By Neil Halligan
School reminds parents of adhering to UAE dress code when dropping off students
A Dubai school has issued a warning to mothers to respect the UAE’s dress code when dropping children off.
Dubai newspaper 7Days reports that Raffles World Academy has posted a notice at its entrance asking mothers to cover up when they are doing the school run.
The notice, which also includes a drawing of four women violating the dress code, reads: “Parents & Visitors… We’d love to see you… but not that much of you! IF YOU ARE ON THIS LAND YOU ARE ONE OF US… Please respect the UAE dress code… Dress modestly… Keep shoulders and midriff covered… Keep shorts, skirts and dresses at knee length.”
The school’s principal, Julian Williams, also reminded parents to adhere to the UAE dress code when on campus.
The international school has a student population of 1,900 who come from more than 80 countries.
A spokesperson for the school told 7Days: “We have new students joining us every year from all parts of the world and the poster is a humorous take on getting the message of ‘appropriate dress’ – in accordance with the UAE customs – across to our parents in a positive manner. For us, respecting the UAE culture is of paramount importance.”
It is absolutely ridiculous the way western expats dress themselves in public. In spite of sign boards and awareness articles to dress modestly and cover up - women are least bothered to do anything towards it. Its shameful when you are with family and kids, and you enter a prestigious mall like Dubai Mall or Mall of Emirates etc., and you come across all these women/girls wearing low cut dresses, mini skirts, transparent tops and skirts - so transparent that we can LITERALLY see their undergarments and the color!
What is so difficult in understanding that this is not the west and the cultural traditions here are different. You can wear such stuff in night clubs, private parties, but not in public! Just because the Government respects your privacy and make you feel welcome, does not mean we take it for granted
Kuddos to Raffles World Academy and 7Days for touching an excellent topic which is so common every day, but was difficult to be talked so open.
Its really shameful. It is not common at the schools entrance every morning but very common all over residential areas when ladies even come down to drop their kids to the school bus.
Hope this will extend a learning message to ladies to respect the local traditions.
If you can see the underwear AND the color, perhaps you shouldnt be seeing in the first place, no?
Dubaiâ€™s cultural heritage is becoming more and more unnoticeable due to itâ€™s a western faÃ§ade, decided and approved by its leaders. This western facade has been the motor of Dubaiâ€™s success and one must expect its consequences. This is why many people behave as if they are in the west. And many people visit Dubai for the same reason.
Nowhere in the world (apart from this region) has countries mess up with what each individual worn! No one can force anyone else to be like they are. All should be educated enough to handle diversity. Dubai or any other nation cant isolate themselves from the rest of the world for too long, unless it aspires to become like KSA.
If Dubai wants to impose its interpretation of dressing code on visitors, they should clearly state this requirement on their tourist campaigns. Soon it will be noticeable the impact on Dubai itself.
The current Dubai promotional campaigns hide this restriction.
Like we say in UK, If you dont like what you see, then turn your eye away. Dubai is a free and liberal city and have embraced the life style and culture of UK. So why all the fuss.
Well said Mosa. As an expat, the drop in standards over the past few years is extraordinary. What happened to the roaming security in malls politely reminding people of dress codes? It's a small ask after what Dubai has on offer for us as residents.
I think the disconnect is that Dubai portrays itself as a modern tolerant society with a highly diversified population. As the outside temperatures rise, people dress according to their cultural norms. I honestly don't think that when a woman who is not Muslim wears a sleeveless top is intending to disrespect the local culture, they are trying to cope with the high temperatures that are not the norm in their countries. The Muslim religion emphasizes religious devotion in how a woman dresses, but in the Christian religion, for example, teaches that we are set free from the old law which Muslims and Jews still follow. Understanding that how she dresses to drop off her children at school is appropriate to her and not offensive to anyone, nor does she intend to offend anyone. Bottom-line, this is a cultural clash and if locals can visit our countries and view us, then why can't they view us in their own country? Possibly what is not appropriate in the West should be evaluated in this rule?
This article is a disappointment and some of the comments are too. Why should persons get away with not adhering the standards of the country in which they live? Just because something is acceptable in the west, doesn't mean it should be acceptable here. I'm an expat and I'm no prude but I welcome the school reminding persons that we live in a different culture. This is nearly as bad as persons dropping the kids off in their PJ's then going to TESCO in the UK. It's quite simple put some clothes on, real clothes and switch the A/C on in the car, have a bit of pride in your appearance. If I can wear a suit for work, parents can wear some real clothes to drop the kids off at school!
I'm not muslim, Jewish or Catholic. I'm a brazilian young woman and very well used to wear short clothes outdoors, around the malls and beaches in my home country. It's natural and acceptable there. However, Dubai is NOT Rio! UAE is definitely NOT Brazil.
So why would I believe I can dress and behave the same way?!
It doesn't matter if Dubai is a bit more liberal or not, It all comes down to RESPECT. If they respect our "western views", our freedom, why can't we give back a bit of the same?
I really don't understand why some expats feel so offended when requested to dress a bit more modestly. Nobody is expecting you to wear an abaya+hijab if you don't want to; just cover up a bit your chest and legs; it is not going to kill you, I promise. It will only bring you respect and acceptance, as well as prove that not all expats can be put in the same basket.
Is it really so horrifying?
@Sarah-" but in the Christian religion, for example, teaches that we are set free from the old law which Muslims and Jews still follow" -which Bible do you follow that says that women should be scantily dressed??Modesty in dressing is very much part of New Testament Christianity..you of course, are free to follow your own fancies in dressing but dont bring Christianity into the debate..respectfully..GDavid