Qatar launches campaign for 'modest' dress code for tourists

Campaigners say they want to preserve the Islamic country's culture and values

Qatar has launched a social media campaign urging tourists to dress “modestly” in public and respect the Islamic country’s values.

Along with a Twitter and Instagram account, “reflect your respect” leaflets are being handed out with diagrams of what is and is not acceptable.

Short dresses, sleeveless clothing and crop tops are banned for women, while men are also told not to wear shorts and vest tops revealing their chest.

A leaflet handed out as part of the campaign reads: “If you are in Qatar, you are one of us. Help us preserve Qatar’s culture and values, please dress modestly in public places.”

It urges people to cover up from their shoulders to knees and avoid leggings.

Qatar’s Islamic Culture Centre has launched previous initiatives to educate foreigners on dress codes.

“The amount of immodest clothing is growing in public places, especially shopping malls. Such foreigner behaviour conflicts with our traditions,” Nasser Al Maliki, the centre’s public relations chief told Gulf News.

“We do not want our kids to be exposed to it or learn from it, and that’s why we will start this campaign.”

Qatar, which will host the World Cup in 2022, has a population of just over 2 million people and uses Sharia law as the main source of its legislation.

It is home to about 17,500 British nationals and 40,000 more visit every year, according to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

Men and women wearing traditional Qatari clothing visit the waterfront along the Persian Gulf in Doha, Qatar. With the highest GDP per capita in the world and large natural gas and oil reserves, it attracts thousands of ex-pats for work.

Article 57 of its constitution stipulates that it is a “duty of all” who reside in or enter the country to “abide by public order and morality, observe national traditions and established customs”.

Wearing clothes considered indecent is illegal and uttering “indecent phrases” or doing anything thought obscene in public is punishable with a fine and up to six months in prison.

Kissing or physical intimacy between couples is forbidden, as is homosexuality.

The campaign reflects the FCO’s advice for visitors to respect local customs and laws at all times and ensure their actions do not offend other cultures or religious beliefs.

Official travel advice states that people should “dress modestly” in public and repeats guidance about covering shoulders and knees.

The “reflect your respect” campaign has drawn a mixed response on Twitter.

It will officially be launched in June with leafleting in public places.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Fans line up at the AVNs, straining to capture a photo of their favourite star
life Tim Walker asks how much longer it can flesh out an existence
Life and Style
Every minute of every day, Twitter is awash with anger as we seek to let these organisations know precisely what we think of them
techWhen it comes to vitriol, no one on attracts our ire more than big businesses offering bad service
News
Professor David Nutt wants to change the way gravely ill patients are treated in Britain
people Why does a former Government tsar believe that mind-altering drugs have a place on prescription?
News
Norway’s ‘The Nordland Line – Minute by Minute, Season by Season’ continues the trend of slow TV
television
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
art
Sport
Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to an FA charge for spitting at Papiss Cisse
football
Life and Style
Kate Moss will make a cameo appearance in David Walliams' The Boy in the Dress
fashion
News
The image released by the Salvation Army, using 'The Dress'
news
Sport
Liverpool defender Kolo Toure
football Defender could make history in the FA Cup, but African Cup of Nations win means he's already content
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Consultant - London - £65,000 OTE.

£65000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Engineer - central London ...

Recruitment Genius: Physiotherapist / Sports Therapist

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Physiotherapist / Sports Ther...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive / Advisor

£8 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives / Advisors are required...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Operative

£14000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable