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How to Dress in Saudi Arabia

If you are planning to live and work in Saudi Arabia, then you should start learning as much as you can about its culture. One of the things that you should definitely look into is the dress code, especially when going out in public or heading to work.

ALSO READ: Saudi Arabia Guide for First-Time Visitors

Today’s article presents some of the do’s and don’ts in the Kingdom when it comes to dressing up. Some places tend to be more strict than others in enforcing these rules. Still, it helps to be familiar with them, regardless of where you will stay in the country.

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Saudi Arabia Guide: Dress Code

Here are some rules for men and women (foreigners) regarding the dress code in Saudi Arabia:

DO’s & DON’T’s for Men

DO… Dress modestly at all times.
DO… Make sure that your shoulders and legs are covered.
DO… Follow office rules for dressing up at work. A pair of pants, formal shirt, and tie are often acceptable, and of course you may have to wear a suit and tie for special occasions.
DO… Remove your shoes when visiting a mosque.

DON’T… Wear shorts in public.
DON’T… Wear skinny jeans.
DON’T… Wear any jewellery other than your wedding ring (if married) and wrist watch.

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DO’s & DON’T’s for Women

DO… Dress modestly at all times.
DO… Make sure that your wrists, ankles, and chest are covered.
DO… Wear an “abaya” when you are out in public. This is a long, black cloak (usually black) worn over your “normal” clothes.
DO… Wear a “hijab” or headscarf when going out in public.
DO… Remove your shoes when visiting a mosque.

DON’T… Wear tight-fitting clothes.
DON’T… Wear “see-through” fabrics.
DON’T… Wear “too much” make-up. Simplicity is the key!

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In recent years, there have been many changes pertaining to women in Saudi Arabia. They are now allowed to drivejoin the army, and do many other activities. Even the Saudi Crown Prince himself stated that “abayas are not necessary for women.” Nevertheless, it is still wise to wear an abaya and headscarf when you go out in public, just to be on the safe side!

ALSO READ: List of Prohibited & Restricted Items in Saudi Arabia

As you can see, the general rule of thumb is to dress modestly, wherever you may be in Saudi Arabia. By keeping in mind these rules, you are actually showing your respect towards the local culture, and you can expect to have a peaceful, trouble-free stay in the Kingdom.




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