Plotting Dubai, Help?

It is a little over month until my friend Sherry and I leave for an epic trip that will take us through Abu Dhabi, Dubai and the Maldives. We have been saving and working towards doing this trip for a while and are both excited to finally get to it.

We booked the flights, got the awesome hotels, got tickets for certain excursions etc. We have been doing the pretty straightforward tasks that come with every trip. However, there are some things that keep coming up about this particular trip that seem to be a little murky.

The rules around clothing, acceptable behaviours and even questions like 'can I bring my allergy medication into the UAE?' have been regular now. I'm really not trying to get to Abu Dhabi airport and find out that my birth control will be taken from me. It's REALLY not one of those eh?

This is the first time in my travels not everything is straightforward. There are a lot of 'not sure' and 'guess we will wing it.' Completely new experience for me. Both Sherry and I have been perusing through message boards (and the exorbitantly long list of banned substances), asking friends and Twitter followers about tips but it seems everyone has a different answer on what is allowed and not allowed in the UAE. 

Until I actually picked a hotel for the Maldives, I am embarrassed to say I had NO idea they were even a strict Muslim country. All I ever saw on Instagram was pictures of women in bikinis drinking on their balcony in their over-water villas. It took some further reading to realize that unless we were on one of the private islands, we had to be more cautious about what we wore and there would be no alcohol consumption. We lucked out, although we are not going to be on a private island - we found an awesome hotel with a private beach so we could still be gallivanting in our bikinis while sober. 

The reason I write this post is an invite to all of you women who have traveled to the UAE - help me/us avoid being like Samantha from Sex and The City 2 when arriving at the airport in Abu Dhabi. I rather not have allergy pills or birth control pills taken away to be allowed to enter. I also do not want to get any warnings or citations because my Bermuda shorts have some rips in them. 

Please comment on this post and tell me any tips you would have for visiting the UAE when it comes to meds, behaviours and clothing. I will most definitely continue to search message boards regarding it, but sometimes having actual readers who have been there give tips seems more real. 

Thank you!

- Mirna