Doha: Traditional clothing in the Arabian Gulf is an integral part of the culture of the nation, and a legacy of the previous generations, which reflects the customs and traditions of Arab society. Traditional women’s costumes are considered an extension of the Arab dress in the Arabian Peninsula. They are worn on special occasions, as well as cultural celebrations to pay tribute to traditional dress.
With the advent of the blessed month of Ramadan, Qatari women are keen to live the spirit of the holy month in their homes, and begin to choose their traditional clothes very carefully, in order to beautify them during this holy month, thus instilling in their daughters love for the traditional dress, and it remains a legacy inherited from generation to generation.
Qatari women are always keen to appear in luxurious clothes studded with unique cheerful colours, which represent their religious values and societal customs, in addition to the fact that all of these clothes are characterised by reviving the customs and traditions of the Qatari heritage.
Among the bodies concerned with fashion, especially women’s, is the M7 Center affiliated with Qatar Museums.
Director of the Msheireb Center (M7), Maha Ghanim Al Sulaiti, said in an exclusive statement to QNA that the costume tells about the culture and heritage of the country.
She said the center’s role is to promote the traditional values of our Qatari society, stressing the center’s permanent keenness on the importance of folklore and its role in shaping the memory and conscience of the nation, stressing at the same time that local costumes are an integral part of this heritage. She added that M7 is keen on holding workshops that shed light on traditional attire in a bid to maintain the country’s cultural identity while also adding a modern touch to them to encourage the younger generation to engage with them and to grow their sense of innovation and creativity.
Al Sualiti added that the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 was on occasion to showcase the Qatari culture, with tourists and fans trying on Qatari traditional attire enthusiastically. She highlighted that instead of Qataris having to change the way they dress to fit in with the world, the world was one that embraced traditional Qatari clothes.
Speaking to QNA, Qatari artist and designer Tamader Al Sultan said that fashion is closely connected to culture, pointing out that she participated in many local exhibitions organized by various entities in the country and often displayed designs influenced by Qatari culture and others that keep pace with modern fashion.
Regarding the way to revive women’s traditional costumes such as at weddings and events such as Ramadan, Tamader explained that there is no need to revive these traditional costumes as they are still present and have not disappeared, as they are renewed and flourish every time our mothers and grandmothers wear them on Qatari occasions and holidays.
The Qatari artist and designer explained that the international fashion shows that are organised in Qatar have helped in the prosperity and revival of these traditional costumes, noting that the recent period has witnessed a huge turnout by masses from all over the world to wear traditional costumes, in addition to women paint their hands with henna.
She pointed out that Qatari girls and women generally wear these traditional costumes in the month of Ramadan and on various occasions, and from her point of view, these traditional costumes are still alive.
Qatari women’s clothing is famous for its unique designs and is characterized by the many luxurious golden inscriptions that highlight the Qatari folk character, especially in Al Bakhnaq, a dress often worn by young girls on the night of Al Nafila or Garangao.
Al Bakhnaq is a black dress with some embroideries of bright golden or silver colour, as the girl can wear it using an embroidered shield. Also, Qatari women usually wear the Al Nashel dress during Ramadan and religious events. Abaya remains the most commonly used Qatari women’s traditional costume with its various designs and embroideries.