Dress code in Saudi Arabia
Women dress code:
The following dress requirements were published by the Saudi government and should be followed by all women tourists entering the kingdom:
- The hijab, niqab and Abaya are optional for both Saudi and tourist women.
- Women must dress modestly at all times, covering their knees and shoulders.
- Although the abayais optional, you will need to wear it while entering mosques, in respect of the Muslim culture.
- Sleeveless shirts, short dresses, loose tops, short bottoms, crop tops and miniskirts are strictly not allowed.
- Night clothes, under garments or anything that is inappropriate to be worn in public must be avoided.
- Bikinis, which are common among westerners, are taboo in Saudi Arabia, even on the beaches.
- You can wear the shoes of your choice – trainers, sandals, heels or open toed footwear. There are no restrictions on this. However, you will have to remove your footwear when entering religious institutions.
- Make sure the fabric of your clothes is not see through and not super tight.
Men dress code :
The following dress requirements are to be followed by male tourists entering the kingdom.
- Foreign men are not required to wear the thobe or thwab, the traditional Arabic dress.
- Men are required to wear clothes covering their shoulders and legs at all times.
- Make sure to avoid sleeveless shirts and shorts in public.
- You must not be shirtless under any circumstances.
Both men and women should be careful not to wear a top or shirt with indecent or loud graphics and quotes on it. However, you can wear whatever you like within western compounds or areas where expats reside. Bikinis are still not allowed, and you need to stick to one-piece swimsuits. Whatever you wear, make sure it is modest and respectful of the tenets of Islam.