A niqab is a face veil that is worn by some Muslim woman and is common in many Middle East countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Yemen, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman. The niqab is usually black in color and is part of the full body covering dress code for women in Middle East. Niqab is worn by women when they go out or when they are in the presence of men who are not their close relatives. In Iran, the niqab is known as chador and in South Asia it is referred to as burqa.
There are two common styles of niqab- half niqab and the gulf style or full niqab. The half niqab leaves the eyes and part of the forehead visible and is worn around the face. The gulf-style or full niqab covers the face completely and is similar to the burqa style but burqa covers the whole body and niqab only covers the face.
The full niqab consists of a band which is tied on the forehead and a wide piece of fabric covers the face, leaving an opening for the eyes. Some full niqabs also have many layers of thin fabric connected to the upper band, which can be flipped down to cover the eyes. Many women also wear gloves with niqab as they believe that no part of their skin should be visible in public except the eyes.
The Afgani style burqa is also a less common style of niqab. Burqa extends from head to the feet and can be worn over usual daily clothing. There is one more niqab style known as chador which is worn by many Iranian women. But these days not many women in Iran wear niqabs, only women of few communities wear them.