Difference between Saudi and Omani Thobes

Difference between Saudi and Omani Thobes

Posted by Umair Nazaqat on

Traditionally known as kanduras, thobes (sometimes also spelled 'thoba" in Arabic) have long been worn by Middle Eastern men as emblematic clothing that symbolizes cultural identity and religious importance. While their look might initially resemble one another, regional variations create distinct styles. But what is the difference between Saudi and Omani Thobes?

Saudi and Omani Thobes: Connected Threads

Both Saudi and Omani thobes share an element of practicality and elegance. Crafted from lightweight fabric like cotton or cotton blend, their practical design provides maximum comfort during warm desert climate conditions; making these perfect everyday wear for religious gatherings, formal affairs, or simply strolls through the souq. A thobe offers versatility that transcends specific situations or events.

Distinctive Details: Revealing Differences

While both Saudi and Omani thobes perform the same basic function, what sets them apart lies in the details that distinguish between them. Here are some key features that set each apart:

  • Collar Distinction: In contrast with Omani kandura's collarless design and classic shirt collar, Saudi thobe features an understated yet structured appearance while providing more structure than its Omani counterpart thobe does.
  • Tassel Appeal: While Saudi thobes generally feature sleek silhouettes without any decorative tassels, Omani kanduras boast distinctive details called Sharakh that add personality and cultural flare. Sharakh hangs gracefully from one side of their necklines adding character.
  • Fit for Comfort: Saudi thobes tend to offer more tailored silhouettes while Omani kanduras prioritize looser fits, providing maximum comfort during hot Arabian days.
  • Fabric Finesse: Both Saudi and Omani thobes typically feature white hues to symbolize purity and simplicity; however, fabric options vary significantly: Saudi thobes tend to utilize thicker materials with greater resilience to handle harsh desert heat better; in comparison, Omani kandura is known for using high-grade fabrics which create luxurious and sophisticated looks.

Saudi vs. Omani Thobes: A Comparison Table


Saudi Thobe

Omani Kandura


Standard collar with button closure

Collarless design

Tassel (Sharakh)

No tassel

Tassel hanging from the side of the neckline


Slightly more tailored

Looser and more relaxed


Primarily white, thicker and more robust options for hot climates

Primarily white, high-quality fabrics for a luxurious feel

Overall Style

More structured and streamlined

Clean and minimalist

NewArabia - Browse the Cultural Diversity

By appreciating the subtle distinctions between Saudi and Omani thobe styles, we gain a greater appreciation of Middle Eastern cultural tapestry. Each region adds its unique identity and traditions to this timeless garment.

Check out thobes at NewArabia to gain greater insight into this fascinating world! Browse thobe styles such as Moroccan embroidery and Kuwaiti elegance before finding one to fit your style perfectly! Find cultural nuances intertwined into each design for further enrichment before finding that ideal piece that expresses yourself as an individual!

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