Emirati Vs Saudi Thobe: What’s the Difference?

Emirati Vs Saudi Thobe: What’s the Difference?

As you may already know, a thobe (also known as a jubbah) is a long, ankle-length garment – similar to a robe – that’s commonly worn by men throughout the Middle East.

Worn for millennia in the region, thobes have a long and storied history, and for many middle eastern men they remain a key component of the wardrobe to this day.

Worn at any time of the day and suitable for a range of occasions, the thobe is a versatile piece of clothing worn by men from all social backgrounds, classes and professions. 

Most thobes usually have long sleeves and are made from white cotton in order to reflect the sun and help keep the body cool, although depending on which region they’re worn in, they can differ slightly in appearance. Two of the most popular styles of thobe are the Saudi and Emirati variations.

Saudi style

In Saudi Arabia pretty much everywhere you look you’ll see men and boys dressed in a thobe. If the weather’s hot, people will dress in only white thobes, although when temperatures aren’t as scorching it’s not uncommon to see darker coloured garments that may be made from wool.

The Saudi-style thobe tends to have a slightly tighter fitting. It also has a two-button collar with shirt sleeves that may require cufflinks.

This style of thobe is usually coupled with red and white checked headwear called Bint Al Bakkar, which looks great – if you can get it right, that is, as it’s notoriously difficult to master!

Emirati style

Just across the border from Saudi is the United Arab Emirates, which is another country where you’ll spot the ubiquitous thobe practically everywhere you go. Often referred to here as a kandura, thobes worn in the UAE are similar to the Saudi style, although there are some notable differences between the two.

Unlike the Saudi-style thobe, the Emirati variant has no collar and the garment features a long tassel at the front known as a tarboosh. There may also be matching embroidery on the shoulder, although this is not always present.

In the UAE, to protect the eyes, face and head from the blistering sun, the garment is paired with headwear, which is known in this part of the region as a ghutra. This is much easier to assemble than the Saudi variant as it’s simply thrown over the shoulder and kept in place with a cord known as an agal.

Looking for a thobe? Burooj can help!

So now you know the difference between the Saudi and Emirati styles of the thobe, hopefully you have an idea of what type you’re after!

At Burooj, we stock a selection of thobes in both the Emirati and Saudi styles and all of our pieces are crafted using a supreme quality fabric for an ultra-comfortable fit.

Our Emirati range consists of garments made in Dubai, and each piece comes stitched in traditional Emirati-style complete with two pockets and a tarboosh. These thobes ooze quality and are perfect for formal occasions.

Our Saudi-style thobes are produced by revered brand Al Aseel, and these garments are made using soft, premium-quality cotton that’s designed to feel amazing on the skin when worn. These thobes also come with two side pockets, with an additional pocket sewn into the breast for good measure.

Ultimately, which style of thobe you opt for could well come down to personal choice, but rest assured that whichever one you decide upon, you’re getting a quality garment that’ll mean you’re dressed to impress, whatever the occasion.

So, if you’re ready to add some premium-quality thobes to your wardrobe, then browse our collection now. Alternatively, if you have any questions about thobes/jubbahs and you’d like to discuss them with us then give us a call on 0161 225 6868. We’d be glad to help.


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