The Cultural Significance and Global Influence of Thobes - newarabia

The Cultural Significance and Global Influence of Thobes

Posted by Abdulhaq Anfishi on

At the heart of Arabian men's clothing, sits the thobe - a symbol of culture, tradition, and modesty. It has been the staple garment in many Middle Eastern and North African countries for centuries. But what is a thobe? What does it signify? In this article, we will answer these questions, explore the different types of thobes and delve into their cultural significance.

Understanding the Thobe


What is the Significance of Wearing a Thobe?

The thobe, also known as a thawb, is a long robe-like garment that serves not only as traditional wear but also a reflection of Islamic principles of modesty. It is a symbol of identity, respect, and cultural pride in Arabian societies.


What is the Meaning of Thobe in Arabic?

In Arabic, the word 'thobe' translates to a 'garment'. It refers specifically to the ankle or floor-length robe traditionally worn by Arab men.


What is the Meaning of Thobe in English?

In English, 'thobe' or 'thawb' refers to the traditional Arabian garment, a long, usually white robe worn by men.


A Look at Different Types of Thobes in the new Arabia Collection

The thobe, a timeless symbol of Arabian elegance, comes in a variety of styles and designs. The newarabia collection offers a broad range of thobes, including the Emirati Thobe, Linen Moroccan Thobe, and Omani Thobe, each designed to reflect the rich culture and tradition it embodies.

Thobe and Jubba in Islam


What is Jubba in Islam?

In Islamic culture, Jubba is another term used to refer to the long, loose garment worn by men, similar to the thobe. A Jubba can also mean a large cloak worn over the thobe for added warmth or style. Explore the wide range of Jubbas online.


Can Anyone Wear a Thawb?

Yes, anyone can wear a thawb or thobe. While it is a garment deeply rooted in Arabian and Islamic culture, its elegance, comfort, and modest design appeal to people worldwide.


Can All Muslims Wear Thobes?

Yes, all Muslims can wear thobes. It is an attire that aligns with the Islamic principle of modesty, although it is not compulsory.

The Thobe Across the Arab World


Why do Arabs Wear Thobe?

Arabs wear thobes as a part of their cultural and traditional identity. The garment aligns with the region's climate and the Islamic value of modesty, whilst providing comfort and practicality.


The Difference Between Saudi Thobe and Emirati Thobe

While both Saudi and Emirati thobes share a similar base design, they differ subtly in style and cut. The Emirati thobe often has a collar, while the Saudi style usually does not. However, both embody the rich Arabian sartorial heritage.


Do Egyptians Wear Thobes?

Yes, Egyptians do wear thobes, particularly for religious or festive occasions. However, it's more common to see men wearing gallabiyas, a similar robe-like garment, on a daily basis.


Why Do Emiratis Wear White?

Emiratis often wear white thobes as the colour helps to reflect heat and is suitable for the hot desert climate of the region. However, thobes in other colours are also worn.


Countries Where the Thobe is Worn

Thobes are traditionally worn in several countries across the Middle East and North Africa, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar, Jordan, and others.

Wearing a Thobe as a Non-Arab or a Tourist


Can a White Man Wear a Thawb?

Yes, anyone can wear a thawb or thobe. While it's deeply rooted in Arabian and Islamic culture, the thobe's universal appeal lies in its comfort, elegance, and modest design.


Is It Okay to Dress Up as an Arab?

While it's acceptable to wear traditional Arabian clothing like the thobe, it's important to do so with respect and understanding for the culture. It's recommended to avoid 'dressing up' as an Arab in a way that caricatures or disrespects the culture.


Can Tourists Wear Hijab in Egypt?

Tourists are not required to wear a hijab in Egypt. However, dressing modestly is recommended, particularly when visiting religious sites.


Can You Wear White in Egypt?

Yes, white clothing is both acceptable and practical in Egypt due to the country's hot climate.


Dressing Like an Arab in Dubai

Non-Arabs living in or visiting Dubai can certainly choose to wear Arabian clothing like the thobe. In fact, many tourists enjoy wearing local attire to fully immerse themselves in the cultural experience.

Cultural Etiquette in the Arab World


What is Considered Rude in Arab Culture?

Disrespecting the local customs, culture, and religious practices is considered rude in Arab culture. This includes inappropriate dress, public displays of affection, and use of offensive language.


Guidelines on Dressing in the Arab World with Emphasis on Islamic Values of Modesty and Tradition

When dressing in the Arab world, it's important to respect Islamic values of modesty. For women, modest clothing like kaftans is popular.

Embracing the Thobe Style


The Importance of Understanding Cultural Appropriation vs. Cultural Appreciation

While adopting elements of another culture, it's important to appreciate its values rather than merely borrowing its styles. To wear a thobe is to embrace its symbolism of Arabian heritage and Islamic modesty.


How to Wear a Thobe – Tips and Tricks

Wearing a thobe involves a few essential elements - a good fit, appropriate accessories, and the right occasion. Pair your thobe with matching trousers for a complete look. For a casual yet traditional style, consider the short-sleeved thobes or the lightweight hooded thobes. If you're looking to stay warm in colder months, the winter djellaba is a great choice.



Thobes embody a rich history and cultural significance that extends beyond being mere attire. As we embrace globalisation and cultural exchange, thobes continue to hold their ground as a symbol of modesty, tradition, and style. Check out newarabia's summer collection and premium djellaba collection to explore the world of thobes.

Understanding Thobes - Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

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