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what to wear in Saudi?

what to wear in Saudi?

Old Apr 14th 2009, 5:36 pm
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Default what to wear in Saudi?

Hi,
This may be a silly question for most of you, but i am about to throw a lot of clothes out as we choose what goodies are being shipped across to Jeddah and what's going to charity!

I have three questions -
1) I understand the need for a burka, but am I expected to wear all black (head to toe) underneath the burka?

2) What is the norm living in a compound? Clothes wise, what WON'T I need and what would be most appropriate?

3) When we go to the beach, can I strip down to my bikini, or do I need to be very conservative?
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Old Apr 14th 2009, 5:41 pm
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Default Re: what to wear in Saudi?

Originally Posted by smmarty View Post
Hi,
This may be a silly question for most of you, but i am about to throw a lot of clothes out as we choose what goodies are being shipped across to Jeddah and what's going to charity!

I have three questions -
1) I understand the need for a burka, but am I expected to wear all black (head to toe) underneath the burka?

2) What is the norm living in a compound? Clothes wise, what WON'T I need and what would be most appropriate?

3) When we go to the beach, can I strip down to my bikini, or do I need to be very conservative?
Silly questions? Quite probably but here goes.........

Burka? No, it's an abaya (tighter fitting and black). In Jeddah you don't need to cover your hair (although many do), and you certainly don't cover your face. Underneath? Many women (including Saudis) wear very little - it's warm out there, you see.........

Compound? Wear as little as you like. M'lud, I wish to introduce the Czech nurses that lived on Najd circa 2001-2 as evidence.......... and that was in ultra-conservative Riyadh. (Oh Marie, where, o where, did you go??)

Beaches? Not sure how it is these days but there are/were 'beach clubs' and some of the hotels have their own access to beaches.

Any help?

Last edited by The Dean; Apr 14th 2009 at 5:42 pm. Reason: o
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Old Apr 14th 2009, 5:45 pm
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Default Re: what to wear in Saudi?

Hiya,

You can wear whatever you want (or not!), under your abaya. Everyone wears regualar clothes under them. It's funny that all the shops are chocka with skirts, casual tops and dresses - so many are done up the the nines underneath.

With reagrds to the compound, it's very relaxed and you can wear whatever you want inside them, and swimming trunks / bikinis at the pool.

The beach...... someone else will have to help you there as I'm stuck in the middle of a big bloody desert in Riyadh!!!

All the best,

Mark
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Old Apr 14th 2009, 7:47 pm
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Default Re: what to wear in Saudi?

The local women wear headscarves with their abayas. You won't.

Therefore, you'll find a triangle of flesh exposed underneath your neck. You'll almost certainly want to wear something underneath your abaya with a high neckline, to avoid flashing this triangle of flesh to all and sundry.
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Old Apr 14th 2009, 7:55 pm
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Default Re: what to wear in Saudi?

Originally Posted by smmarty View Post
Hi,
This may be a silly question for most of you, but i am about to throw a lot of clothes out as we choose what goodies are being shipped across to Jeddah and what's going to charity!

I have three questions -
1) I understand the need for a burka, but am I expected to wear all black (head to toe) underneath the burka?

2) What is the norm living in a compound? Clothes wise, what WON'T I need and what would be most appropriate?

3) When we go to the beach, can I strip down to my bikini, or do I need to be very conservative?
Just keep the clothes you have....you will most probably , after you have acclimatised, sex up your wardrobe considerably.....
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Old Apr 14th 2009, 8:28 pm
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Default Re: what to wear in Saudi?

Originally Posted by The Dean View Post
Silly questions? Quite probably but here goes.........

Burka? No, it's an abaya (tighter fitting and black). In Jeddah you don't need to cover your hair (although many do), and you certainly don't cover your face. Underneath? Many women (including Saudis) wear very little - it's warm out there, you see.........

Compound? Wear as little as you like. M'lud, I wish to introduce the Czech nurses that lived on Najd circa 2001-2 as evidence.......... and that was in ultra-conservative Riyadh. (Oh Marie, where, o where, did you go??)

Beaches? Not sure how it is these days but there are/were 'beach clubs' and some of the hotels have their own access to beaches.

Any help?
The Dean. You're advice is great. I'll go commando underneath then! - only joking. I can't wait, it'll be great out there.
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Old Apr 14th 2009, 8:33 pm
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Default Re: what to wear in Saudi?

Originally Posted by MGinRiyadh View Post
Hiya,

You can wear whatever you want (or not!), under your abaya. Everyone wears regualar clothes under them. It's funny that all the shops are chocka with skirts, casual tops and dresses - so many are done up the the nines underneath.

With reagrds to the compound, it's very relaxed and you can wear whatever you want inside them, and swimming trunks / bikinis at the pool.

The beach...... someone else will have to help you there as I'm stuck in the middle of a big bloody desert in Riyadh!!!

All the best,

Mark
Thanks guys. Your advice has been greatly appreciated.
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Old Apr 15th 2009, 2:43 am
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Default Re: what to wear in Saudi?

Originally Posted by smmarty View Post
The Dean. You're advice is great. I'll go commando underneath then! - only joking. I can't wait, it'll be great out there.


for your sake I hope it is
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Old Apr 15th 2009, 4:11 am
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Default Re: what to wear in Saudi?

I sewed up the front of my abaya so I could wear little or nothing underneath and not worry about it blowing open.

I never covered my hair or face although during Ramadan 2 of my friends got hassle and found it easier to do so.

On the compound anything goes.

On public beaches you have to wear your abaya - yes even to swim in. But if there is a beach within the compound you can wear swimwear.

If you are staying in a hotel you will not be able to swim in the pool - men and children only.
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Old Apr 15th 2009, 6:46 am
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Default Re: what to wear in Saudi?

Originally Posted by The Dean View Post
... (Oh Marie, where, o where, did you go??)
marie the czech nurse? i think i might've met her recently...
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Old Apr 15th 2009, 7:39 am
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Default Re: what to wear in Saudi?

Originally Posted by still.unsure View Post
marie the czech nurse? i think i might've met her recently...
Don't even think about it......... or her..............

Cute little thing, redhead, sort of Kylie-size-and-shape...........

.......... tiny little red bikini................. the top bit of which was about half a size too small........... excuse me, now I have to go to the bathroom........

........ I'll only be a few seconds..........
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Old Apr 15th 2009, 8:46 am
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Default Re: what to wear in Saudi?

Originally Posted by The Dean View Post
Don't even think about it......... or her..............

Cute little thing, redhead, sort of Kylie-size-and-shape...........

.......... tiny little red bikini................. the top bit of which was about half a size too small........... excuse me, now I have to go to the bathroom........

........ I'll only be a few seconds..........
well, the bikini wasn't on display (more's the pity from the sound of it) but the rest of the description sounds about right...

bloody hell, the magic kingdom, hey!
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Old Apr 15th 2009, 11:14 am
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Default Re: what to wear in Saudi?

Originally Posted by still.unsure View Post
well, the bikini wasn't on display (more's the pity from the sound of it) but the rest of the description sounds about right...

bloody hell, the magic kingdom, hey!
When you say you've "met" her recently, do you mean.....??

No!! Please, no!!! I hate you...............
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Old Apr 15th 2009, 11:19 am
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Default Re: what to wear in Saudi?

A big black bin liner with holes in it at the top should do the job nicely.

Out of interest how much extra money is there to be earned in Saudi? It sounds like a living hell.....
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Old Apr 15th 2009, 11:31 am
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Default Re: what to wear in Saudi?

Originally Posted by The Dean View Post
When you say you've "met" her recently, do you mean.....??

No!! Please, no!!! I hate you...............
no, nothing like that (i'd hire a bloody skywriter to announce that!)
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