A Closer Look on the Traditional Clothing in UAE

Traditional Clothing in UAE 876

Clothing in the United Arab Emirates is typical of most of the Arabic countries and it is especially inherited from the Bedouin culture which conquered in the Arabian peninsula.

Clothes there are designed in a way believed to provide comfort in the high temperatures ravaging most of the GCC countries, and most importantly, to keep with the religious beliefs in the country that instructs decency and etiquette.

Generally, both men and women wear veils and long sleeved robes, worn especially in the summer. Clothing that cover more parts of the body from the sunlight are be preferred there.

In more details, here we introduce you to a number of clothing pieces used in the UAE:

Women Clothing include:

A Closer Look on the Traditional Clothing in UAE

Abaya: a simple, long, elegant, loose over-garment, essentially a robe-like dress that is worn by women in the UAE, where it is their national dress. Abaya is traditionally black in color covering the whole body except the face, feet and hands. However, most women prefer to cover their hands with Gafaaz (gloves) and cover their face with niqāb, Burqa or Gishwa.

Niqab is a veil for the face that leaves the area around the eyes clear. However, it may be worn with a separate eye veil. It is worn with an accompanying headscarf.

Burqa is the most concealing of all Islamic veils: an outer piece of clothing used to cover a woman’s body to prevent exposure of skin in public. It is a one-piece veil that covers the face and body, often leaving just a mesh screen to see through.

Gishwa: UAE women dress traditionally in a Gishwa, which is a thin veil covering the face whereby it is unrecognizable. However, it is fine enough for the wearer to see through.


As for men clothing, they include:

Traditional Clothing in UAE

Kandura: also known as thawb, thobe, or dishdasha. It is an ankle length, loose-fitting robe for men, usually white in color.

In winter, however, Kandura is available in a splash of colors mostly in darker shades.

The length of the robe represents the status of the person with the wealthy and royal seen in longer robes. Shorter length symbolizes modesty and is worn by the remaining Arabs.

Ghutrah: also might be known as shemagh, or keffiyeh/kufiya in other countries; a typical headscarf worn by men. Ghutrah is often said to be white in color, Shemagh is often red and white, whereas kufiya is black and white.

These scarves provide protection from blowing dust and harsh rays of the sun, and are draped over the head in various styles.

Agal: also called as iqal, egal or igal is a black band secured tightly around the ghutrah to keep it in place. Agal is usually in black in colour, however,

it is losing its prominence these days with  young men draping the guthra in different ways.

Ghafiyah: The ghafiyah is a look-alike of a Muslim prayer hat worn below the ghutrah headscarf by Arabic men. They are intricately embroidered and not visible to the naked eye as it is covered by the ghutrah.


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