Kuwait follows Islamic culture, and it is customary for women to wear a headscarf or veil, known as a hijab, as a sign of modesty. However, the dress code in Kuwait is not strictly enforced for non-Muslim women, especially foreign tourists.
Non-Muslim women in Kuwait are not legally obligated to wear a hijab or head covering, yet it is crucial to consider the situational setting. In addition to the minimum requirement to cover shoulders and knees, additional guidelines should be observed to avoid attracting unwanted attention:
Skirts and shorts are acceptable, provided they are not made of sheer material and are kept below the knees.
If you feel an outfit is too short, leggings can be worn underneath for added coverage.
A T-shirt or blouse is acceptable, as long as it does not have too low a neckline revealing cleavage or showing the midriff.
- Avoid excessively tight, clingy, or see-through clothing.
For male visitors to Kuwait, wearing light chinos or cargo trousers is advisable. If you prefer wearing shorts in the heat, you’d better ensure they are at least knee-length, and three-quarter cargos can be a viable option for your comfort. Sandals are popular among men in Kuwait, and flip-flops would also be acceptable in this warm climate.
Generally, wearing a full veil is not mandatory for non-Muslim visitors in Kuwait. Nonetheless, it is essential to respect the local customs and adhere to the cultural norms, particularly in more traditional and religious areas. Both men and women should dress modestly when visiting religious sites, such as mosques, out of respect for the local culture and religious practices.