Before our departure from Australia we had read that westerners must dress modestly. It seems that the message hasn’t been embraced by the masses because we saw many female tourists in shorts and sleeveless tops. The Egyptians, however, haven’t strayed far from their culture or traditions. So, what is the dress code in Egypt?

In Giza I noticed many women still wear hijabs, large rectangular wraps worn over their head and shoulders; a few are dressed in a niqab completely covered with only their eyes peering out from behind the black cloth. A few wear the traditional burqa, a one-piece veil that covers the face and body leaving just a mesh screen to see through. The men often wear the galabeya.

In Cairo you’re more likely to see a fair percentage of young women who have chosen a European dress code opting for jeans, high heels and smart jackets. For the men, it is not unusual to see them in t-shirts or shirts and trousers while business executives don suits. It would be rare to see men in shorts. I suppose you could say we were truly immersed in Giza.

Rule of thumb: dress like the locals. Respect their traditions. You are, after all, a guest in their country.

Photographs: Monty…..      www.johnmontaguephotography.com