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Living in Kuwait

Dress code in Kuwait

National Dress Code

There is no compulsory Islamic dress code in Kuwait, and generally Kuwaiti men are seen wearing thwab (an ankle-length white cotton shirt), while women are seen wearing abaya (the black over-garment covering most parts of the body).

Kuwaiti women are also sometimes seen in western clothes. Although they may choose from the more demure styles, the latest designs are worn, irrespective of the climate and convenience. However, their traditional clothing such as the thob (the long over-dress), is still used for dancing on festive occasion. When in public, several Kuwait women cover their chic western clothing with an aba (the silky black coat). Bedouin women may also wear a burqa (the short black veil that covers the entire face). Modest clothing is highly valued for women, particularly, as it raises respect for her and her perceived sense of self-worth.

Expatriate Men and Women

There is no official dress code for expatriates. Men can avoid showing their thighs and stomach below the naval.

As a woman, if you want to earn respect, you shouldn't show cleavage, or have bare shoulders, or wear skirts or shorts that are above the knee level.

On the whole, it is best to dress in loose light-weight clothing without much skin show. Your skirts and sleeves need to be on the long side. If you should wear shorts, wear capris or long walking shorts. However, you definitely need not cover your hair or your face.

Business Attire

Business attire in Kuwait is conservative. Men can wear lightweight, conservative suits that are of good quality.

Women should stay away from wearing any revealing or tight-fitting clothing to avoid giving in to offence. The skirts should cover the knee and sleeves should cover the elbow and fasten at the neck.

Dark coloured business suits are appropriate for men and women. Suits that are tailored are best for men, while women can wear a pantsuit if necessary. If the weather is not too warm, women can wear pantyhose with a skirt business suit. Avoid wearing expensive accessories and low-cut or sleeveless blouses.

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