What is a dishdasha and how is it worn?

The dishdasha is a traditional robe worn by the men of the Arabian Peninsula, namely Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the Sultanate of Oman, Qatar, etc. That being the case, this outfit is worn differently according to the cultures and customs of the country. Below, find out in detail the different ways to properly wear the dishdasha.


Dishdasha: What is it?

Known also as "kandoura", "kamis", or "thawb", the dishdasha is the traditional basic attire of the Gulf men. This long-sleeved tunic is often accompanied by the chachia, ghoutra, keffiyeh, or shemagh.

Mainly united in white or checkered red and white, these headdresses are worn to protect themselves from sand and sun. In general, these are stablized using an iqal, a kind of black lined rope made of goat wool.

In winter or on special occasions, the dishdasha can be worn with a bisht, a long embroidered cape embellished with golden threads that slips on like a coat. Generally white, long, and wide, the dishdasha is easily recognizable. However, if we look carefully, we will notice that it has some details that vary depending on the particular country.


The different ways to wear the dishdasha

The dishdasha is usually made of cotton, but one can also find its "winter" version in wool. The style this long garment differs according to the Gulf countires, especially at the collar and sleeves.

For example, in the United Arab Emirates, the dishdasha has a round collar at the neck and is worn with a ghoutra and either with or without an iqal sometimes scented with oud. In Saudi Arabia, it is generally more refined and integrates a high collar.

In Qatar, the collar is also upright, and the sleeves are wide and tight or open, in order to reveal a watch. Finally, in the Sultanate of Oman, it is not accompanied by a ghoutra or an iqal, but rather by a round cotton and embroidered cap, called a "kumma" or a "mussar", which is a turban for special occasions.

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