There are already laws setting out the dress code and signs at the entrances to malls. But Emiratis believe those laws are not being enforced.

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Dress Codes for Travellers in the UAE

In June 2012, two Emirati women began a twitter campaign calling on foreign visitors to respect their culture and adhere to an existing dress code.

Hannan Al Rayyes and Asma Al Muheiri launched their UAE Dress Code page on Twitter because they were "tired of seeing tourists in beachwear or revealing outfits in shopping malls".

Too many girls in the malls were "wearing shorts so short they looked like hot pants", Ms Al Rayyes said.

Their first followers tweeted last week about their "disgust" at seeing foreigners dressed inappropriately.

"We don't want people to start wearing the abaya or anything. We're just asking them to cover up parts of the body that are sensitive to our culture," she said.

A typical mall entrance sign.

There are already laws setting out the dress code, and signs at the entrances to malls – but Emiratis believe those laws are not being enforced.

According to the UAE‘s The National, Lt Col Mohammed Rashid Al Muhairi, from Dubai Police's Tourist Security Department (TSD), said it was important that the millions of visitors who come to the UAE each year understand local laws and culture.

"We have to take into consideration that there are a lot of nationalities coming here, which means we have to be flexible".

He said it was police policy to only approach those whose outfits "border on nudity".

Emirati politicians are now considering a new law to enforce the dress code for foreigners.

Meanwhile on Twitter, UAE Dress Code now has over 2000 followers. Many of them saying foreign visitors need to "respect our culture".

A few have linked the campaign to the so-called "burqua ban" policies in European nations such as France and Belgium, citing those laws and visitors‘ disrespect for dress standards as anti-Islamic.

However, the overwhelming sentiment on the Twitter page is that there needs to be more education about Emirati culture and standards for visitors.

So What's Acceptable Dress in Dubai?

For women it means covering the shoulders and the knees (and everything in between). Spaghetti straps will raise eyebrows.

You don‘t have to hide your figure, as you do in Iran or Saudi Arabia, but tight-fitting clothing is a no-no.

There‘s no law requiring you to cover your hair with a scarf (unless you‘re entering a mosque).

Men should be wary of shorts, knee-length is considered modestly acceptable.

T-shirts with strappy shoulders or very low V-necks will get you some attention you don‘t need (there goes your wardrobe of Bintang singlets from Bali!).

Don‘t wear women‘s clothing (visibly) – that‘s sure to get you arrested.

Both genders should keep sports clothes on the sports field, including cycling shorts (name me a culture where cycling shorts are NOT considered offensive!)

Photo credit: ArabianBusiness.com

At the beach, women can wear bikinis that cover all the important bits.

Thongs, Brazillian-style itsy-bitsy bikinis and going topless are not ok.

Thongs are definitely out for men at the beach, and sadly racing-style costumes (Speedos) are allowed - even on men over 50 - but board shorts and swimming shorts are more acceptable.

Young children can wear almost whatever you want them to, but don‘t let them run around nude.

Don‘t wear clothing with potentially offensive slogans or symbols. Think carefully and conservatively about this one. Leave the "I heart Tel Aviv" t-shirt in the suitcase.

This is a different matter in Sharjah and Ajman, both members of the UAE, where Sharia law is dominant. They are very conservative societies and have strict, mandated dress codes. Women should cover upper arms and shoulders down to mid calf. No shorts at all for men.

What if My Dress Offends in Dubai?

A Janet Jackson-style wardrobe malfunction will see you explaining yourself to police.

If what you‘ve chosen to wear doesn‘t quite meet the dress code, expect to have an Emirati woman come up to you and tell you so. Don‘t argue with her, apologise and either cover up straight away or promise to go and cover up as soon as possible. If you argue the police will come. You may not be arrested for arguing (except if you swear), but you could be charged with "offending public decency", and the word of the Emirati woman will trump you every time.

The Bikini Incident

In 2010, a British woman was arrested after she argued with an Arabic woman who‘d accosted her about her bare shoulders. The British woman‘s response was to strip down to her bikini, right there in the shopping mall. She spent 3 days as a ‘guest‘ of Dubai police before she got a dressing-down (pun intended) from a judge and the charges were dropped (also pun intended).

Again, in Sharjah and Ajman breaking the code will be dealt with more seriously.

42 Comments

  • susan said

    Ok, so will they do the same and throw off their burqa when in the West? I thought not. So be it.

  • Lawrence Bucher said

    American's (and most people abroad) are funny; they demand freedom yet lack the personal a civic responsibility of such demand. What's so complicated to adhere to another's cultural interest, demand or boundary? Majority of Americans who talk about Muslim culture have no idea; not one, and question the reason why a country determined to maintain a conservative value has such laws? Give me a break. It's pretty simple, "Beyatch, if you wanna look like a chicken-head in your daisy-dukes or your hooker-high skirt, stay in the US; Vegas, Hollwood, etc. But when you are here in OUR country, you'll adhere or get arrested"... pretty simple.

  • Justine said

    Lawrence, wonder what muslim visitors to France say about the "adhere or get arrested" ? Yes it is simple, muslims want respect but do not respect other cultures or countries for that matter. They come to America and use our freedoms to breed hate and contempt for anything or anybody that doesn't "adhere" to their belifs. I spent time in the middle east and while there I dressed modestly out of respect for Qatar. How many women do I see that come to my country and want to dress in black from head to toe and demand that they do so regardless of our laws or customs? The answer is the vast majority of them. No respect for our way of life. We do not threaten arrest, imprisonment or worse people who simple dress different. By the way, I was in several malls and witnessed men holding hands and kissing each other (made me sick to my stomach) and I was supposed to except that as custom but I couldn't comfortable hold the hand of my boyfriend? I ask you who is more tolerant? <br>

  • Ben Smart said

    I love these kind of articles about what to wear in Dubai. When i first arrived, i believed everything that was written about the place. Now as a resident, you see the real truth. Yes you do need to be respectful of the local culture, but walk around any mall and you will see all sorts. If you go to the one of the famous friday brunches, then you will see western women wearing the shortest skirts with the lowest cut tops and after a few drinks, even more! <br><br>I wear shorts and a polo shirt everyday. I have regular meetings with the locals and they have never bat an eyelid. Out in public and in non-tourist areas, just respect their culture and enjoy what is an incedible place. During holy periods though, be even more respectful though and dont ever be a typical drunken British person, this is rude the world over

  • PhilSylvester said

    Ben, thanks for your comment. We were not trying to tell people what to wear or not wear, simply pointing out there is a small but vocal section of Emirates society who would like to do exactly that. If their vocal protests continue to get the attention of law-makers it could be that visitors inadvertently get into hot water. We're just trying to inform people.
    Cheers
    Phil from the safety hub

  • Rose said

    Hi Ann,

    I would say you can wear running shorts (though I would avoid the tight cycling shorts style) or exercise pants and a t-shirt over a sports bra if you're going running, most people wouldn't judge if you wore a racer back top with the shoulders exposed (at least in Dubai, I probably wouldn't in the other emirates). And yeah, runners.

    Depends where you're running. If you're running on the street, as above, if you're running in a mixed gym, as above, if you are running a ladies gym, depending on the clientele you could possibly wear cycling shorts but really the biggest difference to the West is that I would advise against wearing just your sports bra.

    I grew up in the UAE (lived there for 16 years).

    Rose

  • Piero said

    Your medieval laws are just beyond me! I have no respect for a society that oppresses woman or anybody. You live in a double standard society where man are allowed to do as they please. That's probably why there are so many woman trying to leave the heck out of your sandy spot in the world, just come to french riviera and you see the excess of the wealthy Arab man! alcohol, drugs and prostitutes! fuck your double standard and swallow a handful of sand!

  • Ann said

    Hi I am moving over to UAE and I am a keen runner what is acceptable for a woman to wear while outside running ?

  • PhilSylvester said

    Good question Ann, I don't know the answer, so I've posted it for other travellers to see here:
    http://answers.worldnomads.com/questions/united-arab-emirates/21631/what-is-acceptable-attire-for-western-women-to-wear-while-running-in-uae
    Hopefully we;ll get someone who can help.
    Phil

  • Frustrated American said

    It annoys me when individuals then try and fail to turn the argument around and say that Muslim women in the West covering up is akin to Western women in the Middle East not. How is that a plausible argument? Covering up is a religious and cultural norm. Being half naked and skimpy isn't the religious code of any religion I know of. Even in the west, there's indecent exposure and basic nudity censorship for a reason. Give me a break -_-

    - FrustratedAmerican

  • JewishGirl Rachel said

    I completely agree with the UAE policy and with Frustrated American. Cliche's become cliche's for good reason. When in rome, do as the romans do. Their playground, their rules. If you chose to visit there, show some respect. Religious women in most cultures follow modest dress codes, whether by law or by choice.

  • Paul said

    Interesting read - both the story and comments.
    I see arab men wearing thawbs and think, "man, that looks comfortable and cool!" If I (being a western man from Canada) was to go to UAE and wear a thawb is that seen as "trying too hard" or disrespectful in any way?
    I might not wear any head-dress - just the thawb for comfort.
    Any comments or thoughts on this?

  • Charles said

    Yeesh, people, lighten up. When you travel to other places don't you try to immerse yourself and respect their culture? No one is demanding you wear black burlap sacs! It's just a helpful article for people who want know what to expect when traveling to UAE. I doubt an article on proper greetings and eating etiquette in China gets this much hate.

  • Eemeli said

    Im going to to Ras Al Khaimah to run half marathon. I can wear running shorts on the race, right? Cant i also run on shorts on the streets? Its hot and everything...

  • Rochelle baboolal said

    Can I wear shorts or skirts with Leggings/Jeggings? It's all covered up :-)

  • Katie said

    People who turn this into an anti-Islam thing are being silly. Other cultures have cultural expectations others might think are weird or inconvenient: eg. don't touch someone with your left hand, don't sit with your feet pointing at someone. Tonga is also very conservative, where everyone wears shorts and t-shirts whilst swimming (I saw local teens swimming in long denim shorts!) I hadn't packed appropriately but I chose not to alarm the locals or create a public spectacle by stepping out in my (relatively modest) one piece swimsuit. It was inconvenient but, you know what they say, when in Rome...

  • Igloo said

    To those whining about the 'dress code': it should be fairly obvious that the rules are extremely generous and designed to be very accommodating. For example the signs say cover your shoulders - and the picture clearly shows no problem with the upper arm being uncovered. also head coverings are not required. From an Islamic perspective this level of dress completely goes against the dress code and culture of the middle east. Yet, the Emiratis tolerate it.

    Also alcohol. Against the law for Muslims to drink and Emiratis themselves can be lashed for this. Yet non-Muslims are allowed.

    This allowance is not greed, it is a form of tolerance that comes from Shariah law and is unusual to westerners who are used to one law for all.

  • Chris said

    It's really quite simple, don't like the culture or the customs that they have... don't go. No one is forcing us to go to Muslim countries, that's a choice that we make for ourselves. Trying to make a stand or protest and start some sort of movement for customs that have taken place forever, are not gonna fly and you'll just wind up getting arrested and possibly deported...and guess what? Those customs and laws will still be here when you leave.

  • Karoline said

    I wouldn't visit a place with a strict dress code if I personally don't agree with it. I am undecided if dress codes are ever really necessary and concerned how nudity or the human form is always sexualised. I value freedom of expression including through fashions. If you don't agree with the rules or dress code you should not visit the place. It saddens me that in some cultures body shaming and oppression still exist but I fear it always will, especially where women are still considered as possessions and emotions such as jealousy and fear control behaviour. Judgement of ones sexual life choices should never be based on clothing but that is my opinion. I dream of a time when everyone has freedom of choice and freedom from judgement wherever they are. No matter how hard I think about it I still have no idea why it causes 'offence' to see someone else's body weather it be in clothes or not. I think it only offends because it is breaking a rule and people don't like (feel emotions) when they see someone break a rule. The question for me is why was the rule made in the first place? Was it to do good?? Or just restrict people's choices and control them?

  • Deanna said

    I found this article and the following comments very useful. As an American who likes to travel, I prefer the "when in Rome, do as the Romans" type of behavior. In America, we generally have a loose dress code so whatever people choose to wear, albeit as long as it's not too revealing, it's fine. A burka is fine. No matter what is worn, we are all subject to whatever security measures are in place wherever we go. I have no expectations that the same freedoms I have at home should extend beyond my borders and I'm happy to respectfully abide by the dress code/customs in foreign countries. Since my daughter will be attending school in Abu Dhabi, I hope this same respect for the local culture is something we've instilled in her!

  • Rachel said

    I'd love to agree with the “when in Rome, do as the romans do” thing, but it seems that this speech only applies to one side... Calling the police over a dress seems a bit... too much, to say the least.
    I would love to go to the Emirates and other Muslim countries, but I would like to go as myself, being able to wear the things I normally wear (its not like I have Janet Jackson wardrobe!) Because no one is saying “well, women in black from head to toe, if you don't what to take that off, don't travel to Europe!”. That would be insane, wouldn't it? These women are welcome to come and enjoy the world as they are. Asma said to a journalist "The way some people dress here is offensive to our beliefs". Well, how would you accept not wearing your headscarf in order to not offend mine?
    Hopefully I was raised under the belief that you cannot go around “doing to others what they do to you”. I don't mind if you come to Spain with a burqa. I will treat you like any tourist, and I'll surely not call the police on you, no matter how weird your choice of clothing may seem to me.
    In the end, I may be in disadvantage, but at least I know I'm a fair person.
    I guess it only shows that “tolerance” is still a huge concept for some.

  • René said

    Can't quote every single name so.

    I agree that when you're in Rome you have to act like Romans do. UAE people has the right to ask visitors to comply at least at minimum to UAE customs.

    But. Just like western people hasn't the right to diminish the religious customs of muslim visitors, muslim hasn't the right to diminish our, the westerns, customs and values.

    Indeed western women's dress code is not derived from religious customs. And so? It remains a sign of the western culture and customs. Culture which we westerns arrived after centuries of fights in the cultural academia, in the legislative system, in the field (how many people have died for the values of freedom, secularism, gender equality, women rights, for the freedom of the female body, for the males to hold responsibility of their instincts instead of blaming the women in the centuries? A lot.

    So to us western is not some whim if we, women and men alike, dress, outside job places or official and religious places, like we want, it's just an aspect of something more deep and valuable: our conquest of freedom and civil rights.

    We fought a lot for this. Women fight a lot fo this.

    Also the freedom women have in western countries doesn't arrive like a gift, they fought a lot. From the time when Elizabeth I give up her right to marry to rule England, to the women that were thrown in jail for fighting for equal rights, to the women that still fight t be treated really as equals

    That freedom, that civil rights that bring a lot of us westerns to oppose to politicians like Le Pen, Farage, Salvini, Trump that would like to destroy our values to follow racism, intolerance, prejudices.

    Regarding the veil, we don't see it as a matter of respect to women but as a sign of a religious custom, and we are against not the simple veil but to the full hiding dresses.

    And that's because of our history: in the 60's and 70's we have a lot of troubles with terrorist attacks from fa right and far left factions. To attack they were used to hide their faces.

    So we have laws that forbid any way of dressing that makes a face not easily recognisable, and it's a law that affects both men and women.

    Also, please don't use the racism card. It's a double edged weapon. Because not being a western doesn't imply being free of prejudices, intolerance, racism.

  • Mohammad Al Ahmad said

    I am an Emarati ( from Dubai) all this nonsense that someone in our City needs to dress is simply untrue. Dubai is pluralistic and welcoming place to all people. yes there is some civic advice to wear modestly in the beaches , but never have i seen any woman arrested or stopped or questioned. in fact, in Dubai it is more liberal than most places on Earth. Thereforer, ladies enjoy and wear what you feel like and live the Dubai experience.

  • Opentoculture said

    Surely there is some sense in this somewhere, would you go to Holland or some states in America and smoke marajuana legally then accost the justice system if caught doing it illegally when back home because it was LEGAL there? I doubt it, women scoff at men who cat call or wolf whistle them in the street, usually because of the way they are dressed (trampish) in middle eastern culture it is customary to cover yourself and your body is for the intimate privacy of your spouse, how many teenage pregnancies happen in the middle east compared with the west? Why? Because we have lenient values when it comes to sexual activity, don't bring religion into this as in the bible it says though shalt not have sex before marriage yet I bet most of you reading this have, it is thier culture in thier country so respect what they ask you to do, if it makes you happy express your disconcerting in protest outside thier embassy in YOUR free country, however in thiers there will only be one winner and that's them and I for one am not gonna get a lashing!!!! I am British by the way and a non-Muslim but respect thier culture as I grew up in Saudi Arabia and am very used to thier traditions, and who are we to change that?

  • Deez Nutz said

    I just wanted to say thank you all! Your comments have been amusing, to say the least, and have made my work day!! I find it amazing that most of you try to eloquently defend your points, but the majority of you are as hypocritical as the rest of us (yes... me included... lol). That, compounded with the fact that most of you have the grammatical prowess of a 6 year-old, definitely made me chuckle quite a bit. WE SHOULD ALL PRACTICE TOLERANCE AND RESPECT! Here's the issue with that... In the West, we can't figure out how to truly respect each others differences, while in the Middle East, nobody is allowed to be different. I would love to see the day when a mutual respect amongst people will be the new law of the land, but until Hell freezes over (please hold your breath if you're "special" enough for that one), that will not happen...

  • Ana Karena Sanz said

    Dear Middle East people, when the come to visit or live in Europe or USA, please dress accordingly to our customs, thank you~

  • Joanne Davies said

    I have read the comments on here and am still bit confused about a female running in Dubai or RAK. I am hoping (weather permitting) to keep up my running whilst I work in the UAE. I will be aiming to run along the beach, esplanade, or in the mountains of RAK (I prefer off road), but It is still unclear as to whether I can run in my shorts and t shirt. I am a committed runner and would like to stay off the gym treadmill for as long as possible. What attire would be acceptable? What do the locals wear? I just don't want to get in to trouble for getting it wrong.

  • Carole Davis said

    You have got to be kidding. This article made me really mad. Not that I would ever visit such a place, but frankly, the article is sexist, oblivious and antisemitic.
    "Leave your I heart Tel Aviv T-shirt at home?" In order to not offend people? Really? Are you saying that everyone in the UAE is an anti-semite? If they don't like Tel Aviv, too bad!
    About the female modesty baloney, why would anyone care to respect people of a country where the penalty for homosexuality is life in prison or death? Who wants to be respectful of such a hateful culture? It's backward and barbaric. We women will wear what we want, anywhere, anytime. Get it?
    The United Arab Emirates includes the Emirates of Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Ras al-Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain, Ajman, Fujairah and Sharjah. Sexual relations outside a traditional, heterosexual marriage are a crime. The death penalty applies for homosexuality. Punishments range from jail time, fines, deportation, and the death penalty. Adultery and fornication are also crimes, and a person convicted of homosexuality may also face charges of adultery if they have a spouse while having sexual relations with a person of the same sex. Homosexuals are strongly discouraged from traveling to the UAE including Dubai for any reason.

  • Jacky said

    Interestingly...as a western woman, here I am reading up on the Dubai dress code and thinking, great! I actually prefer this more modest dress code, and here is a place who won't think I'm too conservative for covering up! I guess I'm one of those western women who doesn't like showing too much, because I'm naturally a very shy person, and there is a certain pressure to expose oneself in hot weather when in a western country, which I don't really like.

    Yes, I might get a bit hotter covering up, but I'd rather be hotter and covered than cooler and exposed to people I don't know and don't care to be stared at by. Call me a prude, but I'm more comfortable dressing modestly.

  • A secret Muslim Girl That Doesn't Want To Wear. A Hijab said

    Now I'm not sure if I could leave the house without my hijab after puberty.... I don't really want to even wear it I feel like a girl should have freedom in choosing when to wear it! Not after having puberty it means wearing something that will suffocate you! Especially when you have sisters that are like "Hey your hair is showing cover up!" Or "How many times should I tell you not to make a pony tail your hair is showing now!" Like can't we have freedom to choose when to wear it in Dubai/ United Arab Emirates because I'm sick of wearing it and I feel like I'm too young to wear it now eventhough I'm 13 and I've passed puberty but! But I'm not happy wearing it... I feel like we should accept wearing it whenever we want! And not letting our parents decide please tell me that that's legal :( I really want to get rid of it... So if there's any answers for that then please tell me I'll be more than happy to see someone reading my opinion and also some people feel the same as me!

    -A Muslim Girl That Doesn't Want To Wear A Hijab At This Age (13-17)

  • Gillian said

    So, I read through the comments and I have several thoughts. First, I lived 2 years in the UAE, not in either Dubai or Abu Dhabi, but in Alain. If you do not abide by the Sharia law, you are 1) fired from your job, 2) deported within 24 hours, and/or 3) attacked. Okay, so I was all into "their" culture, the whole "When in Rome..." stuff. However, that is not how they behave when they are in OUR COUNTRIES. So, how can any of you support the double standard? That is just garbage. I am more than happy to adhere to their standards in THEIR country. I EXPECT the same RESPECT when they come to my country.

  • Robyn Melanie Jones said

    I don't wish to offend anyone, but it seems that there is a lot of hate in the comments.
    I would immerse myself in the culture of the uea and follow a dress code if it was given out and even if it wasn't. Cultures and people need to be respected.

  • Diane Miller said

    I am an African American woman who will be traveling to Dubai later this year. I am looking forward to learning, sharing and respecting the culture of the people. This is one of the main reasons I want to go, to exchange culture. My mother always taught me to respect other peoples' homes and I plan to do just that.

  • Rivka Sajida (Paige) said

    Ya Allahhhh... Oy vey...

    First off... Carole Davis... "Leave your 'I heart Tel Aviv' shirt at home (so as not to offend people" isn't an anti-Semitic statement. It's anti-Zionism. People in the Middle East are generally Semites. Speaking as a Jewish Muslim with a background in theology and anthropology... The argument between Jews and Muslims is like two brothers fighting. It's honestly ridiculous. But if you actually sit down with either side neither will come to the conclusion of "that religion is the reason". My Jordanian family realized this upon meeting me - Not all Jews are Zionists. Actually, a minority are. Most of us are appalled by how Israel treats Palestine. PS, the UN has classified Israel's actions as terrorism. Don't get me wrong. I would love to visit Israel, as one of the Chosen People i'm supposed to and it's even my right - I get a free trip once in my lifetime (actually, I think I may be too old for that now...). But the way Israel has handled the entire situation with Palestine is deplorable. Three religions have claim to holy cities in that area. There is NO REASON why we can't get along, cooperate, and share. Unfortunately, Zionist ideals have been making that impossible.

    To the people saying "When you are in the US, dress to our customs!"... Which customs would that be? The Native Peoples' customs? The "melting pot of America" customs? Or Western, white customs? America does not have one custom of dress. We pride ourselves on our mix of cultures and ideals. In America you can see a girl in short shorts, a man in a turban (Sheiki religion, by the way), a woman in a sari in a bindi, a man in a suit and tie, a woman in full black abaya and niqab, and a guy in tie-dye and flip flops all in one place (the Arch in St. Louis is a great example of being able to see all of these things. Or the air show.). Anyone saying that Muslims should "adhere to our culture" is unfortunately ignorant of what actually comprises US culture. Western culture, on the other hand, is a different story, but let us be reminded that it's not the law.

    Third and final point... the law.

    This modesty mandate is LAW in the UAE. It's not like Saudi where even visitors must wear abayat and hijab, they are simply asking one to cover the shoulders and knees. I really don't understand why this is too much to ask. You aren't being asked to compromise your morality, just wear a tee-shirt and jeans. Don't you normally do this anyway? That's how most of the people around here dress, and i'm in the US. The issue in other countries, about banning hijab and niqab, it's not about culture. The issue is that people come to these Western countries because we have certain inalienable rights afforded us. In the US, the First Amendment protects freedom of religion. By banning religious garb such as the hijab, niqab, or abaya, you are taking away part of that religious freedom, which is why it's such a big deal. Now, Islam says to follow the law of the land you are in (which is, in part, why Muslim countries try to be accommodating to those People of the Book - Jews, Christians, Sabians, and a few others - who have different dress codes and religious laws). So obviously I wouldn't move to France because i wouldn't be able to practice my religion freely. But the reason it's a problem is there were already Muslims living in that land and their freedoms got taken away (by the way, Jews are effected by this as well, because Jewish women cover their hair and men wear kippah or yarmulkas and those are also illegal in France in government buildings). That is why people are fighting it and protesting it - because it wasn't a matter of "just don't visit", it's a matter of having to leave your HOME in order to practice your religion freely.

    I really hope that maybe this post helps open some peoples' eyes...

  • terrill snead said

    Leave for Dubai in a week. As an American who travels a lot, we Americans are so arrogant and entitled. The difference between us and them is our dress code is a custom or trend while theirs is law. Breaking the law is breaking the law regardless of where you are from. If they are breaking the laws of the US by what they are wearing they will be arrested, the same as you will in their country. What is so hard to understand? So are laws are more liberal. Im sure there are Americans who wish are dress code laws who more strict and vice versa. Hell we elected DT, right now I don't think we can criticize any country. We are the laughing stock of the world. Wear what you want within the law or prepare to be arrested here or abroad.

  • Athena said

    I am a westerner and I am offended by women of the Muslim faith covering themselves from head to toe when they live in the West. Having said that, I would not dream of wearing western clothing on a visit to an Arab country. I think it's a matter of manners and class. Shame on any western tourist female or male, who does not honour the dress code of their host country. When we visit a country, we are a guest and we must not offend our hosts by being rude!

  • blueblip said

    @Athena: As someone who was born and raised in the UAE, yeah...the "dress code" here is actually handled more as a suggestion rather than as a law. No seriously - I've spent most of my 33 years in Dubai, and the vast majority of my time here has been spent wearing shorts of varying length, even though the law does say that men have to wear knee length at minimum.

    My wife wears shorts here, and no one bats an eyelid. I've seen more women than I can count wearing hot pants/short shorts/mini-skirts my whole life, and no one has ever been arrested for it. Back in high school, we our girl friends used to leave their homes in more conservative clothing ('conservative' varying according to nationality and one's home's mores), and then immediately changing into something "more comfortable" before heading to a party etc etc.

    The Dubai police turn a blind eye to clothes, and will only act when a local actually complains, which is an extremely rare thing to happen - it's akin to someone in the US lodging a complaint about the neighbours being noisy. Yes, the police will come down and have a word with you, but they aren't going to arrest you or anything unless you argue.

  • Ruth said

    You can't compare requiring someone to cover their shoulders to the Burka ban. I've never seen someone wear less for religious reasons. Religion is part of culture and the culture of Europe and the US is freedom of religion which means allowing people to freely practice their religion which includes religious dress. The ban was nothing but a way to make discrimination illegal.

    If anyone in the US was walking down the street nude in front of everyone, kids included, people would riot in the streets if he wasn't arrested. This is no different, its just that the definition of nude is different as its a different culture.

    If you break a US Law in the US you'll be arrested. If you break a UAE law in the UAE you'll also be arrested. This isn't rocket science. If you don't like it, don't visit.

  • Rick said

    Why don't people understand that covering ones face for any reason in western culture is offensive? Covering hair fine. Covering eyes with shades is fine. Covering all but the eyes is not. Its reminiscent of bank robbers and terrorists (not muslim-only terrorists).
    Something does not have to be religious to be an important and intrinsic cultural value. The equality of genders under law, ie feminism or secular humanism, or liberal christianity, whatever you want to call it, is far deeper and more important to many of us than religious garb. It is a fundamental belief that we fought for, cherish, and protect.
    For those who cant imagine anyone wearing less for a religious reason, many neo pagans in the west practice religious ceremony nude or very little, both genders together, as part of connecting with nature and respect of earth. Not all religion sexualises the human body. Mostly just the Abrahamic ones that have also come to dominate the last couple thousand years. And Christianity had to go through the dark ages, renaissance and enlightenment to get to the more liberal version of itself, (though in the US we also have a bunch of fundamentalists.)

  • terry michaels said

    I started reading these contributions but became so frustrated at the illiteracy of so many of them I simply gave up.

  • Lucy said

    As a USA citizen (American) I find it shameful that an American would not research the culture before arriving so as to not offend the country they are visiting. I am very modest and never wear sleeveless, low cut, short shorts or anything that shows parts that should not be showing. My shorts are to my knees. Some people believe the world revolves around them and they have no respect for other people and cultures. So, I also believe that someone from another country trying to bestow their beliefs on Americans is wrong also. So, when visiting another country, do your research and respect their beliefs and customs. It is respectful and your duty as a representative from your country.

  • Lucy said

    @terrillsnead...the only reason we are a laughing stock is because all the democraps...are screaming because Billary the liar and her cheating husband are not in the WH...when our country becomes strong again...no one will be laughing...our ability to take care of ourselves is how we became great...when outsourcing started, we started depending on other countries and DT (as you called him) who is actually Mr. President to those who show respect, is determined to make the USA independent again, by using our labor and employing legal USA citizens again...you are a moron and are a stereotypical example of a democrapic lunatic who speaks gibberish! President Obama did nothing for this country in the eight years he was prez except divide us. I did not like him nor did I vote for him but out of respect, I did address him as Mr. President...so, out of respect please address (DT) as Mr. President.

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