The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a land of fascinating contrasts, where tradition and modernity coexist in harmony. One of the most iconic symbols of Emirati culture is the traditional clothing worn by men – the Kandura and Ghutrah. These garments are not only a reflection of the rich history of the UAE but also a source of pride and identity. In this article, we will dive into the secrets and significance of Kandura and Ghutrah in the UAE.

The Kandura: A Timeless Garment

The Kandura, also known as a Dishdasha or Thobe, is a long, flowing robe that is typically white in color. It is the traditional attire of Emirati men and is an integral part of their heritage. The design of the Kandura is not just a matter of aesthetics; it serves a practical purpose in the desert climate of the UAE.

The long, loose-fitting garment provides ventilation and helps to keep the wearer cool in the scorching heat. Its white color reflects the sun’s rays and minimizes heat absorption. The sleeves are typically long to offer protection from the sun, and the collar is narrow, making it easy to wear under the Ghutrah.

The Ghutrah: An Iconic Accessory

The Ghutrah, also known as the Keffiyeh or Shemagh, is the distinctive headwear worn by Emirati men. It is a square piece of fabric, typically white with a black or red checked pattern, which is folded and placed on the head, held in place by the agal, a black cord or ring.

The Ghutrah serves multiple purposes. It provides shade and protection from the sun, especially in the harsh desert environment. The white color reflects sunlight, and the black or red pattern can be worn differently to indicate the wearer’s tribe or region. It is also a symbol of dignity, worn with pride by Emirati men as a testament to their culture and heritage.

Significance of Traditional Attire

The traditional Emirati attire holds deep cultural and social significance. It is not just clothing but a representation of Emirati identity and values. Here are some key aspects of its significance:

Cultural Pride

Wearing the Kandura and Ghutrah is a way for Emiratis to express their cultural pride and connection to their roots. It signifies a strong attachment to the traditions and customs that have been passed down through generations.


Modesty is highly valued in Emirati culture, and the Kandura’s loose-fitting design and the Ghutrah’s coverage help men maintain their modesty and adhere to cultural norms.


In the harsh desert environment of the UAE, the practicality of traditional attire cannot be overstated. The Kandura and Ghutrah offer comfort, protection from the sun, and adaptability to the extreme climate.

Social Harmony

Wearing traditional attire fosters a sense of unity and cohesion among Emirati men. It is a unifying factor that transcends social and economic differences.

The Modern Influence

While the Kandura and Ghutrah are deeply rooted in tradition, they have not remained stagnant. Emirati fashion designers and tailors have found innovative ways to blend tradition with modern aesthetics. Today, you can find variations of the Kandura in different colors and styles, incorporating contemporary design elements.

In Conclusion

The Kandura and غترة صيفية are not just garments; they are emblems of Emirati identity and culture. They represent a deep connection to tradition, the desert environment, and the values held dear by the people of the UAE. In a rapidly changing world, these symbols of heritage continue to be a source of pride and reverence, serving as a testament to the enduring spirit of the UAE.