Bring an expat and living in a country that is not your own means that you accept that things are done differently. That different things matter. And not only do you accept this but you respect it.
Which is why it drives me crazy when I walk round the malls in Dubai and see people milling round with bare shoulders and skirts or shorts that are basically up their bum.
Dubai is a Muslim country. True it’s not strict with those that visit or live here, there is no need for you to wear an abaya or a hijab but Dubai does demand some respect. It requests for you to be dressed appropriately when in public places. Which means shoulders and knees covered.
I have been guilty of not realising before and going out with bare shoulders, so to combat that I now ensure I always carry a cardigan (malls are freezing anyway so a cardigan is appreciated) or a pashmina. Or if worst case scenario a sick covered muslin.
It doesn’t take much and it’s not like there’s nowhere you can go and wear your bikini or your latest LBD it’s just there is a time and place. Beaches and pools are no problem. The hotels generally are also no problem, but I still prefer a pashmina when walking to and from licensed premises. Brunches again, a wonderful chance to show off whatever strappy number you have just bought.
Wandering round the mall?
Just no. It’s blatant disrespect and disregards the number of signs that are up at every entrance.
And it’s really not that hard to cover up, is it? We choose to come here, to live, to visit. We are aware of the culture. Therefore we should respect that. Please remember where you are and what lessons to teach our children about respect, and just cover up.