10 places in Saudi Arabia where Abaya is not required

Even though Saudi Arabia has gone through a number of changes since the Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman has taken charge yet traveling to Saudi Arabia is still a challenge for most of the female expats. They know that they would have to wear an abaya and even a hijab in certain cases as soon as they step out of their house.

However, it is interesting to note that there are places in Saudi Arabia which do not fall under the jurisdiction of wearing an abaya for women. The females in Saudi Arabia are free to visit these places and are not bound to wear an abaya.

Yet, before you make a plan to pick up one of these destinations, make sure you only take off your abaya if you are dressed modestly. Also, first, observe your surroundings before making a final move! As taking precaution is always a wise move! Here are some of the Abaya Free Zones in Saudi Arabia.

  1. The Desert

As Saudi Arabia large deserts, the women can take advantage and take off their abaya especially where there are few or no people around.

It is safe to go abaya-free if in public places where there are fewer people and where you shall go unnoticed. Red Sand desert and Hidden Valley are deserts where expat females are seen without an abaya.

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  1. Golf clubs

As much as you love golf, you will love the fact that you can play it without abaya in Saudi Arabia. The Dirab and Riyadh golf clubs are the ones where females can go abaya-free while playing golf.

  1. Ladies Kingdom

The very famous lady’s kingdom is the ladies favorite destination in Saudi Arabia. The 3rd floor allows the women to roam around and shop without an abaya. The employees are also not bound to wear an abaya there.

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  1. Diplomatic Quarters in Riyadh

The Diplomatic Quarters (DQ) are the favorite spot for expats who do not wish to wear abaya or to move with the Saudi culture. within the DQ, there is no restriction of wearing or not wearing an abaya.

  1. Resorts, Istiraha and Other Rentals

Rentals such as Bedouin-style tent or an Istiraha, which is a house rented for vocational purposes is a safe zone for ladies who wish to roam around without an abaya.

  1. Diving

After crossing the Jeddah Harbor, the women are free to dive into the deserts without being careful of their abaya. They can simply remove it and enjoy their trip.

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  1. Certain Restaurants

There are certain restaurants across the KSA where the women can remove their abaya. Simply head towards the manager and ask for the family rooms. They shall provide curtained space for you where you can remove your abaya and enjoy the food. 

  1. Horseback Riding

The Dirab stables, the stables in DQ and the Riyadh Equestrian club are where women can enjoy horse riding without wearing an abaya.

  1. Private Beaches

Private beaches of Jeddah and Al Khobar are offering women exclusive beaches where women can swim in their swimming attire.

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  1. Compounds

If you want to go abaya free, chose a western compound!

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Steve has been living in Saudi Arabia since 2013 and writing about Saudi rules, regulations, guides, and procedures since then.