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Dressing for success in Abu Dhabi

By Thiago Silva

When experiencing a culture for the first time, many aspects of everyday life are often the first differences we notice, be it the way people interact with each other, the local cuisine, or how they dress. Even though some fashion trends will differ from country to country, some places in the Middle East, for example, have different standards when it comes to how much skin one should, or can, reveal.

If you are looking for a position in Abu Dhabi, the dress code may vary depending on your school’s dress code, but in general men and women are expected to wear clothes that cover arms and legs. Mackenzie Soper, a Teach Away teacher in Abu Dhabi, explains that while you can still wear the clothes you bring from your home country, you should be aware of the local customs.

“Bring your jeans, your going out clothes, your sundresses. You will wear them, you will just wear them with a cardigan or leggings,” she explained.

Some schools might require you to wear an abaya (long black robe-like dress), but most schools will allow you to wear any type of clothes, as long as it entirely covers your arms and legs, and since all buildings have air conditioning, make sure you also bring all types of clothing to allow you to mix and match according to the temperature.

One of the tips Mackenzie shares is that for women a scarf can go a long way, you can use it to cover your upper chest or shoulders, and it can be a very versatile option. For men, dress shirts and pants usually do the trick, but you can also wear a men’s abaya over it.

Overall, as long as you dress respectfully and follow the local culture, there should be no problem getting dressed in the morning.

“You will not have to change your style once you are over here,” noted MacKenzie.

Thiago Silva is the Teach Away blogger.

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