“By the way, it will be best if you can wear an abaya,” I said.
My wife has been a great sport this week, acquiescing to a getaway to Dubai that just happens to have overnight stops in Riyadh (coming) and Jeddah (going). Her protests were muted as I spent most of last Sunday putting the trip together, convincing Delta agents that Saudi Arabian Airlines is indeed a partner, cajoling them into figuring out how to book, then repeatedly correcting errors on the dates and flights due to the odd schedule and added complication that I put wife in business but myself in economy. That’s the only business upgrade I am willing to pay for! Two nights at the Park Hyatt Dubai on my soon-expiring Hyatt certs from their credit card helped. Marriott certs take care of the Saudi Arabia nights, I never would have never thought that the Marriotts there are only Category 3.
She shook her head for four days as I made daily trips to the consulate, finally securing the visas on Thursday. That deserves a post of its own. In the meantime sample my inspiration in this, Matthew’s How to Obtain a Saudi Arabia Transit Visa. Bringing wife and transiting twice raised a few eyebrows; I got to know everyone up to the Vice Consul quite well. The building no longer required me to show ID or sign in.
Today we considered the fashion question. It seems black abaya are still the standard, though many Saudis and foreigners have adopted more color and decoration, or forsake the abaya for alternate garments. We are going there to experience and learn, not to attract attention, so are going with an abaya for her. We found this one on Amazon with a bit of Chinese styling on a modest brown color.
“This is your treat,” she said.