Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 20 May 2019

Hemlines go online as dress code law sparks debate

Proposals for a UAE dress code law have sparked debate on social media.

Calls for a dress code law in the UAE for tourists and residents have become the subject of much debate, here is what a few are saying on facebook.

Carol Barber: "Shoulders and knees covered, I dont have a problem with that, not sure what tourist will do though, maybe holiday else where as it is the tan and free feeling they want on holiday for most girls. But this is a muslim country and there should be some respect from holiday makers in the Malls etc. I'm often suprised to see girls in small vest and short shorts in Dubai. I'm in Al Ain and most westerners here cover the shoulders and knees unless by the pool or in the hotels then anything goes."

Christina Ann Murphy: "'Appropriateness' is so subjective and to personal taste as I'm noticing as an expat in Al Ain also. I dress modestly and respectfully always as I know I am a guest in this country; however, not all expats are on board. With the heat, it seems that more and more expats are 'taking it off.' I'm sure this embarrassed the families and the wives, especially. Not sure about legislation being passed but definitely it is a topic of concern."

Salma A Ali: "The UAE Dress Code Law was passed in 2009 and until then people didn't respect it. Promoting tourism, doesn't mean accepting indecent acts and dressing which reflect bad image of your own culture & disrespect the country you are in! It might not embarrass the wearer but it does embarrass the families and kids especially. UAE does not say to cover your head or wear Abaya but modest dressing!"

Terry Mercer: "I respect the dress code of the UAE and any country I visit, but I do not believe in a dress code mandated by the government. I see no harm in having information given out to tourist and tourist sites advising them on your customs, but not a law."

Wendy Mark: "I agree that guidelines should be issued, perhaps on checking in at hotels. Any law would be unenforceable, without huge numbers of arrests, and could kill the tourist industry. I do cringe sometimes at seeing skimpily clad expats out in public. It's ignorance on their part and does show a lack of respect. Perhaps we could have similar guidelines in the UK."

Andrew Biggs: "Rather than 'enforcing' a law, rule or otherwise...the better option would be simply to include a 'cultural awareness' info card as an arrivals card when you enter the UAE on an aircraft or boat. Loads of countries do this for things like health, safety and quarantine information. Make people fill out incoming passenger information, then on the back simply have a really basic list of 'cultural awareness' stuff. Include the line 'By signing this passenger card, you have read and understood the information and guidelines for entering into the UAE' and there you have it. No excuses for not abiding by this stuff. Honey attracts more flies than water. Positive reinforcement is what these kind of cultural respect things need, not negative."

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Updated: June 12, 2012 04:00 AM