Qatar is set to launch a campaign in June encouraging tourists to dress modestly out of respect for the Islamic country’s strict culture.
The “Reflect Your Respect” campaign, led by the Qatar Islamic Cultural Center, has listed some advice and tips for tourists on how to dress modestly in preparation for the Football World Cup it is hosting in 2022, the Daily Mail reported.
Women and children will go to malls, beaches and other public places on June 20 passing out pamphlets to visitors with the message: “If you are in Qatar, you are one of us. Please dress modestly in public places.”
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“Leggings are not pants,” it adds. “These principles are in the text within the Global Tourism Ethics Law.”
As illustrated on the dress code diagram, short dresses, sleeveless clothing and crop tops are not allowed and men should not wear shorts or vests that reveal chest hair. Under each image is an “X” indicating inappropriate attire.
“We want to preserve our traditions and our values,” campaign spokeswoman Umm Abdullah said, according to Doha News. “[Expats] have their own places where they don’t have to be covered — but we have the right to go to hospitals, to the market, to the malls, to the beach, without seeing these things.”
While the dress code campaign is not officially sponsored by the Qatari government, the state’s tourism office advises that people should “dress modestly” when visiting the country, the Huffington Post reported.
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Article 57 of its constitution says, “[A]biding 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 campaign has received mixed reaction online.
One person on The Drum’s comments section wrote: “If this campaign ran in the UK it would be blasted for being ‘racist'. Why is it suddenly acceptable elsewhere, regardless of religious or cultural beliefs? Basic human rights should be accepted globally, not just where some see fit."