UAE | Health

Federal National Council member proposes law on dress code for all in the country

The National Council of Tourism and Antiquities will work on educating expats about the necessity to respect Emirati traditions, culture and norms

  • By Shehab Al Makahleh, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 00:00 June 13, 2012
  • Gulf News

Lieutenant General Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan attends the FNC session
  • Image Credit: WAM
  • Lieutenant General Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister, attends the FNC session.

Abu Dhabi: A member of the Federal National Council (FNC) has proposed a federal dress code to be enforced across the UAE.

Hamad Ahmad Al Rahoumi’s recommendation was prompted due to the decision of some European countries to ban the wearing of hijab and niqab and the UAE residents’ growing opposition to indecent dressing of some people in the Gulf country.

Al Rahoumi, a member from Dubai, justified his proposal and said: “All Western countries enforce their laws on others when they come to work or visit their countries. For example, they have bans against the niqab, or face veil, and hijab, and this is their right. As as a result, the UAE has Arab and Islamic culture and traditions and others should respect them if they like to stay and visit our country.”

Abdul Rahman Mohammad Al Owais, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, Head of the National Council of Tourism and Antiquities, seconded the demand. “The National Council of Tourism and Antiquities is doing its best by orienting and educating expats about the necessity to respect Emirati traditions, culture and norms,” he said.

Al Rahoumi appealed to the government to issue such a law in order to force both expats and tourists to dress modestly and to behave in a good manner that is in line with “our culture and tradition”.

“We are not asking them to wear niqab or to wear hijab; we seek them to respect our culture and to behave decently. For example, two foreigners were kissing in public at a mall in Dubai in a manner that made everyone to pause and stare at them. Such bad conduct will badly affect our siblings and youngsters,” Al Rahoumi said.

“Since malls are accessible to all people, we don’t accept being in a place where immoral acts and dresses are quite common,” he said.

He also stressed the need to create awareness among tourists and expatriates when they arrive in the country about what is acceptable and not.“The concerned parties should distribute brochures listing the rules. And posters should be everywhere in the airports and shopping malls to orient expats on how to behave,” Al Rahoumi said..

Comments (177)

  1. Added 19:07 June 13, 2012


    Shammas, Abudhabi, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 19:07 June 13, 2012

    Every one should respect each other.Each country has their own tradition ,which every one lives there has to take care.Don't over exploit the freedom which we are getting.So I wish where ever we lives we have to obey and respect that country's value.

    AJITH, DUBAI, India

  3. Added 18:49 June 13, 2012

    I have been here for six years and I have become more conservative in public areas with the way I dress. I agree that standards have dropped in public places. For a dress code to be implemented effectively, I think it will have to be done in a non-threatening way and be very media focused also. Comments that have been made about the banning of the hijab etc in some European countries in response to this issue is highly reckless. It is only banned in a couple or so countries. Muslims are free to practice their religion as much as the next religion. Surely that is all that should matter at the end of the day. Open-mindeness and respect are very important and we should keep this in mind daily whatever your nationality.

    anon, abu dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 18:36 June 13, 2012

    If they implement this rule, they should also implement a rule for proper hygene. Bad smell or body odour is more offensive than seeing someone wearing a shorts, especially if you are in a contained space like public buses, trains and taxis. Bad body odour or bad hygene is a health risk to the person and people around him/her.

    Jg, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 18:24 June 13, 2012

    I fully support a public decency law if that is what will help create a more cordial and understanding atmosphere. I am expat and I can identify with this difficulty. This type of dress is also offensive in my home Country too. Certainly I am sure my elderly parents do find cloths which leave nothing to the imagination shocking.

    Robert, Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 18:02 June 13, 2012

    I really Love & Like This initiative because UAE is a Muslim Country & Have their own culture. So any one living here should respect the culture of the country.

    Nice, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 17:56 June 13, 2012

    i\m glad to read this news but what i want is the implementation and that too soon,its really annoying to c people wearing minimal clothes in public places,though not cover ur head atleast try to wear decent clothing which covers max of ur body,as this is a muslim country n we have to respect the muslim traditions as much as we can.

    mrs.khan, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 17:39 June 13, 2012

    I believe there needs to be more awareness than a dress code law. Having lived abroad I know it is difficult for a lot of expats to be fully covered during summer. They dont do this to attract attention, but for comfort. I know there are others who wear really skimpy clothing for other purposes and i am not reffering to them. I also agree, kissing in the public and PDA is not a dress code issue, and if this were to be banned, I believe that they should also do something about these men who go around in their fancy cars and giving their numbers to girls and harassing them. I find this harassment even more troubling and worrying than a kiss.

    Aisha, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 17:30 June 13, 2012

    I have been living in Dubai for the last 6 years. And I am fully aware about the current situation here. It is a very good decision, hope it will be implemented.

    Nasar Muhammed, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 17:27 June 13, 2012

    If we leave everyone on the planet to do and behave as they wish then there is no difference in Animals & Human. Human society have their own set of principles and guidelines, which may differ from culture, region, or religion. which then becoms the identity of that particular area. If UAE is planning and taking an initiative to protect their culture and identity they MUST do it. its already late. As an expat i will 100% repect their feelings and shall follow the law.

    Safia, Dubai, India

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