The Saudi national dress.. a unique blend between Arab originality and modern elegance!

Culture is an effective language of communication between different peoples, starting from the language, its dialects, and traditional cuisine, all the way to the national dress, which is one of the most prominent manifestations of national identity and cultural heritage.

It reflects the history and values ​​of the people and expresses the mixing of customs and traditions with modernity, perhapsKingdom of Saudi ArabiaIt is one of the countries that is distinguished by its ancient heritage, authentic culture, and identity, which is closely linked to the dress, shemagh, or ghutra.

In this article, we highlight the Saudi national costume and how it has become today a symbol of elegance and its influence on styleFashionModern.

Saudi national costume for men

First, it must be pointed out that the Saudi and Gulf national costume in general has been passed down through generations for hundreds of years, and was designed to suit the climatic conditions and the dry and hot desert nature of the Arabian Peninsula.

It gives the body coolness because it is loose and protects against high body temperature. The Saudi thobe, its design, colors and other elements are associated with religious, national and personal occasions such as weddings. It may also differ according to the regions of the Kingdom, in addition to the seasons of the year. The white and thin thobe is usually worn in the summer. While the colors and materials vary in winter.

In general, the Saudi national costume for men is characterized by simplicity and elegance at the same time, as it has won the approval of a large number of tourists coming to the Kingdom, including stars of art and sports, the most famous of whom is the coach of the Saudi national team, the Frenchman Hervé Renard, as well as the world football star, the Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo, who He and his family became very integrated into Saudi society and culture. As for the most prominent elements of the Saudi national costume, they are as follows:


The thobe is the official uniform for men in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and it is the most famous item that catches the attention of others. As we mentioned, its colors and the material of its fabric vary according to the seasons, as it is white in summer, while in the summer a thobe is worn in attractive colors such as black, gray, or Dark blue and other shades. The Saudi thobe is made of natural or synthetic cotton or polyester, and is soft to the touch. Some may ask: What is the difference between the Saudi thobe and other Gulf fashions?

The simple answer is that the Saudi thobe differs from other costumes of the Arab Gulf countries in several specifications, perhaps the most prominent of which is that it takes the shape and size of the body from the top, and then expands as it descends to the bottom, meaning that it is separated in a way that suits the body of the wearer, and it also contains buttons on the chest side, in addition to It has wide sleeves that reach the cuff of the hand and are finished with buttons, not to mention the different shape of the collar and the presence of pockets on its sides.

*It is worth noting that modern designs sometimes make these differences disappear in line with fashion requirements.

The skullcap

Men in Saudi Arabia wear the hat on the head, and it is usually not large enough to cover most of it. It is also distinguished by its white color and its decoration in shapes that express Arab and Islamic culture, and it is usually made of soft cotton. It is important to note that the Saudi man wears the yarmulke under the shemagh or ghutra so that it does not slip off the head.

Shemagh and Ghutra

In our talk about the most prominent elements of the Saudi national costume, we arrive at the head covering known as the shemagh or the ghutra, as for the difference between them. The shema is usually made of heavy material fabric and is red in color with intersecting white lines and decoration, while the ghutra is made of light fabric and soft to the touch, and is also popular in the summer. The shemagh or ghutra is folded into a triangle shape and worn over the yarmulke to cover the head and shoulders, and is also fastened with an agal . It is worth noting that visitors to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia prefer to wear the shemagh because of its connection to the culture and history of the Arab region. It can also be worn in several ways, such as the cobra, scale, bint al-bakar style, and others.


The Saudi iqal is eye-catching due to the quality of its manufacture and its majestic appearance on a man’s head, as it goes through three stages when it is made: You start by wrapping the thread, then preparing the filling, and finally fastening the headband that is placed on the head to secure the shemagh or ghutra. The headband is of medium thickness and usually takes a circular shape and is folded in two layers. It is also available in different sizes. Its size must fit the size of the wearer’s head to ensure that it securely fixes the shemagh placed above it.

The bisht

Wearing a bisht is not common in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as it is only worn on official occasions and interviews, due to the prestige it gives to the Saudi national dress . The bisht has two colors, white and black, and the thickness and material of the fabric it is made of varies, as it is light in the summer and thick in the winter to give its owner warmth. It is worn over the dress and after completing wearing all the elements of the formal uniform, noting that the bisht is usually accompanied by wearing the ghutra and, to a lesser extent, the shemagh. .

Saudi national costume for women

There is no specific and common dress for women in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but the majority of them adhere to wearing the abaya with a head covering or the niqab. It can be said that the Saudi dress for women consists of a group of pieces that highlight the beauty of the cultural identity of the Kingdom and gives women a high degree of elegance, as shown as follows. :


The first element of the Saudi dress for women is the abaya, which is distinguished by the diversity of its designs and colors in a way that attracts attention, and expresses the richness of Saudi culture and heritage and the extent of its connection to Arab authenticity. The abaya, made of soft fabric, covers the entire body of the woman except the face and the palms of her hands, and it also embodies the highest levels of modesty. And good taste in dress!

Scarf or shawl

The scarf or shawl means the piece that is wrapped around the head and does not cover the face. The Saudi shawl is made of soft cotton fabric and has many types and colors that keep pace with modern fashion.


designs and openness in the era of globalization, styles of the niqab have emerged that meet the requirements of the times and keep pace with modernity, through the diversity of colors and decorations and its suitability for those who love fashion and makeup, in a way that catches the eye and has unparalleled elegance!

Decorations and jewelry

Elegance will not be complete without jewelry and decorative touches that add a touch of beauty and a lot of elegance to women. Wearing bracelets, earrings and rings designed in a wonderful style is the most common among the women of the Kingdom.

Modern dress style…a unique harmony between modernity and tradition!

After learning about what can be described as the traditional dress of male and female citizens of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, we discuss in this section the change that occurred in the style of dress over a decade, as social and cultural changes occurred due to globalization that affected the entire world. How did Saudi dress change between the generation of parents and the children of the present? And the youth of the future?

For men, there is a greater trend to make traditional dress more “casual”; This is done by dispensing with the shemagh or ghutra and formal shoes, in favor of walking with the head uncovered, with the hair combed and cut in a modern style, or wearing a hat and sports shoes, in addition to moving more towards wearing fashionable shirts and pants. It is no longer linked to the usual traditional dress, but rather modernity and heritage have been combined in a unique way, through attractive designs, decoration and colours, as well as the distinctive Ghutra embroidery to appear more harmonious and give its owner complete elegance!

In addition, women in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia show balance in their dress, as none of them violated the concept of modesty in exchange for appearing in all their elegance, as we saw, similar to men’s clothing, a combination of traditional dress and the concept of beauty and modern elegance. For example, abayas appeared in various models that gained admiration. All those coming to the Kingdom and have even spread to neighboring countries, in addition to the colors and trimmings that give them wider options, not to mention the methods of wrapping the veil and other things that have overwhelmed today’s generation and confirmed that globalization does not completely conflict with heritage, customs and traditions, but rather it can be adapted and the past merged with present to reach a result that enhances diversity and attracts attention, without compromising on values ​​and originality!

In general, it can be said that modern Saudi dress meets the following criteria:

  • Respect for values ​​and culture: Despite the developments, modern Saudi dress is characterized by respect for values ​​and customs and follows the rules of decency and modesty in choosing colors and designs .
  • Diversity and development: Modern clothing in Saudi Arabia witnesses a great diversity of designs and colors, as women can choose to wear traditional abayas or modern models to suit their taste .
  • Flexibility and comfort: Modern clothing is concerned with providing more flexibility and comfort, allowing individuals to move around and live their lives easily in contemporary conditions .
  • Material technology: Modern techniques and materials are used in making modern clothing that is compatible with the nature of weather conditions, combining elegance and practical functionality, whether in the fabrics used or in the design details .
  • The Personal Touch: Modern dress allows individuals to express themselves and choose colors and styles that express their unique personality and lifestyle .

What about visitors to the Kingdom?

The Saudi people carry authentic Arab qualities, including honoring and welcoming guests, and the path that the Kingdom has taken in the past few years under the leadership of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has made it more open to other cultures and their customs, so visitors will not find any difficulty in choosing their clothes, whether men. Or women. Saudi Arabia also welcomes visitors who wish to enjoy its various entertainment activities, such as concerts, sports tournaments, and national holidays, without any prior conditions or restrictions.

It can be said that Saudi Arabia has been able to achieve a unique balance by preserving its traditions, customs, and authentic heritage, while highlighting its prosperous present, keeping pace with developments in the modern era, and mixing its traditional dress with various fashion styles, as the Saudi national dress has become a living expression of the national identity and cultural heritage of the Kingdom, as well as It reflects the harmony between the past and the present in a very wonderful way! You can view our blog and learn about a group of articles covering various topics. If you have any questions, you can leave them at the bottom of the page and we will be happy to communicate with you.

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