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Friday, December 3, 2021

Has the heat brought out the hot pants? A question of Qatar’s dress code, part II

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As Qatar’s temperature rises, so too are hemlines at Qatar’s malls, according to a story in local Arabic newspaper Al Raya.

In an article published last week, author Aisha Buhadi asserts that more expat women are wearing short shorts and miniskirts – in violation of expectations of modest dress – and are creating friction with locals.

Here’s a translated excerpt from the story: 

(Qatari women) confirm that the scene has become provocative towards the feelings of many shoppers, and has often pushed some of them to directly criticise the women who don’t respect the customs and traditions of the conservative Gulf society.

And sometimes, the discussion turns into a heated dialogue, that ends up with the Qatari woman insisting that the naked (skimpily dressed) foreign women leave the shopping mall for violating the instructions that call for modest dressing.

This forces the mall security to take the indecent foreigner outside the shopping mall.

Al Raya’s English-language sister publication Gulf Times touches on that story again today, with a salesperson telling the newspaper that “displaying mini skirts and shorts and matching blouses is a must because they are very much in demand.”

Sheikh Tariq al-Kubaisi, referred to as a cleric, is meanwhile insisting that such attire “is a sign of loose morals and it must be checked by the authorities.”

It certainly isn’t the first time the issue of what constitutes appropriate dress in Qatar have been raised.

Just three months ago, a user posted on popular community forum Qatar Living that she was harassed at Villggio Mall for the way she was dressed.

What do you make of all this? Has what’s considered “appropriate” to wear become a bigger issue in Qatar? 

Credit: Photo by Omar Chatriwala

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