Even as several residents have welcomed the dress-code policy that is being implemented by at least one major mall in Dubai, the issue has once become the topic of major debate on online forums.
Dubai Mall, ahead of Ramadan, has begun handing out flyers informing visitors of appropriate clothing to be worn to the mall, especially with Ramadan about to begin.
The current campaign has been lauded by many members of the expat community, with resident Gareth Jackson saying: “I’m a man, but even I am fed up of being torpedoed by low cleavages and high hemlines when going to a public place.
“What needs to be brought into practice is just a bit of respect for communities around you.”
Vandhana Mathur, a mother of two, said: “I have teenage children and it appalls me to find myself in places with them, where women parade around in scraps of cloth in the name of fashion.
“I am no prude, but dress up ladies. It’s really not that difficult.”
Twenty-four years old Ishita M said the worse excuse she’s ever hear about the “various states of undress” is ‘it’s too hot’.
She said: “It’s too hot to extend the hemline of your skirt by an additional three inches? Or it’s too hot to have that T-shirt cover your entire midriff?”
Malls across Dubai are in the practice of putting up signs requesting people to dress appropriately.
However, for the first time flyers have been used to spread the ‘dress properly’ message.
A spokesperson from Dubai Mall issued a statement to Emirates 24|7, that said: “The Dubai Mall underlines its commitment to the values and customs of the UAE, and urges all visitors to adhere to its dress-code policy.
“Most of our visitors are aware of the dress-code policy. But given that the city hosts visitors from around the world – some of them not aware of the cultural sensitivities of the country – we take extra care in highlighting the mall's courtesy policy for the benefit of all.
“For more awareness, the courtesy policy is printed in two types of flyers in eight languages (English, Arabic, French, Russian, Italian, German, Hindi and Chinese).
“Printed in DL size flyers that are provided at the 11 guest service desks located around the mall and are also available in a pocket size version handed politely to the mall visitors, who might be unaware, reminding them of the policy.
“Our Guest Service representatives and security staff have been instructed to hand out the flyers, discreetly and courteously, to remind any guests about the need to respect the region's cultural ethos.
“We are committed to ensuring the social and cultural morals of the UAE and encourage visitors to respect the country’s cultural sensitivities.”
However, there are some who feel even this isn’t enough, with a demand for a dress-code law.
MM tweeted: “I love how the Dubai Mall dress-code is disregarded by people. How amazing; go ahead walk around in your suits.”
It continued: “If expats are respecting the UAE dress-code, we wouldn’t ask for a law. Don’t blame the tourists.”
Last year, a need for a federal law was also discussed at the FNC level, but no legislation has been passed.