Clothing for women in egypt and jordan

Old Oct 1st, 2008, 05:56 PM
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Clothing for women in egypt and jordan

We are going to Cairo, Siwa, a Nile cruise and then to Jordan to see Amman and then on to Petra. We are so confused about what modesty requirements we need to follow.

I've been told to cover shoulders, knees, and even ankles! but is that only in religious places? or only in certain cities? I had assumed tourist areas would have the typical attire, capris and casual tops, sandals.

Please give me you advice, we leave on Oct. 22.

Thanks in advance!
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Old Oct 1st, 2008, 06:42 PM
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I was in Egypt/Jordan in December 2007. In all places (not just religious) I covered knees, shoulders and did not expose what little cleavage I have. I did not cover my ankles nor did any of the other women in my group. I really don't think covering ankles is necessary in Egypt or Jordan. I wore capris and that is fine too.
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Old Oct 1st, 2008, 06:47 PM
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Lots and lots of posts on this.....just do a search and you'll get all the posts.

But in general (can't speak for Jordan or Siwa)...in Cairo, cover shoulders, knees, and chest. On Nile cruise - I wouldn't go "skimpy" but shorts and tanks are more tolerated.

You should be fine in loose-fitting capris and short-sleeved casual tops.

As for sandals...the streets can be very uneven and full of stuff. I never felt comfy wearing sandals, but others did.

Will you see lots of people dressed in lots of ways? Yes

Will you see women in at the pyramids in tanks and shorts and bared midriffs? Yes

Will the "fashion police" bother you? No

Will local appreciate your attempt to respect their culture by dressing appropriately? You bet!

In religious sites, men are often required to be in long pants and women often have to cover their heads. Some places give you cover ups to wear, but I prefer to dress so that I don't need them.
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Old Oct 1st, 2008, 06:52 PM
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Grcxx3, I'm glad you brought up sandals. I wore sandals at Wadi Rum in Jordan and I was sorry. I kept getting rocks and sand in my shoes and it was awful. Although sandals are OK to wear in town, I don't suggest wearing them at archaeological sites where it's sandy and rocky. After this experience at Wadi Rum, I didn't dare wear sandals at Petra, thank Heavens for that!!
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Old Oct 1st, 2008, 07:08 PM
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Thanks to all of you! It's always very important to me to follow the local customs and be considerate to the people in whose country I'm visiting. I'm happy to know I don't have to keep ankles covered 24/7! And will save the capris for cruise and petra.... Unless it turns pleasantly cool by then, and I'm VERY hopeful!
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Old Oct 2nd, 2008, 04:45 AM
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You would be fine with loose-fitting capris in Cairo (bazaar, museum, Coptic Cairo, Old Cairo, etc) - I just always found skirts to be
cooler. But, capris might be better at the pyramids.

It is still quite warm in mid-late October, but generally not unpleasant. That is when we had my DH's family come visit us. Just remember that it is a desert environment, so the mornings and evenings can get quite cool. A light sweater or shawl would be handy.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2008, 05:19 AM
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Ankles are okay to expose!
In Cairo and Amman, pants, crops or skirts with tops that cover the upper arm. Have a scarf in your bag to cover head for entering a mosque.

In Giza, Saqqara, Memphis, Abu Simbel, Siwa, Petra - crop pants, long walking shorts (to the knee) and loose skirts work w/ t-shirts with short (not cap) sleeves are fine or camp-type short sleeve loose shirts.

On Nile Cruise down Luxor and Aswan, it's very hot, so crop pants, long walking shorts (tops as above); on the boat, shorts, swimsuits (even bikinis) were fine during daytime hours relaxing on pool deck or hotel pool. Evenings on the Nile especially get cool, often dropping 20-30/degrees from earlier 90-degrees, so a jacket, sweater, shawl keeps the chill away.

In both Cairo and Amman you will find local women in all manner of dress from completely covered to young school girls in skirts/pants with shirt and head scarf; business women in suits/dresses with headscarves and still some - usually non-muslim - in western dress (no head covering).
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Old Oct 2nd, 2008, 05:45 AM
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Can I piggyback on this thread for my own clarification? We're planning a holiday to El Gouna (Red Sea Riviera). We're going to rent a private house that is on the lagoon.
I'll be fine in a skirt and covered upper arms in town but can I wear a swimsuit (probably a bikini) at our private pool in our rental house? At the lagoon that our house is on? On the boat/island during our island excursions?

I assume since it's "resort town" the rules are more lax but I don't want to be wrong!
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Old Oct 2nd, 2008, 09:04 AM
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The rules are definitely more lax at the Red Sea resorts. Women wear bathing suits, of course, and not just at private pools -- at the hotels and beaches, too!

Before we went to Egypt in August, I was told (here) "no shoulders, no breasts, no knees", so I wore capris and t-shirts everywhere. I did wear sandals in town, and closed-toe shoes (for the reasons mentioned) at the archaeological sites. I did not wear shorts at all.
 
Old Oct 2nd, 2008, 10:25 AM
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Bathing suits aren't a problem in the beach resorts. Shoot the Movenpick Golf in Sharm is where my boys (pre-teens) saw their first topless sunbathers!!!!!
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Old Oct 2nd, 2008, 10:59 AM
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Thanks for the answers. We're about to book the airfare and the house. I have to admit -- I am nervous. This is our first time to Egypt -- our first time to anywhere outside of Western Europe or North America! I'm sure a beach resort isn't the best way to see a country but we're comparing it to dipping our toe in a pool before we jump in. We can't wait! Thanks again.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2008, 11:02 AM
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We spent many holidays/long weekends at the Movenpick in El Gouna. It was one of our favorite places. You won't get a "feel" for the real Egypt, but you should enjoy it.

There is a great Thai restaurant in the Movenpick resort - if you feel like a night out. The seafood restaurant there is also nice, but we have had good/not so good luck with that one.
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