Saudi Sandals – What Makes Them Unique?

If one is likely from the West and has not been to Saudi Arabia, one is less likely to know about the traditional Sandals worn by men in Saudi Arabia.  They are unique in their particular style with an oversize opening for the big toe and distinctive leather with bright colors as highlights.  It should also be known that while the sandal may look bulky in appearance, they are in fact quite comfortable.  I oftentimes will “borrow” a pair of my husband’s as I think they look very stylish with blue jeans (my personal opinion of course).  Saudi men will wear these sandals with their traditional white thobes as well as with western clothes too.  Due to the weather conditions in the Kingdom, the Saudi sandal can easily be worn year round.


The Saudi sandal is traditionally referred to as the “madas sharqi” which means Sandal of the East.  Unlike thobes, ghutras or other Saudi menswear, the Saudi sandals are also popular and worn by many expats.  They make an excellent gift to take back to family members who may not have an opportunity to visit Saudi Arabia.  


If you have an interest in ordering your own pair of these unique sandals, you may click here. For learning more about the Saudi sandals and tribes which make them, enjoy this archived link from Arab News.   


As I did further google searches about Saudi Sandals, I realized that this post would also not be complete if I did not let you know that some young Saudi guys with too much money and too much time on their hands and too little brains, enjoy the sport of Saudi Sandal Surfing:



37 Responses

  1. I must say, if i haven’t before, that i love ur blog!! Saudi Sandals are funky!! i have a pair with shiny girly crystals on them.. i think they are becoming a trend.

  2. LOOOOL!

    I hadn’t laughed this much in a long time! These kids are really mindless, one slip and they can say goodbye to life.

  3. WOW! Nearly gave me a heart attack watching that. Dang kids!

  4. Welcome Yawarakai and thanks for your comment. Yes; there are some really cool Saudi Sandals available for women now too!

    Tee, Lynn — I can imagine your reactions as I about fell off my chair first time I saw it too.

  5. another place that you can pick up a pair of saudi sandals is at the clock tower. that reminds me that I need to pick up a pair myself. they’ll be perfect for wearing when I move back to Arizona next year to attend college.

  6. yes; the Clock Tower (Deira) and Taibah (Al Owais) are both good locations for purchasing saudi sandals but prepare to bargain if going to either of these places.

  7. oh-my-God .. what is WRONG with the saudi youth!

    and yes – saudi sandals are pretty cool with a pair of jeans:)

  8. I hope I never see such a site live while on the streets of Riyadh!!

  9. Hmmm, This much is clear: saudi sandals stay well on the foot, and can take a beating.
    Saudi young men are the most mentally challenged, and the most original in finding new and original ways of committing suicide.

  10. Why is it that many of the Saudi men we see here in the uAE are wearing close-toed shoes with their kandooras? Is this the business attire?

  11. @Carol – while I’ve never seen THAT on the streets of Riyadh, I have seen little Saudi kids roller-skating on Olaya street (not the pavements – the street itself) during Ramadhan last year. That’s pretty hair-raising as well, considering it’s a very busy street and 10:30 p.m. is no time for a 12 year old on skates to be roaming about on Olaya street .. :S
    Crazy Saudi kids!

  12. Abu Dhabi – I’m not sure about the shoe fashions in the UAE but some Saudi men will also wear their sandals with their thobe to work. Although not all; some men also prefer to wear closed toed shoes with their thobe at the office.

    Riyadh Mom – Oh yes… I’ve seen the roller skating not only on the streets but also at Tamimi (Safeway grocery store) and in the malls. Very annoying!

  13. The video is more sad than it is shocking to me. It is sad because the country has provided the kids with nothing better to do than these dangerous stunts on the street, which could kill them.

    Come on, open some skate-parks and movie theaters!

  14. I agree that it would be very good to open up more venues for youth and also venues which would not be too cost prohibitive for them. There are gyms, fitness centers and some other family activity places but they can be costly preventing many from participating.

  15. Why are you borrowing your husbands?? Get your own made I have a couple of pairs, also got some bling ones for the girls. They aren’t just for men anymore.. or maybe Riyadh hasn’t caught up w/ the rest of the Kingdom???

  16. I’ve just not made it to the souk to get a pair of my own yet! Yes; Riyadh also has the sandals in many styles for women as well.

  17. Although I think what the Saudi guys are doing on roads is crazy I like the song in this video. Its called Habibi El Nour El Ain by Egyptian Artist Amr Diab.

  18. when my dad first told me that we were moving to saudi arabia that was one of the first things that poppedup on youtube when I searched under saudi arabia. lol.

  19. OMG! I forgot how crazy we all were at that young age…when we thought that we knew it all and that our parent’s ways were so old fashioned. We never did anything quite so crazy as that, but I must say this is something really unusual.

    I like the song also…I used to hear it a lot in Lebanon.
    Harvesting the roses in Taif was one of the most interesting trips I have ever been on and I highly suggest that everyone go there (at least once) with someone from the region who can show you the sites. It was truly a memorable experience that I will treasure for a lifetime.

  20. I know that “kids will be kids” but doesn’t it seem like the Saudi kids take this phrase to the extreme?

  21. Reaction number 1: Sing Habibi Ya Nour El Ain
    Reaction number 2: Laugh out loud over such absurdity
    Reaction number 3: Wonder why are they doing such things
    Reaction number 4: OH. MY. GOD.
    Reaction number 5: Hope that something will be done regarding these youths.

    I’ve never worn those sandals but looking through the linked article, I feel tempted to buy one soon!

  22. thanks for your comment, Firdaus. I like your reactions!

  23. Hi Carol, I just arrived back from my holiday back home in Canada. I brought all the men in my family Arabian sandals. What a great hit they were. They all just loved them, not only for their comfort but of course they will be the only ones wearing these sandals from Victoria B C to Ottawa.

  24. That’s great Karimah! And I’ve no doubt they will get a lot of compliments too. My husband is always asked about his when he wears them in the States.

  25. My husband just saw this film and usually he just sits and nods, but he agrees, these kids are nuts and lucky to be alive!

  26. Omg! I’d have heart failure if my boys did this.The desert store is awesome!Thanks for the link!

  27. Funny thing about Saudi husbands…they are always so surprised when they see these videos! Mine thought I was exaggerating until he saw it.

  28. Thanks to you

  29. I wonder why you don’t see such stints in Areas like Dammam or Jeddah.. they are always in Riyadh and Qaseem areas.

    In the Eastern cost youth usually if they involve themselves with extreme car sports.. it would be some drag racing and car modding. I think to much repressed youth without venues to burn their energy would create such crazy fellows.

  30. DW – My limited trips to Damman and Jeddah leave me with an impression that there are more activities and outlets for youth in which they can entertain themselves. Whereas Riyadh or Qaseem are much more limited.

  31. DW – take a drive down Tahlia Street in Jeddah one night and you;’ll see plenty of crazy car racing there!

  32. I do know about Jeddah racing scene, but drag racing and drifting are different. They are both still dangerous and would rather see the first regulated and the latter abolished into timid circuit low speed controlled drifts. Car racing(usually called drag racing) is pretty common everywhere.. What I am talking about is throwing a camry going at 170kms into the wind with 4 people inside and endangering more than a dozen bystanders.

  33. Lol good one hun, they are also known locally as shib shibs and a great weapon, lol regularly taken off and thrown at some ones head lol by teenagers and of course some times a very annoyed adult at their child lol

    as for the racing scene in jeddah , there is now jeddah raceway which is a great idea to get the youth off the roads, they can go and race their cars in a safe enviroment (as long as their cars meet the safety tests that they are put thru, before being allowed to drive) also they have some very good music concerts going on at the cafe that is housed in the raceway too. Yes jeddah certainly is coming along way with activities for our youngsters ( now all they need is to let us women join in to lol)

    hugs Trae

  34. Trae – thanks for your comment and the “insiders” scoop on those wonderful outlets in Jeddah. I wonder when we’ll have the same in Riyadh?


  35. Does anybody know where in the UK I can buy these sandals?

  36. I really appreciate the information you gave. I’m doing a report for my Arabic class on road/car skating and wanted more information on the sandals. Although I must say that while road skating is very dangerous, American kids do A LOT of stupid stuff that can end their lives instantly. I feel like in every culture, there are the few that “rebel” and try dangerous stunts or do other things that can be extremely harmful to them and those around them

  37. Hi, checkout to buy the saudi sandals online.

    Comment edited. Spam is not allowed on this forum

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