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What to wear when traveling-Africa/Middle East


Sometimes just going across state is hard enough.  Living in the Bay area in San Francisco is generally is 10 degrees lower Versus living in Southern California where it generally sunny and warm all the time.  Figuring out what could possibly work in other parts of the world is half the battle.  Fitting in, trying to understand the customs is the half.  

So here it goes, notes on what is acceptable in other parts of the world:

Africa/ The Middle East

The best bet is coverage.  


Dubai

Meetings-Wear suits, fashionable, black and slim ties
On the streets- the mall is the social arena.  Women out of respect keep shoulders covered, carry a pashima for the more conservative areas.  There are women who will wear shorter skirts and shorts, but they are accustomed to wear this is accepted. Men  wear name brand items.
Parties-glam is more accepted, blazers over t-shirts

Egypt

Meetings-Long Sleeved button downed with slacks are fine.  Ties and sports coats are more around the older generation
On the Streets-Pants and long skirts are more acceptable. Ankle length jeans and khakis are popular
Parties-Overdress vs Under-dress

Iran

At a meeting-Crisp Italian Suites and shined shoes for men.  For women, expect to wear traditional black manteau, closed toe shoes, and a hijab.
On the Street- Special police enforce Islamic dress.  Women must be covered head to toe, minimal makeup, no bright red lipstick, groomed eyebrows
Parties-under the cloaks is not limitation.  Robes are removed at informal parties. 

Israel

At a meeting-Israelis do dress down.  Jeans are common. Women  wear skirts.
On the streets-Cotton Shorts and tank tops during the Summer.  In colder weather long skirts
Parties- For secular celebrations, jeans and nice tops.  For ceremonies and weddings, cover past the elbows and below the knees.  
Skip frumpy

Jordan

At a meeting-Suits and shoes are simple, women should wear at least shin length and sleeved, hair tied neatly into a bun or chignon.
On the Streets-Rich embroidery detail tunics, common over pants.  Men wear khaki and collared shirts
Parties-Suits for men, women covers shoulders and legs, classy attire for evening affairs

Lebanon

At a meeting- Fashionable, straight skirts.  Men wear two button jackets
On the streets- Beirut is more fashionable than Shiite which is more conservative.  Caftans and dresses, loafers are more common.
Parties- open, more designer wear by the local designers

Morocco

At a meeting-Both men and women wear formal suits
On the Streets-Combination between the old and the new.  Women still wear head scarves.
Parties-Hand piped tunics and floor length djelabas, elaborate caftans.  French tend to wear their homeland little black dress.

Syria

At a meeting-Suits for men, Women wear skirt ensembles
On the street-Women over 40 usually don't wear pants. Older women wrap their heads in a hijab. Cover legs and arms before going out
Parties-Fashionable

Etiquette 101 published by Conde Nast October 2009 author Eimear Lyncy

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