Allowing students to wear traditional Emirati dress to school protects national identity: FNC member

Starting this week, public school boys in cycles 2 and 3 can come to class in a kandura


Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Sun 4 Sep 2022, 2:15 PM

Last updated: Sun 4 Sep 2022, 6:36 PM

A member of the Federal National Council (FNC) has praised the authorities' decision to allow boys in public schools to wear the traditional Emirati dress (kandura) as an alternative to the new school uniform.

Dharar Belhoul Al Falasi, who is also the executive director of the Watani Al Emarat Foundation, said the UAE national dress is not just a marginal detail in local culture "but rather an important platform for protecting the national identity.”

The Emirates School Establishment (ESE) last week announced that it is now giving students the option to wear the male Emirati dress as a school uniform in cycle 2 and cycle 3 (from Grade 5 and above).


According to the ESE, starting this week, boys in cycle 2 can come to class in a kandura, while students in cycle 3 can wear it with hamdaniya or gutrah (traditional UAE headscarf).

“I’m happy with the ESE’s decision to allow boys to wear kandura as it was based on emulating the long-standing Emirati heritage. It represents the national dress as an essential foundation in which the student can best represent his country,” Al Falasi said.

“Because man is a product of his cultural, social and religious environment, this environment shapes his thoughts and guides him to pay attention to his external appearance as a mirror that reflects people's acceptance and the extent of their respect and prestige from him.”

The FNC member pointed out that "the traditional dress and its extension through generations is a cultural bridge".


"The development of the homeland's civilisation, the intellectual and aesthetic vision, and life in general, in addition to the national dress have been a major component of the state and its culture," he added.

The ESE decided to allow boys wear the Emirati national dress following a survey that showed that some parents preferred the kandura to the new school uniform for male students.

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