Having lived here in Dubai for 20 years, I've practically seen it all. And I mean seen it all.
Daisy dukes cut like underwear, crop tops, VPL (Visible Panty Line), thongs, muffin tops, leggings as pants...
Then there are the guys: hairy butt cracks, really transparent wife beaters, saggy moobs (man boobs), crocs -which should be banned in my opinion, sandals with socks (fashion disaster), colorful skinny jeans from Karama market...
I could go on with the gory details but I don't want to lose my breakfast.
So the question is: Should there be a UAE Dress Code?
One person on Twitter decided to start up their own campaign to educate and inform people about UAE's Dress Code (@UAEDressCode) and why it should be enforced due to cultural and religious considerations here. However, what initially began as a debate turned into quite a war of words.
I picked out a few succinct tweets out of the vortex that was beginning to spin out of control.
I've missed the #UAEDressCode discussion but I hope someone is going to make indoor sunglasses illegal because there's far too much of that.
— Catboy (@Catboy_Dubai) June 12, 2012
We follow office dress codes, why not #UAEDressCode? You can wear whatever in private events. In public, be modest!
— Silly Me! (@1ndian) June 13, 2012
Overweight? Have Strech marks, cellulite, or black knees? Join #UAEDressCode ban! & remember, if you can't be pretty, NO ONE CAN.
— Häyät Lennon (@TheBoominati) June 12, 2012
Saying someone elses clothing is against your religion is like being angry at someone for eating a donut when youre on a diet. #UAEdresscode
— Andrew Biggs (@AWBiggs) June 13, 2012
#UAEDressCode UAE society's generous and liberal instincs will be eroded by narrow minded misanthropy if such a law is enforced.
— Rashid BinGhanam(@nabeshima1) June 13, 2012
It got pretty heated with people who were in favor of the dress code starting up arguments and insulting people.
People say cant have @UAEDressCode cus it affects tourism, well i'm sure UAE dosent want/need any immoral or indecent tourists #uaedresscode
— AbdulMatheen yousuf (@amatheen) June 12, 2012
Funny how ppl feel attacked by the #UAEdresscode.Interesting how such sensitivity comes from ppl who disrespect their own body @UAEDressCode
— Silvia Fadel (@SilviaFadel) June 12, 2012
Here's my opinion about it all:
Firstly, you are in a country where you should respect the rules, at least the ones explicitly mentioned in malls. If you're a tourist, an expat, a local or resident, it applies to every single one of us.
Secondly, people, stop comparing a law about dress code to a law banning smoking indoors. It's not the same thing. Smoking kills people, wearing short shorts when you haven't shaved your legs may gross people out, but it doesn't harm them in any way that is detrimental to their health.
Thirdly, a law for dress code isn't extremely practical when there are so many different cultures living together. "Decently dressed" to one person may be lewd to someone else. Someone may consider wearing a sari - a traditional Indian outfit for women - to be elegant, however, a bared midriff may be offensive to many. Sometimes, what's decent and what's not is quite subjective. To start fining people who do not obey a proposed dress code would be disastrous.
And lastly, I think there should be a law against people who stare at women, being creepy and/or judgemental as this is far more "offensive" than wearing a pair of short shorts.
What do you think? Do you agree with a UAE Dress Code? Did you agree or disagree with this post or any of the tweets above? Let me know in the comments below or Facebook me /Tweet me.
For more information on the proposed law, read up:
Also, helpful tips on what to wear to avoid trouble: