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National ‘dress’

Luxury women's dress, with traditional elements
Luxury women’s dress, with traditional elements

What is described as ‘national dress’ in virtually all Gulf handbooks, is, in fact, a local variation on the traditional dress of the tribal Arabs of the Arabian Peninsula. In Bahrain, the thawb or thobe, a long white cotton gown, is still worn by many male citizens. In winter, the thobe is usually of a darker colour, blue or grey, and of heavier material. The headscarf (ghutra) is generally white in Bahrain. On formal occasions and in winter a gold-embroidered gown, made of silk or wool and usually brown or black, might be worn over the thobe. Bahraini women often wear an abaya, a loose black coat, over their Western-styled clothes. The hijab (head-scarf) has recently become very popular.

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