What Is a Khaleeji Abaya?

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  • Written By: Donna Tinus
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 17 September 2019
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The term Khaleeji refers to anything having to do with the Arab states in the Persian Gulf. An abaya is a type of outer garment worn over clothing to provide traditional Muslim women with modesty. This type of over garment typically covers from the woman's neck to the floor and has long sleeves. The Khaleeji abaya is made in the Arab states and offers women with a distinctive type of glamorous, high fashion.

A Khaleeji abaya is a fashionable version of the abaya. The Kahaleeji abaya doesn’t follow the traditional rules of the hijab way of dressing. Hijab rules state that all skin must be covered except the face and hands. Khaleeji fashion is mainly concerned with making a beautiful fashion statement. This alluring abaya common to Arabian women is a way for women to dress conservatively, yet still feel sexy and attractive.

Beautiful splashes of color on a black background are the hallmark of the Khaleeji abaya. The embellishments can come in the form of intricate embroidery, delicate beads, colorful jewels, or appliques. Many women who enjoy fashion prefer a Khaleeji abaya for its stylishness. The Khaleeji abaya drapes over the woman’s body, providing an alluring look that still conceals her body shape, leaving much to the imagination.


Often, Arabian women will wear a hijab with the abaya, but they may not completely cover their hair as do the women who dress in the traditional modest hijab style. The word hijab can refer to the head covering, or it could be used to refer to the traditional Muslim style of dressing for modesty, following the teachings in the Quran.

Crepe is a common material for a Khaleeji abaya. It drapes well, and is breathable and lightweight. Since the abaya is commonly worn over other clothing, crepe will not feel extremely hot over the clothes that are worn underneath. Generally, the clothing worn under an abaya can be anything the woman desires from casual clothing to professional attire. The function of the Khaleeji abaya is to provide a minimum of modesty while giving the woman something fashionable.


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