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What is the Difference Between Emirati and Saudi Clothing

Saudi Arabia and the UAE are two of the most influential Arab nations on the Arabian Peninsula. Their traditional dress befits royalty and reflects their shared cultural heritage. But what is the difference between Emirati and Saudi clothing?

Men's flowing white clothing in these countries may look the same. However, looking more closely, you can see that several unique characteristics set Saudi and Emirati clothes apart. Therefore, Al-Haq Thobes Shop helps you explore the distinguishing characteristics of Saudi and UAE clothing.

Men's Clothing: Thawb vs. Kandura

In both countries, men typically wear long, flowing robes. In Saudi Arabia, this garment is referred to as a thawb. In contrast, in the United Arab Emirates, it is a kandura.

What is the Difference Between Emirati and Saudi Clothing for Men?

Long sleeves and full-length thawbs are staples of the classic design. However, there are differences in the fit, embellishments, and collars between these dresses.


The sleek and clean form of the kandura is often achieved by the absence of a collar. On the other hand, the Saudi thobe frequently has a two-button collar, which adds a formal touch.


In the scorching desert, comfort is the top priority for both outfits. Nonetheless, the Saudi tobe is more likely to be airy and slightly looser, which improves air circulation. For formal events in particular, the Emirati kandura may fit more snugly.


Although the techniques vary, both cultures use embellishments in their clothing. Saudi thobes can have ornate embroidery on the sleeves, chest, or pockets. Emirati kanduras have delicate embroidery on the shoulders.


People in both countries wear ghutras to shield their faces and heads from the sun. But the styling is different. Usually white and easier to wear, the Emirati ghutra is wrapped around the head and fastened with a black cord known as an agal.

The Saudi ghutra frequently has a red and white chequered pattern to obtain its trademark form. It is called a shemagh. It needs to be folded using a more complex technique.

Difference Between Emirati and Saudi Clothing for Women

In both countries, women are traditionally dressed in the long, flowing abaya (or aba), which covers the entire body. However, there are minor differences, much like with men's clothes:


Both countries use black as the most popular hue for abayas. However, Emirati women have more colour options, especially for less formal occasions.


The selection of cloth may also vary. Saudi abayas frequently feature thicker materials like wool or cashmere for warmth in the cooler months. Emiratis prefer lighter materials like georgette or chiffon for their abayas since they are perfect for warmer weather.


Saudi aba can display bolder and more ornate motifs. In contrast, Emirati abayas have more subdued embroidery or adornments.

The Bottom Line

These seemingly small variations in attire reveal a great deal about what is the difference between Emirati and Saudi clothing. Saudi attire can add a hint of grandeur, while Emirati apparel tends to be more minimalistic in appearance. Comprehending these distinctions provides insight into the distinct fashion customs of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.


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