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Sunday, July 25, 2021

To avoid controversy, W Doha cancels Ukrainian DJs’ Christmas performance

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The W Doha said it has canceled an event tomorrow featuring two Ukrainian DJs following a local newspaper report discussing the young women’s penchant for performing while scantily clad.

“W Doha respects the culture and values of Qatar and to prevent any controversy we have canceled the event on the 25th and replaced it with another,” a representative told Doha News. The new show will feature resident DJ Greg and DJ Bliss.

Yesterday, a Peninsula article questioned the W’s decision to invite the DJs, known as the “Duo Diamonds,” to perform here given their reputation as sex symbols abroad.

The newspaper, which did not identify the hotel, reports:

Originally from Kiev, Duo Diamonds have been on the cover of a Russian adult magazine ‘XXL’ and took part in anniversary celebrations of Moscow’s FHM magazine, a publication that targets male audiences. They have also taken part in photo shoots for other magazines targeting men such as ‘Guts’ from France and ‘Loaded’ from Ukraine. 

It is not known if the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) is aware of the show but it has urged foreigners, including visitors and expatriates, to ‘dress modestly’ in public in line with the country’s customs and traditions.

The W Doha stressed that it has not received any criticism for hosting the DJs, but canceled their appearance as a pre-emptive measure.

Treading carefully

The hotel may have taken cues from other companies who have gotten flak lately for not treading carefully enough around local sensitivities. 

For example, during National Day celebrations last week, Qtel came under fire for publishing a video of a flash mob at Landmark mall.

The performance featured Qatari men doing traditional dance, women lip-singing patriotic songs and expats breakdancing all at the same time. Though many gave the flash mob positive reviews, the company removed the video after some locals criticized it as offensive and distasteful.

Still, not all Qataris agree that such restraint is the answer.

“I understand the importance of everyone dressing well and respecting the culture, but we’re jumping the gun here,” Khalifa Saleh Al Haroon, founder of ILoveQatar.net, told Doha News.

Al Haroon, a Qatari, added that the government screens performers before they are added to schedules. 

“These entertainers haven’t done anything wrong yet. They’ve already been instructed not to dress provocatively… Every time somebody has a problem and somebody complains, is that going to stop entertainment from happening?”

Thoughts?

Credit: Photo courtesy of W Doha’s Facebook page

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