Like some great architects, Qatari men certainly agree that ‘less is more’ particularly when it comes to clothes, as they flow along in their elegant thobe, unencumbered by the innumerable pockets, bag or backpacks essential to modern life. One small breast pocket and one or two ingeniously designed (and always suspiciously flat) pockets on the side seams suffice. A mobile phone, credit card, pen, car keys or sometimes misbha (prayer beads) are all seen to emerge in various combinations from this sleek profile without any fumbling.
Women have long succumbed the addition of a handbag – that hell of a bottomless pit – to their abayas. The traditional ladies’ thobe worn underneath has now disappeared for all but the elderly. Men on the other hand, have retained the freedom and minimalism of their heritage to great advantage. It ensures that only essentials are carried, leaves both hands free and solves forever the problem of where to put the bag!