Adding a few layers to the dress-code debate
The clothes debate has rumbled on for many years but it appears it is reaching new heights as it is brought to the attention of the Federal National Council.
Mr Al Rahmoumi says that much of the dress and behaviour is distressing to Emirati families. I can assure him that much of it is distressing to expatriates too. Last weekend in Etisalat Dubai, there was a striking woman in a long flowery print dress that covered her lower body and legs but the bodice was made of the same material as a bikini and the same design; It made no pretence to cover her ample ‘shape’.
None of this bothered me but it was clearly inappropriate in the local telephone company offices. The trouble with the impending Federal Law will be that all of this is very subjective.
Is there going to be a certain number of inches above the knee and will there be security guards with tape measures? The solution will be for officials to be present in the malls with simple, cheap Abaya-type coats to be given out with a multilingual and very polite note advising the reason for the coat. Similarly for the men who insist on wearing Speedos and exercise vests in the mall.
Finally let’s drop this continuing accusation that this is a ‘Western’ problem. There are plenty of women and men from the East (China and the like), Russia and Africa who sport the same clothes.
Let’s not forget our Lebanese friends many of whom have short skirts and tight tops above towering heels.