Styles and terminology of Middle Eastern men's headwear
Time Out Dubai staff
Though more and more Emiratis are favouring the red-and-white shemagh, they traditionally wear a ghutrah with different shades of white, in the same pattern as the Saudi shemagh.
This style is favoured by Kuwaitis and is referred to as ‘The Balance’. It is worn by taking the ghutrah (scarf) at symmetrical lengths and throwing the ends over the head. The black band holding the scarf
in place is known as the ‘egal’.
from other GCC citizens in that they wear a mussar, effectively a
skull-cap. This is not to be confused with the kufeya,
a white cotton hat worn under the ghutrah to prevent it from slipping
off the head.
This simple, straightforward look is referred to as the ‘butterfly’: it’s practical and comfortable. The style is favoured by Bahrainis but, like all headscarf styles, can be adopted by any GCC citizen as a matter of choice.
‘Going cobra’ is
a slang term for
a popular style
in which either side of the headdress is pushed back over the back of the head, making the scarf look like said snake. This style is favoured by Qataris.
This style is originally from Riyadh and
was traditionally worn by Bedouin tribes. It’s
to make a comeback, putting the regular white ghutrah in the back seat.