Probably best not to wear it down a Dubai shopping mall
Over the last decade, Dubai first and subsequently Abu Dhabi have attracted hundreds of thousands of western businesspeople -- with global law firms being at the forefront – as well as tourists. But the blending of cultures has often been fraught with difficulties.
Now a Twitter campaign launched recently by two young Emiratis has highlighted growing concerns in the Persian Gulf region that Islamic customs are in danger of being overwhelmed by a tide of westernisation. And the Abu Dhabi-based newspaper, The National, yesterday released the results of its own survey showing that 70 per cent of UAE residents said a dress code law is required.
According to the newspaper, 40 per cent of survey respondents maintained that the incidents of ‘inappropriate’ dress were worsening. The researchers also found that 80 per cent of respondents said the problem was not limited to tourists, with expatriate residents frequently dressing inappropriately in public.
A typical view came from Khawla Al Haremy, a 25-year-old administrative assistant in Abu Dhabi. She told the newspaper that she favoured toughened legislation because ‘I'm totally against seeing people walking in malls wearing inappropriate clothes because I don't want my children to see this. I don't go to beaches because I'm expecting it there, but not in shopping malls and public places.’