Image of Saudi Arabia beaches dress code

Revealing the Truth about What To Wear to Saudi Arabia Beaches

swimming in saudi arabia

Is the Saudi Arabia beaches’ dress code the same as the regular dress code, especially for women?

That is what we are going to find out in this short article.

With the Middle East opening up for tourism and job opportunities, you should know as much as possible about what is expected of you.

If you are a beach lover, you will love Saudi Arabia because it has some stunning beaches along the 2000-kilometer coastline.

You will want to go swimming in Saudi Arabia. The waters are pleasant, and the sands on the beaches are warm and fine.

Remember, Saudi Arabia borders the Persian Gulf in the east and the Red Sea in the west. The Red Sea is the warmest saltwater lake in the world.

Can women wear a bikini in Saudi Arabia?

Can women wear a bikini in Saudi Arabia

They cannot wear a bikini in public.

However, in the privacy of their private swimming pools, women can wear swimming costumes. They just cannot do it in public and in areas populated by men.

There are also some swimming pools for women only. Some of them might allow women to swim in bikinis, but some are restrictive.

The best thing is to find out what the dress code is, wherever you go.

Looking at this from another angle, you can wear a bikini while in the country. But you have to wear a burqa. This flowing dress covers most of your body, from the head and arms, to the toes.

It actually helps with heat control and encourages airflow.

The same is expected of tourists who go to Saudi Arabia. You should follow the dress code in public spaces.

However, since there are private beaches that are closed to the public, renting some time there might make some of the restrictions easier.

When you are at home, you can wear a bikini, or whatever you want. However, you would have to cover up if you had to answer the door.

Walking in the streets while not dressed appropriately can attract the wrath of religious police.

What then can women in Saudi Arabia wear to the beach?

While the dress code is becoming more relaxed by the day in Saudi Arabia, it is still good to be as conservative as possible.

Therefore, do not be surprised to see local women swimming in Burkinis, which are specifically made for women, covering their bodies from the head to the legs.

You will also see some women swimming in their hijabs and abayas. Unless it is on a private beach, be sure that you will not see women basking in the sun in scanty beachwear.

The best thing you can do on your first visit to Saudi Arabia is to visit the beach fully dressed. You can then observe what the other women are wearing and wear the same.

Even on the private beaches, you should ask the resort management what kind of dress code they allow. Some have more relaxed dress rules and others are less relaxed.

The general consensus is that you should not assume anything. Just ask, ask, and ask some more. Get the guesswork out of the picture.

Relaxed dress code for women tourists

Do tourists have to wear hijabs in Saudi Arabia? This is a very common question that Western women ask all the time.

And the answer is no, at least after October 2021, since the dress code for women tourists has been relaxed.

The Kingdom has large plans for tourism, and in effect, they have signed several memoranda. In one of them, women tourists will no longer be required to wear abayas or hijabs.

Decency is the keyword in the Saudi Arabia women’s dress code. Thus, keep the dresses and skirts below the knee.

Keep the outfit loose, as anything too tight can earn you trouble. Also, keep the shoulders and the arms covered.

What can men wear to the beach in Saudi Arabia?

What can men wear to the beach in Saudi Arabia

The Saudi Arabia beach rules are not for women only. They are for everyone!

The men’s dress code is much easier and more flexible than the women’s. But… although largely unspoken of, there is still a dress code that should be adhered to.

So much about women, but what can men wear to the beach? Well, decency applies across the board.

For instance, while men can wear board shorts for swimming, they should keep them below the knees. Also, they should not be too tight, you know, especially in the crotch area.

Also, walking or swimming shirtless on the beach is not allowed, at least not on public beaches where men and women mix. You will have to swim with a T-shirt.

Generally, men should wear something that can get to their shins or be close to them. That is what Islam requires. However, you do not have to wear shorts that are that long, but it is best to keep the length below the knees.

Regarding whether to wear a shirt when swimming or not, just ask. Even in private beach resorts, it is best to ask to know what is okay and what is not.

If you really feel that you want to swim shirtless, you might want to try swimming very early in the morning.

This is the best time to swim in the sea since there are no people on the beach. However, you might want to be careful since there might be large marine animals close to the beach.

Saudi Arabia Beaches Dress Code FAQ

If you have read this far, I am sure you still have many unanswered questions regarding the Saudi Arabia dress code for female and male tourists on the beaches. This FAQ section is going to shed more light.

Can you wear a swimsuit in Saudi Arabia?

Yes, you can in the privacy of your home or on some private beaches that allow the same. However, in any sort of public space, just ask whether you can. If you can’t, don’t wear it.

You may also wear a swimsuit in Saudi Arabia, but ensure that you wear a loose-fitting dress over it or a burqa.

What should I wear to the beach in Saudi Arabia?

We assume you are asking about what to wear on a public beach in Saudi Arabia. Men should wear long shorts extending below the knee and a shirt or t-shirt.

Women should wear a burkini, a sort of swimming outfit made for women. It covers the head, arms, and legs. However, just check what the other women on the beach are wearing and wear the same.

Don’t wear your swimsuit for love handles. If in doubt, just ask what you can wear.

Can you swim in Saudi Arabia?

Yes, you can swim in Saudi Arabia. Of utmost importance is adhering to the dress code. Women should wear a burkini when swimming or an abaya.

Also, it is just best to swim in the section that seems secluded for women. Men’s dress code for the beach is more relaxed, but it is also best to swim in sections that are seemingly reserved for men.

Is it OK to wear shorts in Saudi Arabia?

This is a no for women, and partly yes for men. It is okay for men to wear shorts on the beach, but these shorts should be longer than the knee line.

They should not walk shirtless on the beach. They cannot swim shirtless, either. For buttoning shirts, should be buttoned up.

What do you wear to a Saudi beach?

It depends on what beach you go to. Most beaches will show the allowed swimwear. However, the commonly accepted clothing you can wear on a public beach in Saudi Arabia are:

  • Loose flowing dresses reach to the ankles or longer
  • Loose pants reach down to the ankles
  • T-shirt with sleeves reaching to the elbows
  • Baggy/Loose tops

Also, if you are a foreigner, it is best to try to fit in as much as possible. For instance, instead of strolling out wearing a swimsuit for saggy breasts, please check what the locals are wearing and get the same, or something almost similar.

This also applies to the men. Avoid anything too loose. You can try the best swim trunks for fat men if you are big. Make sure they cover your thighs completely. Wear a loose T-shirt too.

Can you go to the beach in Saudi Arabia?

Can you go to the beach in Saudi Arabia

With one of the longest coastlines in the world, the reason most tourists want to go to Saudi Arabia is to catch some shine and sand.

So yes, you can go to the beach in Saudi. However, you have to find out the dressing regulations for the beaches.

It is okay to wear the best swimsuit in your hotel room. However, on the beaches, you need to wear a loose dress and an ankle-length skirt, and it must be loose. Also, for both men and women, wear T-shirts, with long sleeves or at least reaching the elbows.

Some beaches are open throughout the year, so you can time your visit for the winter (December to February). During this time, the temperatures range from 14 to 23 degrees Celsius, depending on the place.

The temperatures in Jeddah and Al-Dammam are very accommodating during the winter. You can have a great time on the beach.

What happens if you wear a bikini in Saudi Arabia?

Nothing is going to happen to you if you wear a bikini in Saudi Arabia—on a private beach! But if you are on a public beach, there is a general dress code to adhere to. This includes long-sleeve t-shirts, loose pants, skirts, or dresses reaching to the ankles.

If you are not sure what you should wear, please ask. Overall, just know that women are not allowed to wear bikinis in Saudi Arabia on public beaches.

You could also wear a bikini in women-only private swimming pools that allow it. If you must wear a bikini on public beaches, you must cover it with a long dress.

In the past, there were religious police in Saudi Arabia. Although they had been ordered to be gentle, in the past, they could harass someone for wearing the wrong attire for swimming.

Final thoughts: Saudi Arabia Beaches Dress Code

Saudi Arabia’s dress code for female and male tourists is becoming more relaxed by the day. However, we shall reiterate this some more.

Do not assume anything when it comes to the Saudi Arabia women’s dress code in Riyadh, Jeddah, or anywhere else in the KSA.

The most important thing is to ask. Ask questions. Ask what type of dress code is allowed at both public and private resorts and beaches.

Please note that women’s clothing is more restrictive, but it is best to go by it.

Scroll to top