Politician to propose dress code law for UAE
Members of the UAE national parliament will today demand a crackdown on people wearing inappropriate clothes and public displays of affection.
Federal national councillors are to quiz the culture minister, Abdul Rahman Mohammed Al Owais, on what can be done to stop people wearing skimpy outfits while shopping and couples getting intimate in public places, following a barrage of complaints.
The FNC campaign is led by Dubai member Hamad Ahmad Al Rahmoumi, who told 7DAYS he had received “many, many complaints” from UAE nationals upset by the behaviour of some expats and tourists.
He said he also wants a UAE-wide law to address the issues after recently seeing “a man with his hand behind his girlfriend’s back, putting his hand down her jeans as they walked”.
Al Rahmoumi added: “I was with my children in the mall. Many people were shocked and came to me and said, ‘Do you see what he is doing?’ This is what we have to stop.”
Al Rahmoumi claims to have majority support in the Federal National Council, which can recommend changes in UAE law to the cabinet.
Al Rahmoumi added: “There is one law in Dubai, another one in Sharjah, another one in Abu Dhabi. We need one national law to stop this behaviour.”
However, he stressed the vast majority of expats respect the law as it stands, saying: “Only one per cent cause offence, the other 99 per cent won’t even notice a difference. We welcome people from all over the world here.”
Al Rahmoumi said that if his proposed bill is passed, he would like to see brochures handed out at airports and malls to advice people about UAE law and customs, so authorities can put an early stop to any problems.
“If you go to the races in the UK, people wear the three-piece suit and the top hat,” he said. “Even members of our royal family wear this. You should respect the local custom wherever you are, so we ask the same here.”
Nasif Kayed, director of the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, said: “Modesty for us is about not showing off the gifts that God has given you - wealth, health and your beauty. To do so can cause feelings of inferiority and intimidation.
“When everyone dresses modestly, it is a way for everyone to be equal, regardless of their wealth or their background.”
The FNC debate comes as a ‘UAE Dress Code’ campaign, launched by two Emirati women, is trending on Twitter.