Saudi Dress Code
Working abroad sounds like an adventure to many people. However, a job in Saudi Arabia requires more than just the obvious Saudi CV and Saudi cover letter writing and translation - it requires careful planning. You will face issues that probably did not even cross your mind when you start planning to find jobs in Saudi Arabia. So, be prepared to take the Saudi Arabia as it is with all of its difficulties, contradictions and challenges.
Do not misjudge the impact a Saudi dress code can have on the consequence of your adventure! For example, you will experience the different immigration rules and practices, job application procedures, the selection trends and the management culture.
Saudi Dress Code for Job Interviews
Unlike elsewhere in Arabia, it is inappropriate (in some places even illegal) for foreigners to wear local garb.
It is a good idea to dress modestly
Despite the heat, most of the body must always remain covered.
Do your research. Find out what company employees wear and then dress as they are or nicer than that. Dress code depends on the industry, with banking and finance being the most conservative.
It is important to demonstrate at an interview good appearance as well as good manners. So, dress neatly and conservatively.
Men should wear lightweight, good quality, conservative suits and ties at business meetings. Usually wear long pants and a shirt, preferably long-sleeved, buttoned up to the collar. Avoid wearing visible jewelry, particularly around the neck.
Outside the business environment the bush suits are popular and suitable for the climate.
Women should wear modest clothing. Refrain from wearing revealing or tight fitting clothing. High necklines sleeves at least to the elbows are expected. Hemlines, if not ankle-length should at least be well below the knee. A look of baggy concealment should be the goal, pants or pantsuits are not recommended. Skirts should cover the knee and sleeves should cover the elbow and fasten at the neck. It is a good idea to keep a scarf handy, especially if entering a Mosque.
There is no official dress code for foreigners in public
If you want to show respect, you should not show cleavage, have bare shoulders, or wear skirts or shorts that are too short. Skirts just above your knee are fine as are capris.
As it is hot in Saudi Arabia from July through August, the best bet is to wear cotton or linen. While you might think it has best to wear as little as possible when it is that hot, the opposite is true. Body core temperature stays cooler if you wear loose fitting breathable fabrics. Linen trousers and tunics are great. You can get nice beaded or embroidered Indian tunics in Kuwait.
Caps, bandannas, athletic shoes, sweats, unkempt clothes, jeans, singlets, open shoes and thongs are never acceptable. If the wind was blowing, comb your hair before making first contact at the reception.
Perfume or after-shave should never be strong. Fragrances may offend the interviewer or cause an allergic reaction. Nails should be manicured.
Do not carry a water bottle or coffee mug. Carry only a slim folder holding your job application documents and CVs. Do not chew anything.
Remember that in Saudi Arabia, how you dress is the one of the most important factor in being hired
When you start working, ask on the first day what the dress code usually is and try to match that on the following days.
Other Saudi Dress Code Info
Good luck with the Saudi dress code.