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Saudi culture and shorts for men
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sicklyman



Joined: 02 Feb 2013
Posts: 445

PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:42 pm    Post subject: Saudi culture and shorts for men Reply with quote

scot47 wrote:
You went downtown in SHORTS ?????????????????????


that reminds me... what is the "rule" on shorts for men here? I've heard various rumours...
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desert



Joined: 24 Nov 2011
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Based on my experiences living in other Arabic countries, it is not common for men to be wearing shorts, so I think it should be avoided. It has the potential to seem strange to the locals even if none of them say anything to you about it.

Edit: Wearing shorts above the knees has religious implications similar to a woman uncovering her head. Maybe someone more knowledgeable about Saudi law can comment.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12348
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The "rule" is common sense: don't wear them outside among the locals. You're virtually sure to offend sombody (or bodies Very Happy) anywhere in the Kingdom.

Regards,
John
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cmp45



Joined: 17 Aug 2004
Posts: 1369
Location: KSA

PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 4:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Out and about shopping etc not a good idea, but if you are jogging in a designated area probably okay as there are some areas in Riyadh that are known for walking/ jogging and you do see lots of guys jogging or purposely walking for exercise wearing shorts and t- shirts .

Again common sense should dictate; dress conservatively out in public. Shorts... if you must wear them should be below the knees.

Do what you like, but be aware that if you go against the grain and / or break the laws, then be prepared to get hassled or worse. Rolling Eyes
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clyde



Joined: 13 Jul 2005
Posts: 49

PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wear shorts in Riyadh all the time and have never anything. They are the cargo ones that sit at the knee. Saudis are wearing them more an more as well.
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jaffa



Joined: 25 Oct 2012
Posts: 334

PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ditto what Clyde said, although I'm next to the sea. Outside work I never wear anything else and putting on jeans to go on holiday always feels strange at first.

A rotund Icelandic business teacher showed up last year where I live and I'd see him walking round the area shirtless with a tiny little pair of shorts thinking he was in Benidorm. When I gave him a bit of advice, reminding him which country he was in, I got the reply, "They'll just have to get used to it!" He didn't last long.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12348
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear clyde and jaffa,

OK, but encounter the wrong people and you just might have a "short" stay there Very Happy

Regards,
John
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sicklyman



Joined: 02 Feb 2013
Posts: 445

PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

great advice everyone, thanks.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12145
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Should be worn only for sports - and even then, wear the longer "Islamic Shorts".
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clyde



Joined: 13 Jul 2005
Posts: 49

PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To any new people considering coming to Saudi. You will not be sent home for wearing shorts, just keep it reasonable (no euro speedos for example). There is a lot of disinformation about the Muttawa on the net. My wife always walks around the malls of Riyadh with nothing on her head. We have encountered Muttawa twice in 2 years. This involved a well-dressed man in neatly pressed thobe and bisht asking me, while averting his eyes from her, to ask her to cover her hair. I point to my wife, she slides her hijab back up. After we round the next corner she pulls it down again. The Muttawa are there to guide and give advice and that is it. Do what they say and as soon as they are gone, do what you want. Qassim may have its own rules though. I have never been there so I will not comment. Riyadh is considered on the conservative side, especially when contrasted with Khobar or Jeddah, but foreigners are given a lot of leeway here. The only real problem people here are the scumbag Afghan cab drivers. They cannot read or write their own language yet feel qualified to lecture foreign university instructors about life. A simple shut-up in English usually does the trick though.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12348
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear clyde,

"The Muttawa are there to guide and give advice and that is it."

Protect and serve - and actually, they're all really nice guys once you get to know them. Very Happy

Regards,
John
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Azad



Joined: 13 Jul 2010
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

one of my old co-workers was denied entrance into a bank in al Khobar for wearing shorts. in Riyadh a lot of places will refuse to serve/do business with you if you're wearing shorts. i recall another instance where a couple of co-workers were wearing shorts and given a hard time at the train station in Riyadh.
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I Rub Ruchi



Joined: 23 Jun 2008
Posts: 45
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Folks that have been around here for a good while don't wear shorts, so don't wear them if you are concerned about continued employment prospects. The locals may say nothing if you are a man, but they might look down upon you and not be overly delighted that the prized p*g expat teacher is dressing too casual and interpret it as an insult. Westerner's already draw enough attention without trying to make a summer fashion statement.

I notice teachers who dress well at my college (slacks and tie) frequently are offered direct hire positions after first being hired as contract teachers.

Sports and gyms are the exceptions, but even there, the men wear shorts cut at the knee. Some swimmers that even cover the naval and the knees!

If you are on a western compound, then it's another game and you will find the rules in writing.
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jaffa



Joined: 25 Oct 2012
Posts: 334

PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I Rub Ruchi wrote:
the prized p*g expat teacher


LOL.

I've been here 5 years and never once had a problem wearing shorts (to the knees). Filipinos wear them all the time and Filipino women never cover their hair. As someone else said, Saudi men are also taking to wearing them.
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cmp45



Joined: 17 Aug 2004
Posts: 1369
Location: KSA

PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think anyone has stated that men can't wear conservative (below the knee) shorts in public. It's an individual choice. However, just to be clear, it is NOT the norm.
I don't wear them in public; not only because I have ugly legs Laughing I just don't feel right flaunting this double standard of dress in front of the women.
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