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Banned from a mall

Banned from a mall

Al Bawadi Mall banned laborers from entering the mall during peak hours, and plans to build them a mini-mall alongside the main shopping center. What do you think?

July 7, 2009 3:11 by

A mall in Al Ain announced it will build a separate center for laborers after the management banned them from entering Al Bawadi Mall following complaints from mostly female patrons, reports Arabian Business.

The mini-mall, however, is unlikely to quell criticism of the ban, especially given the management’s explanation for its actions.

“This is not a total ban,” Khalid Shraim, the mall’s marketing manager explained to The National. “Laborers are allowed to use the mall’s rear entrance closest to Carrefour during the day and early evening, but they cannot come to the mall on weekends.”

“We are trying to maintain the quality of the mall and create a wholesome family shopping experience,” he added. “Unfortunately, there is a lack of awareness on the part of the laborers as to what is appropriate behavior and what isn’t. It comes from a lack of education.”

“The biggest problem we have is them staring at women.”

The news has sparked outrage among laborers.

“A ban like this makes us feel like we are subhuman,” Iftikhar Hussein, a 24-year-old Pakistani construction worker said to the Abu Dhabi daily. “It is not fair to punish us all for the actions of a few.”

“We work very hard during the day and want to relax in the evening by walking around and seeing nice things.”

However, Mohammed al Suwaidi, 39, an Emirati businessman, supports the ban. “Unfortunately these people don’t know how to act,” he said. “They don’t understand that some things are not acceptable. It is better this way.”

The mall opened in December 2008, and hopes to attract up to eight million visitors a year.

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  1. Jessi on July 8, 2009 6:14 am

    This is how the low caste or “harijans” as they are called in India, are treated. To build the city you need these people otherwise they are a shame to the nation. Such hypocrites.

  2. neeraj on July 8, 2009 6:18 am

    I think this is a horrible move. Rather than having human beings ‘ of low quality’ as thought by the mall management.. they should maybe hire more security and more cameras.


  3. Chandra on July 8, 2009 6:45 am

    It is the hard work of the labourers that make a mall to be built. Any mall for that matter is the blood and sweat of poor labourers who work day and night (for a meagre payment) to make a mall to happen should not be banned.

  4. M Kutty on July 8, 2009 7:45 am

    I think it’s absolutely a stupid idea banning some people in entering a shopping mall. Of course, the mall management can have some kind of a dress code (I mean decent, instead of half trousers and chappals) to look the mall attractive to all. With regard to the complaints of staring at women, are the workers and labourers only staring at women? If the women are dressed and behaved decently no man should dare to look at them.

  5. Tag on July 8, 2009 8:03 am

    Some high class local millionaire’s act even worse than these laborers in Malls and on the streets of Dubai! “Staring at women”?? you’re banning people cuz they stare at women?? is there a man who doesnt stare at women? thats wierd!

  6. Priya on July 8, 2009 8:08 am

    This is not an acceptable at all….only staring at women is considered to be inappropriate??? What about honking & following at women in luxorious cars when u walk alone in the parking lot?? Is that an acceptable behaviour?? If so , nothing more to add…

  7. Charl on July 8, 2009 8:38 am

    Boycott Al Bawadi Mall!!

    Who gave people the idea that only laborers are steering at women? At least they do not harass women like men from a “more educated and wealthier class” do.
    If you would ban all men from steering at women certain nationality would hardly be allowed anywhere.
    Are we the heading towards apartheid?

  8. Omar on July 8, 2009 9:39 am

    I second Charl’s comments. This is apartheid by any other name… blatant racism cannot be condoned let alone accepted, regardless of how it is packaged. Boycott the mall indeed!

  9. Fawzy on July 8, 2009 9:58 am

    The Mall Management banning construction workers reminds us of the old days of Apartheid South Africa…What a shame in the 21st Century…
    People of principles should boycott this Mall…

  10. Sam on July 8, 2009 10:48 am

    This is outrageous!!!!!

    THey need the same people to build such placess and when done thrown out!!! Especailly calling them “labourers” witha tone as if they are like outcasts!!! Please try to respect each individual’s job. If it wasn’t for them u would have these beautiful buildings and infrastructure. Please remember It doesn’t just take money to build. Pleae treat people and respect the jobs they do.!!! And talking about education they are educated enough that they are doing the jobs. look at the work being finished.
    I salute these Men and my heart goes out for them
    I think the aritcle should be retitled ban the mall
    I will never buy rather visit this mall which creates a divide among men.. mini aparthied!!!!

    [email protected]!!!

  11. The B on July 8, 2009 11:08 am

    Well said Priya – what about those so-called educated lot of people in their flashy cars following women on the road, staring at them even when these women have their father, brother or husband walking next to them? What are you going to do? Ban them for driving or give them a separate road to drive. What kind of ding dong mangement runs this Al Bawadi Mall?? Atleast these labourers only look, we know what certain type of people do – they come up and try out cheap pick-up lines, offer to drop women home etc etc.. Reminds me of a question asked in that movie Head of State starring Chris Rock where he’s running for President. Here’s the modified version of that question to the labourers.

    “How many of you have built a mall that you aint ever gonna step a foot into or wont be allowed to step a foot into!?! …THAT AINT RIGHT!!”

    I’m calling for a boycott of Al Bawadi Mall. Maybe even a Facebook group. All in favour, say AYE!

  12. Eileen on July 8, 2009 11:43 am

    This is completely ridiculous. They are hard working people and should be able to participate in the simple things of life. I am outraged they would even consider a ban on laborers entering a mall. They have a right to stay and spend money as any other hardworking individual. If some spoiled women are upset about being looked at, they should be banned from the public.

    Please tell me that common decency will win here in Dubai for a change.

  13. Eileen on July 8, 2009 11:50 am

    I would join this Facebook group and never go to this Mall. Which one is it? I am outraged they would even entertain the idea of banning laborers at all. Speaks to their values and I don’t want my hard earned money padding their fat arrogant pockets.

  14. zainzak on July 8, 2009 12:25 pm

    Thank you much all of you buddies, you’ve said all and I cannot add any better than you’ve just said to express my anger and dismay except that I felt the tears are falling out of eyes for those poor and unlucky laborers. Are the folk at this racist mall human beings or else? Yes I agree that this mall should be black listed and boycotted

  15. amy on July 8, 2009 10:51 pm

    This is apartheid by any other name… blatant racism cannot be condoned let alone accepted, regardless of how it is packaged. Boycott the mall indeed!

    in malaysia we have countless mall as well but i never heard such of this story,its so human degrading.sorry to say….shame on the management and those who reports….the magement seems dont knw how to tackle this issue wisely

  16. Ali on July 9, 2009 3:08 am

    It is shame on the part of the mall management to ban entry for less fortune individual and their justification to do so is ridiculous and racist. All the right minded people should boycotted this mall.

  17. Manoj Neel on July 10, 2009 7:39 am

    Are we living in the 20th century. What has happened to the humanity. Most of the countries have got independance and yet these poor labourers do not have any independace to do what they want, they still are being treated like slaves. I would vouch to boycott the mall any time. What is the government doing in order protect the rights of these labourers. Ridiculous act….
    Manoj Neel

  18. Haima on July 10, 2009 4:48 pm

    Hi all,
    Because I’m a regular visitor to Bawadi Mall, I can say that the whole written story about banning the laborers is completely false.

    If what was reported was true, how do you find many construction workers standing near by the stage and watching the entertainment, walking in the mall, eating in the food court?!
    Look at their pictures:

    I really don’t know what these journalists want to achieve!!

    Incidents could happen any where in the world.

    Let’s be fair..

  19. davinci on July 12, 2009 5:01 pm

    Another stupid **&*&*&*&*&, does not even deserve a comment, shame on you Al ain management,
    how would u feel when they dont allow you in an european or american country because you are wearing your national dress.

  20. Roro on July 14, 2009 1:39 am

    I don’t think they should ban, probably lay out instructions and give guidelines to them of what is acceptable and what is unacceptable, caste system should not exist.

  21. Hybrid on July 22, 2009 11:46 am

    Great! We got people who think they know how to behave, telling others that their behavior is inappropriate. This just shows the mentality of the ‘educated’. Humans – what a waste!

    If women don’t want to be stared at, then don’t flaunt your assets around the mall. You show it because you want to be seen.

  22. rabia on August 18, 2009 10:39 pm

    the reason some self-righteous people claim that these labourers do not know how to behave appropriately is probably because they are never allowed into ‘regular’ places like malls, around ‘normal’ people. If they are secluded from the rest of society, they will obviously never know ‘how to act’ around anyone different from themselves.
    As for women complaining about being stared at…that is a very vague issue, terribly biased.
    Why is it ok for a handsome man with loaded pockets and decent clothing, to stare all he wants. But when it’s a haggardly dressed social outcast, everybody’s morals come tumbling down the hill.
    im a lady myself, unfortunately ive never witnessed money-spending perverts being flung out of a mall for staring.
    the problem is not so much with the mall, it’s a common practise that the government should handle. why are there thousands of ministries anyway? i wonder if any one of them is upto the challenge…


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