Cultural Restrictions - Dress codes around the world.

Posted in High Risk Travel Insurance dress codes around the world, tips on clothing restrictions worldwide, countries with strict dress codes, High Risk Voyager Travel Insurance on 24 April 2024

Growing up in many western cultures enables both men and women to express themselves and their feelings through many means and their appearance is one of them. However, in many countries outside the western world, traditions and strict rules are in place for either personal or religious reasons which forbids men and women from wearing certain styles of clothing or showing areas of the body unclothed.

When travelling or working temporarily in these countries, although these local laws and customs may seem strange to a westerner, it is respectful to abide by them no matter your personal opinion. If you do break a law in a foreign country whether you mean to or not, you may find the punishment is far more severe than in your home country and you could get yourself into a lot of trouble, imprisoned or even worse.

High Risk Voyager Travel Insurance lists some of these travel destinations and provides useful information on the dress codes and traditions for tourists to be aware of whilst they are there.

However, you should always do your own research on what is and what is not acceptable.

the map of africa

1) Africa

Although Sudan is an Islamic country, it is not expected of foreign tourists to follow all customs of the country. However, it is respectful if you do take some of these on board.

For men, dress conservatively. This usually means wearing long trousers instead of shorts. Woman on the other hand do have to take extra caution. Exposed legs and shoulders are not acceptable.

The above also applies in Morocco, Libya and Egypt.

In Uganda, a specific dress code has also been put in place for both men and women, native to the country.

Men are instructed to keep well-groomed and not wear tight fitting clothes and women are heavily discouraged from wearing short skirts. It has been reported by the BBC that female locals have been shamed and even punished for wearing skirts above the knee.

Since the introduction of the 'Miniskirt ban' as dubbed by the media, it is against the law for women to reveal their thighs, breasts and buttocks and from dressing indecently or in a manner which could 'sexually excite'.

As a female tourist in Uganda, although this law is aimed at its natives, it is wise to dress conservatively and uphold this local law to avoid any unwanted attention or potentially dangerous situations.

the map of asia

2) Asia

In North Korea, wearing blue jeans is banned in the country for locals however if any tourists wish to don a pair of blue jeans, you are able to unless you plan to visit the past leader's memorial site, then it's back to black for you! Denim is viewed as the embodiment of U.S imperialism and as such, the wearing of denim is out of the question for North Korea natives.

It is also forbidden for women in these countries to wear tight fitting trousers. Loose and straight trousers are acceptable but should officials decide your trousers are too tight or these rules are broken purposefully, you could can face time in a labour camp!

Meanwhile in other Asian countries such as South Korea, India and Myanmar, while there are no strict dress codes in place as such, it is very much frowned upon to reveal too much skin, so dress modestly and keep your knees covered in order to keep any unwanted attention away from yourself.

Also, it is worth remembering that in places such as India and Bangladesh, women wear Saris or wear scarfs to cover their shoulders and head. This may be a tradition you want to follow for the duration of your trip to show respect for local customs.

the map of middle east

3) Middle East

In Saudi Arabia it is against the law for any woman, tourist or local to bare too much skin. Locals aren't even allowed to flash even an inch; arms, legs and heads must all be covered up. These rules are a little more relaxed for tourists but only to the extent of allowing female tourists to expose their face and head if need be.

It is also against the law for women in Saudi Arabia to wear western influenced clothes, including trousers and it is also a punishable offence if men are caught wearing make-up or wearing feminine styled clothes.

It is wise to remember these points when visiting a lot of countries in the Middle East. Although dress codes, traditions and rules change from place to place, please be mindful to cover-up accordingly and respect their laws and customs to avoid any unwanted trouble.

High Risk Voyager Travel Insurance offers the following tips:

  • Women, cover up your cleavage and cover your shoulders
  • Keep skirt and short lengths below the knees. The longer the better
  • Don't wear clothes that are too tight
  • No clothes with any offensive language or slogans
  • Do your own research on what is and is not acceptable relevant to the places you are visiting

Get Covered With Travel Insurance

As soon as you book your trip and definitely before you travel, one of the most important things to remember is to book your travel insurance!

When travelling to challenging or 'high risk' environments across the world, you'll need a travel insurance product that can offer enhanced protection and extensive emergency assistance which is exactly where High-Risk Voyager travel insurance can help. Even in countries where the FCDO have advised against all or 'all but essential' travel!

With a 24/7 emergency medical helpline and access to the 'One Tap Emergency Response' App, Emergency Medical Expenses cover up to £1,000,000, Emergency Medical Evacuation cover up to £1,000,000, cover for PTSD treatment and much, much more, High Risk Voyager Travel Insurance can offer peace of mind and financial protection from the unexpected on your next business or leisure trip.

This article is for information and entertainment purposes only. It does not constitute advice in any way. The information provided here is correct at the time of writing however please check the latest policy wording for the latest terms, conditions and exclusions.

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