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What do you think of Dubai’s new code of conduct?
The results are in.
March 22, 2009 12:41 by Aarti Nagraj
Last week, the Dubai Executive Council (DEC) caused a stir in the city when it reportedly launched a new code of conduct, defining what it is inappropriate behavior in public. According to an article in Al Arabiya, which was based on a document leaked to the Arabic-language daily Al Emarat Al Youm, playing loud music, dancing, nudity, kissing, holding hands, wearing revealing clothes in public and being under the influence of alcohol in public will be considered offenses, and may result in fines or prison terms.
While reactions to the report were mixed, many were angered by it, as reflected in our poll; more than 52.5 percent of our respondents think the new code of conduct is ridiculous. However, more than 22 percent feel that the rule is justified, and that expatriates should respect the local culture. Another 16 percent agree that the rules are too strict, but said that they accept them.
Only 9 percent of our respondents answered “What code of conduct?”
Kipp wrote a commentary on the ambiguities of the code last week, and asked the DEC to clarify a number of the rules; the DEC, however assured us that when published, the report will clarify all the details. We have yet to see the document.
The code of conduct highlights Dubai’s torn image, which at times appears to condone extreme openness, and at others promotes the emirate’s conservatism. The code also compels us to ask: how will the city continue to pull in tourists if authorities tell them not to hold hands in the public?