Etiquette exists for a reason, and as tourists visiting a different city, it's our responsibility to adhere to certain societal norms. Don't feign ignorance—it's a quick way to insult your hosts and other locals around you. But aside from brushing up on how to behave in a particular country, prepare for your trip by packing with your destination in mind. And no, we don't just mean the weather or the activities you'll get up to—we're talking about clothing rules you should heed:
Dubai is a city in constant flux, and though it feels modern, don't take that as a go signal to wear whatever you please. When visiting malls, markets and other public areas, avoid anything too revealing. That means no exposed midriffs, backs, thighs, and cleavages. Anything sheer and tight is frowned upon, too. It's a different case for hotels and resorts—you can wear shorts and swimsuits, but don't expect to be able to go topless or flash your butt. At hotel bars and clubs, Western dress is also accepted.
When entering a temple, home, or ryokan (a traditional Japanese inn), take off your shoes and either change to slippers (if available) or go in barefoot. This rule applies to everyone, and each person is required to follow it. You can also make this assumption if you see shelves lined with shoes at an establishment's entrance.
A trip to the country almost always involves visiting a temple, and it's important to dress appropriately when doing so. Tops and dresses should have sleeves, and skirts and pants should hit at least below the knees. To be safe, bring a scarf or shawl so you can cover up.
Though there aren't specific rules in place in the land of sheet masks and Gong Yoo, older Koreans tend to be very conservative. As such, exposing cleavage is a no-no and will earn you more than just stares—you might even get a public reprimanding from an ajumma. When it comes to baring your legs though, nothing is too risqué. K-Pop girl groups are proof of that!
Though you won't have a problem seeing Western-style clothes in Malaysia, Islam is the predominant religion, so it helps to be conscious of what you wear. It’s fine to wear short sleeves and skirts, especially in larger cities like the capital, Kuala Lumpur; but anything that exposes your stomach, cleavage, and generally too much flesh is frowned upon. Try to avoid tight clothing, too.
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