Modest dressing is very important when it comes to Qatar. Dressing improper may invite a fine or a jail term or may be both. All though Qatar National vision 2030 aspires to modernize and at the same time it focuses to preserve traditions and aims modernization around local culture and traditions.
In a guide for expats, Ministry of Interior mentions, ‘there are certain ethics and social codes that visitors and new residents in Qatar should observe. According to guidelines by MOI, expats are expected to wear decent clothes and women should avoid wearing any garments that are too tight, too short, or translucent such as mini-skirts or sleeveless dresses. Both men and women should also avoid walking around in their swimming suits away from beaches or swimming pools.
FINE AND JAIL
According to legal expert, dressing up indecently in public or in a way that you are not covered from shoulders to knees, can land you in jail for six months or make you pay a fine of up to QR3,000 or both.
Article 290 of Qatar’s Penal Code that specifies the punitive action also bars people from making indecent gestures at women, taunting, and singing songs looking at them or passing on phone numbers to women who are strangers. Article 290 of Qatar’s Penal Code can be invoked against those found disrespectful to local customs and traditions.
In fact article 57 of the country’s constitution stipulates that “abiding by public order and morality, observing national traditions and established customs is a duty of all who reside in the State of Qatar or enter its territory.”
THE CHALLENGE AHEAD
Before two years, a flyer campaign was also initiated asking men and women to dress up in a way that they are covered from shoulders to knees while in public.
Since the Qatari population is heavily outnumbered by foreigners, there is more concern in the local community about preserving their values, customs, and traditions.
VISION 2030 CHALLENGE
Qatar’s very rapid economic and population growth has created intense strains between the old and new in almost every aspect of life. The greater freedoms and wider choices that accompany economic and social progress pose a challenge to deep-rooted social values highly cherished by society. Yet it is possible to combine modern life with values and culture. Qatar’s National Vision responds to this challenge and seeks to connect and balance the old and the new.
How to you see Qatar moving ahead in balancing old and the new ?