First Lady Melania Trump has foregone wearing a headscarf in Saudi Arabia – two years after Donald Trump criticised Michelle Obama for doing the same thing.

Most Western leaders and dignitaries tend to ignore the custom when arriving in the Kingdom, but Trump tweeted that the Obamas had "insulted" the Saudis by doing so and said that America had made "enuf" enemies without the apparent snub.

Despite Melania not covering her head on the trip, which is Trump's first as US president, Arab media seemed to be appreciative of the fact that she changed her outfit to be more conservative for the trip.

A number of people on Twitter also commented on Melania's change of dress.

Pictures of the First Lady leaving the White House showed her embarking on the trip wearing a bright orange leather skirt, but when she emerged from Air Force One in Riyadh, she could be seen wearing a black veil-like ensemble which covered the entirety of her arms and legs.

Ivanka Trump was also pictured wearing a similarly conservative outfit as she arrived in the Kingdom.

Other leaders such as British Prime Minister Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel also did not wear headscarves on their visits to Saudi Arabia.

However that luxury is not afforded to local Saudi women who are required to wear headdress when they go out or when they are among the company of men. Enforcement of the policy is enforced by the religious police, known as the mutaween, and is often met with harsh punishment.

In December, Malak al Shehri – who has been dubbed the Saudi Rosa Parks – shared an image of herself on social media without wearing a headscarf as an act of defiance, but was quickly arrested and now faces being lashed.

Melania Trump
Melania Trump, accompanied by her husband, before and after she arrives in Saudi Arabia. Reuters