Is Abaya compulsory in Saudi Arabia?

Saudi Arabia has been known to be a conservative country for a long time, where women needed to wear an Abaya. Is Abaya still compulsory in Saudi Arabia?

The Changing Face of Saudi Arabia

In recent years, a lot has changed in Saudi Arabia after the crown prince said that women can wear whatever they want as long as it is a modest dress.

Is Abaya compulsory in Saudi Arabia?

Hence, Abaya is no longer compulsory in Saudi Arabia. You can find some women in shopping malls, parks, and beaches without Abaya, especially in major cities such as Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, and Khobar.

However, in less modern cities such as Sakaka, Al Ahsa, Abha, and Al Baha, you will still find many women wearing a proper Abaya. Things are changing even there.

What is a modest dress?

If you are covering your body from shoulders to knees, you are following the dress code for women in Saudi Arabia. However, it is still uncommon to see women wearing shirts up to their knees. 

Dress Code for Women in Saudi Arabia

Generally, women who remove their Abaya still wear proper dress, covering their bodies from shoulders to ankles. Everyone, be it a Saudi or an expat, knows that covering the body is the culture of Saudi Arabia, and they do not go against it.

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