  • Ensure your clothing is not too form-fitting or revealing
  • Wear trousers or skirts that are loose-fitting and made from opaque fabrics
  • Choose tops with sleeves and avoid low necklines

For Men:

  • Wear long trousers and collared shirts
  • Avoid shorts and sleeveless shirts
  • Keep facial hair tidy or be clean-shaven
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, even in hot weather
  • Choose loose-fitting clothing made from lightweight fabrics
  • Avoid tight or revealing clothing


  • Tight or revealing clothing
  • Political, religious, or profane imagery on clothing
  • Ripped jeans, even if fashionable
  • Flip flops or open-toed shoes
  • Sportswear or beachwear
  • Visible tattoos or multiple piercings

Accommodating the Climate

The UAE can get quite hot, so it’s important to choose lightweight, breathable fabrics for your work attire. However, be prepared for cold air-conditioned interiors by layering with a light sweater or jacket. When outdoors, protect yourself from the sun with hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen.

Climate Info

The pleasant season in the UAE is winter, starting in October and continuing through to April. The weather is milder, and the evenings are often cool. Rain is infrequent in the UAE, but you might experience light rain during the winter months.

In summer, temperatures rise very high with a high amount of humidity. Even at night, the climate doesn’t change much. During the summer, most UAE residents remain indoors in air-conditioned buildings.

Tattoos and Piercings

If you have tattoos, keep them covered while teaching. Remove any piercings besides one pair of earrings for women.

Grooming and Accessories

In addition to dressing modestly, it’s important to maintain a neat and well-groomed appearance. Keep your hair styled neatly, and ensure your nails are clean and trimmed. For women, makeup and jewelry should be subtle. Avoid wearing strong perfumes or colognes, as some people may be sensitive to scents.

Dressing for Specific Occasions

There may be times when you need to dress up a bit more, such as for parent-teacher conferences, school performances, or ceremonies. In these cases, opt for more formal business attire. On the other hand, when participating in field trips or outdoor activities, dress appropriately for the setting while still maintaining a modest appearance.

Dressing Outside of Work

While the dress code expectations may be more relaxed outside of work, it’s still important to dress modestly in public spaces to respect local customs and laws. Cover your shoulders and knees, and avoid anything too revealing or tight-fitting.


With these guidelines in mind, you can express your personal style while still being appropriate for the classroom setting. Dressing in a way that commands respect and sets a good example for your students will contribute to a positive learning environment.

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