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‘Dress modestly’ Dubai residents told

image for illustrative purposes only

Marina Mall staff handing out cards educating customers on respectable clothing.


October 1, 2013 3:46 by

Security guards at Dubai Marina Mall have recently been handing out cards to ‘inappropriately dressed’ shoppers, advising them to dress modestly, and educating them on what is and isn’t deemed acceptable.

This move is no revelation. The cards, according to a report yesterday, simply advise shoppers to wear ‘respectful clothing’ that covers the shoulders and knees – no different from the instructions displayed on numerous signs throughout the emirate’s many shopping malls.

“We put up a lot of posters, but everyone ignores them,” said an anonymous mall employee. “This is the only way to tell people directly.”

It’s not clear whether this move is limited to Dubai Marina Mall or whether other shopping malls run by Emaar will apply the same tactic. Upon contacting both Emaar and the Dubai Marina Mall management, a PR representative told Kipp that no official statement has been released.

Kipp has been here long enough to understand that the dress code issue has been – and continues to be – a rather sensitive one that becomes a talking point from time to time. While most Dubai residents are aware of the ‘unspoken’ dress code in the emirate, the millions of tourists pouring into the city every year might not, and may be reluctant to adopt local modesty customs.

If you’ve lived in Dubai for years, chances are you know the culture clash we’re talking about (do you remember the expat who stripped down to her bikini in the mall after an Arab women pointed out that her clothes were too revealing?)

However, for a city preparing to welcome an influx of tourists over the next seven years (20 million annual visitors by 2020) from different cultures and backgrounds, enforcement of a strict dress code or imposing a blanket ban on certain types of clothing is unlikely.

Do you welcome this move by the Dubai Marina Mall management or would you feel offended if someone approached you with a ‘dress code card’?


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