Plan ahead for your new thobe!

A thobe is the long white garment worn by men which has become the national dress for men in Saudi Arabia. Now, with Ramadan coming at an end, many men want brand new thobes for the celebrations, but if you haven’t  already ordered one you are too late!

Even though they charge twice as much for a thobe before Eid, due to the great demand tailors have stopped taking in new orders. It is part of the Eid tradition for Muslims worldwide to buy new clothes. Jeddah tailors are bogged down making thobes for their customers in time.

Ali Yamani, who runs a tailor shop near Sari Street, said the tailors stopped taking new orders since the first week of Ramadan due to load shedding. He said majority of thobe shops cannot meet the demand as they do not have enough tailors to do the job.

“If you do not have the manpower, it will be impossible to meet the demand of your customers especially these days when every one hopes to wear a new thobe as part of Eid celebration,” he added.

Signature style Thobe from

Signature style Thobe from

Tailors in Jeddah stopped taking orders for thobes even at the beginning of Ramadan with the claim that they were already overburdened with advanced bookings for Eid.

“Five days ago I tried to get a new thobe as every year for Eid; unfortunately I could not get any through some of the big famous thobe fashion designers here in Jeddah because they closed booking of orders several days before the beginning of Ramadan,” Sindi said.

Abdulrahim Al-Zahrani, a father of two boys, said: “I gave the order of my children’s thobes to the nearest tailor on the seventh day of Ramadan and with some difficulty convinced him to stitch them before Eid. I am still in doubt whether the tailor will manage to finish the thobes or I will have to go for the ready-made ones at the last hour,” he said.

It has been observed that the tailors are demanding double for Eid thobes and people are willing to pay any money for the new thobes. Nasir Ali, 29, said he had to pay extra in order to get his Eid thobe. “I went to one of the famous fashion designers for thobes and they told me they were not taking any more orders. I had to pay extra to convince them to do only one thobe for me.”
He paid SR900 for one thobe while at other times he pays around SR450. “If you have not yet gone to the tailor to make a new thobe for Eid, don’t bother. Tailors are most likely to tell you that they are not accepting any more orders,” he said.


read more:

Saudi Gazette

12 Responses

  1. why not order it before… it is like chrismas.. i need this and that,,, but you know it for month ,that it will happen btw…. this guy looks a bit strange—-i want a nicer one

  2. I am relpying to this on behalf of my Moroccan friend’s husband. He actually- as an English revert – never wears a thobe, but obviously sees them being worn in their home area in England. Why do the men want a new thobe for eid, to wear at an eid party? What is an eid party. To him eid is just the day after ramadhan, only once has he ever gone to a party on that day, and to do this he had to travel seven hours on a train to get there! He knows of nothing in his home area.

  3. Amelia, how sad! The second biggest celebration in sunni Islam and your friend’s converted husband doesn’t know it? He may have converted but he doesn’t know a lot about Islam then. (This always makes me wonder, how can one convert to a new religion and not know even the basics? Or maybe that is why people ”convert”? They have no clue as to what they are converting to?)

    Anyway, Eid Al Adha is the main celebration in Islam, Eid al Fitr is the second, it is meant to be a wonderful time with your family, a time when you wear nice new clothes, (no rule is has to be a thobe, this blog is about Saudi Arabia and a thobe is the modern ”uniform” for men there) when you share happiness and food, a bit like Christmas. Maybe when you explain it to him this way he will understand, if he’s from a christian background.
    Some Muslims celebrate for three days. If your friend’s husband wants to follow the sunnah, (what the prophet did) he should get up early, after farj bathe and put on perfume, and perform salat al eid, if there’s no congregation near him he could pray it on his own, special charity is given, zakat al-fitr.
    And then he should celebrate, have a wonderful time with friends and family, have lots of nice food, share it with others, give and receive presents, decorate his home, wear new clothes and have fun!

  4. I would equate it Easter as in the Christian faith women and children get new dresses to wear to Sunrise service.

  5. Aafke-Art,

    if he is Moroccan he is muslim “by birth”.
    if he isn’t Moroccan he converts to marry his muslim wife. he had to! (Ah l’amour!!!) and in Morroco la chahada is enough to became Muslim. Most of Imams doesn’t ask you any question about the basics.

  6. @Amelia,
    If your friend’s husband sees others in his area wearing a thobe (meaning he lives in a Muslim area), then there should be Muslim celebrations happening on both Eids. The places to check would be Arab/North African/etc. areas of town (or the area where he could buy halal meat) or to check out the shopping malls in the area as these are a popular place to go on Eid. (I’m not sure on the times, though.) He should ask if there is a mosque nearby. I’m sure some of the people there could tell him where other Muslims will gather on Eid. However, the traffic in that part of town may be bad so I’d recommend public transportation if he lives in a metropolitan area.

    The buying of new clothes is a tradition for Eid, and it can be one of the main times of year people update their wardrobe. The clothes one wears are a status symbol in many places including many Arabic speaking countries, and usually all the people want to look their best for the holiday. The eid clothes purchases could also be compared to “Back to school” shopping in the US.

  7. Thankyou for your response. He does live in a town where public transport could be used, but the town has no “muslim area”, the thobe wearers are mainly students attending various learning establishments, so their festivities will only be for them, and because this is England, shopping malls are different to your ones in the U.S.A., they do not have “public events” as such. He knows the local mosque’s whereabouts, but they have no programs whatsoever apart from a visiting lecturer about twice a year – if they get lucky.

  8. Thankyou for your reply. He is from a Christian background but his family did not celebrate that either – it was just him and his two elderly parents; who have since died – even before he embraced islam. He is fully aware of the two eid days and the payment of zakatul fitra, usually to the local mosque, which he does (and also that ramadhan is supposed to be the “best” time to pay the yearly zakat payment). However the mosque does not have a celebration, leaving it to individual families to organize their own. As he and his wife are an “older age” couple, they do not have any children of their own, and in fact virtually all her friends have moved from the area, not that he attended anything when they were around, as it was “ladies only”!

  9. I saw your reply to afke art. Just for your interest however -his is an unusual case- as he converted of his own accord about a year before he was introduced to the lady that is now his wife!!

  10. Amelia,

    that’s great in both cases, but convert by love is so romantic. oh, don’t pay attention, I’m an incorrigible romantic.

    I hope my response to Aafke art didn’t upset you. if so I apologize.

  11. @amelia brown,
    If that is the case, why doesn’t he and his wife celebrate iftar by inviting some of the international students that attend the mosque over for a home-cooked meal? They could help ease the homesickness the students are most likely feeling and ease any loneliness on your friends’ part. I used to get homesick around Thanksgiving as it’s one of my favorite holidays. If a local had invited me over, I would have been thrilled! 🙂 As it was, my Chinese friends were actually more interested in Thanksgiving than anyone else, and my Arab friends were the ones who cared and understood the most about how I was feeling.

    When I mentioned Muslims getting together at the local shopping mall, I was actually referencing my experiences in England, not the US. The local hangouts are there, you just have to know who to ask. In this case, I’d ask the international students or the local universities (perhaps if they have an International or Muslim group that meets) as they might know. However, it might be a “younger” crowd than what they might be used to if the local Muslim population is made up of mostly international students. Or ask at the place where he buys his halal meat (if there is a halal butcher in the area).

    Most of the international Muslim students I knew in England would just go to the local places to hang out (such as the shopping malls, hookah bars, etc.), or they would go to the major celebrations such as those in London, etc. They may have gone to ones particularly for students, but usually when those were over, they’d go somewhere else afterwards if there was time left.

  12. Amelia, your first comment made it seem as if he had no clue.
    So he’s not used to having any fun anyway.. not even for Christmas… So leave him to it.
    To each his own….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: