Wearing Black Around the Track


Many women in Saudi Arabia get absolutely no exercise outside the home. Many homes have a treadmill for women to use, and some are lucky enough to have a private swimming pool, but you will never see women jogging outside or even riding bicycles. There are not many areas where a woman might be able to enjoy a walk outside near her home. It’s too hot for one thing. Women are required to wear long cloaks (most are black) and cover their hair, and many Saudi women also wear veils over their faces. Women riding bikes is forbidden because from behind, the shape of her bottom would be revealed as she sits on the bicycle seat. It would also be difficult to ride a bike while wearing a floor length cloak and wearing a veil. The track in this photo is outside of a lovely hospital and women can be seen walking the track for exercise every late afternoon. They walk in pairs or small groups. And they all wear the long black cloak…

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About SusieOfArabia

American woman now living in hubby's homeland of Saudi Arabia
This entry was posted in Clothing, Culture, Life, Middle East, Odd or Unusual, Photo, Saudi Arabia, Tradition and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Wearing Black Around the Track

  1. Dina says:

    Some pictures are worth a thousand words.

  2. Weboj says:

    Kuwait is definitely much more “open”. Although I have yet to see a Kuwaiti female riding a cycle, females of every other nationality wearing tracks, peddal pushers, jeans etc. can be seen riding mostly on the beach front.

  3. alyaba says:

    running and biking as exercise are just not part of the culture, not just for women but for men also.

    last time i was there i went running and it felt very awkward because nobody else is doing it, people think your trying to get somewhere and ask you if you need a ride (yes that actually happened to me) lol.

    bikes are also looked at as transportation not a form of exercise, ive never in my life seen a saudi over 20 on a bike, its just a teenager thing to do. i have only seen foreign people on bikes, usually they are poor and cant afford a car.

    The whole thing about the behind shape of a woman would be showing is just someones imagination, i highly doubt its even actually illegal, like i said saudi men don’t right bikes ether that don’t mean its illegal though.

    • Yes, I’ve noticed that it’s only young boys or foriegn workers on bikes, but I have been told that females are not allowed to ride bikes specifically because of the female form being revealed from behind.

  4. leif hagen says:

    Your postings are always so interesting and enlightening! Thanks, Susie!

  5. Yanbulady says:

    Hi Susie,
    Here in Yanbu we have a beautiful public park where I regularly see ladies excercise..in their abayas and veiled ofcourse..Not during the day but at night it is quite busy. There are also playareas for the children.

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