x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Online backing for UAE dress code law

Emiratis as well as expatiates believe people dressing immodestly in public is a serious issue, according to online research carried out by The National, with almost 70 per cent saying a dress code law is required.

Many visitors to Abu Dhabi observe the local dress customs and cover up, though many bring with them a summery attire attitude.
Many visitors to Abu Dhabi observe the local dress customs and cover up, though many bring with them a summery attire attitude.

Emiratis as well as expatiates believe people dressing immodestly in public is a serious issue, according to online research carried out by The National, with almost 70 per cent saying a dress code law is required.

So far 2,294 people have voted in our poll which asked respondents to vote on the law with either 'Yes, there needs to be more respect for the nation's culture' or 'No, it is better to educate than criminalise'. To date 1,580 votes, or 68.8 per cent, picked yes.

Meanwhile in a more detailed online survey of attitudes and experiences by The National, completed by more than 500 responders, revealed that more than half of those who took part said they saw inappropriately dressed people almost every day.

The issue has gained momentum in recent days, with a debate by the Federal National Council and an online campaign.

The survey polled 508 readers (to date) of The National, 25 per cent of whom were Emiratis, and the rest expatriates. Men and women were almost equally represented in the survey, as were Muslims and non-Muslims.

About four out of 10 said they thought the issue of inappropriate dress was worsening; only 14 per cent said the issue was improving. Only 16 per cent said it was a problem caused by tourists. More significantly, 80 per cent said expatriate residents as well as visitors were dressing inappropriately in public areas.