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Can Foreigners Wear Emirati Clothes?

Are you planning to visit the UK but wondering, ‘Can foreigners wear Emirati clothes?’ This country's national attire is a colourful thread within its rich tapestry of customs.

You might be perplexed about whether it is appropriate for non-natives to wear Emirati clothing. Like other cultural quirks, the response is quite affirmative!

Respectful Exploration vs. Disrespectful Appropriation

A culture can be appreciated, but it cannot be appropriated. Respectfully dressing in Emirati attire demonstrates a sincere interest in the country’s traditions. However, it might be insulting to wear it carelessly or as a costume.

Can Foreigners Wear Emirati Clothes?

The shortest answer is ‘Yes!’ but if you’re an expat or a visitor, see how to strike the right balance:

The Crucial Context

Think about the situation. Is it a safari in the desert or a cultural event? Wearing traditional Emirati thobes can improve the encounter. However, that might look inappropriate in a laid-back restaurant.

Conduct Research

Discover the many clothing items, such as the colourful abaya for ladies, the flowing white thobe for men, and the headscarves (Shayla for women and shemagh for men). Realising their importance demonstrates respect.

Presentation Matters

Wear appropriately fitting clothing. A headscarf that is carelessly tied or a thobe that is crumpled takes away from the experience. For advice on appropriate clothing, choose stores that specialise in national attire.

Embrace the Experience, Not Just the Outfit!

There is more to wearing Emirati attire than just putting on fabric. Here's how to enjoy the experience to the fullest:

Seek Permission

If you need clarification on whether wearing their national attire is appropriate, kindly contact your Emirati host or a store owner. Their advice will be constructive.

Learn a Salutation

In Arabic, a simple ‘Assalamu Alaykum’ (peace be upon you) can significantly impact. It demonstrates effort and cultural sensitivity.

Be Aware of Customs

Although Emirati society is becoming more laid-back, societal conventions still exist. Pay attention to where you sit, particularly if you're a woman, and refrain from making excessively public shows of affection.

The Bottom Line

So, can foreigners wear Emirati clothes?

Donning Emirati attire is a fantastic method of engaging with the culture. By approaching it with respect and a sincere desire to learn, you can ensure a good and enlightening experience for everyone involved - not just for yourself. Recall that cultural interaction is about appreciation and open-mindedness, not just clothes.

Visit Al-Haq Thobes Shop to experience the real Emirati culture. Shop authentic kanduras and abayas now!


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