People are flocking to United Arab Emirates like it’s going out of style. Perhaps we can blame Carrie Bradshaw and the gang, or maybe it’s just because the weather is so awesome. However there’s a problem with all these foreigners infiltrating the area — they’re dressing and acting as they would in their own country with a total disregard to the culture in which they’re staying.

The indecency code is being violated left and right. But what constitutes indecency in that part of the world? Well the shit us Americans pull on a nightly basis to be honest. Drinking in bars? Wrong. PDA? Wrong. Fucking if you’re not married? Wrong. So wrong, in fact, that you will find yourself facing a judge because of it. And forget about getting it on in public — that behavior is not tolerated.

So as the tourists increase, some people aren’t down with the situation and the Western fashion that is taking hold and disrupting their everyday life. As Asma al-Muhairi points out, seeing “scantily-clad” lady tourists is not OK in her book so she wants to remedy the situation.

“While going to a mall, I saw two ladies wearing … I can’t say even shorts. It was underwear,” said al-Muhairi, whose black abaya – a long garment worn by conservative Gulf women – is offset by a gold Versace watch and egg-shell blue handbag.

“Really, they were not shorts,” she said. “I was standing and thinking: `Why is this continuing? Why is it in the mall? I see families. I see kids around.'”

Families and kids should not be subjected to such things! (So says this Westerner who sits in her undies as she writes this.)

Although it’s mostly the Emiratis who have an issue with this, and they make up only 10% of the the 8 million people livng in the Gulf nation, it might be a hard rule to pass. However, those who are offended by these tourists and their complete lack of respect for the religion and the culture of the country in which they’re visiting, are hoping to fight back and change the rules.

While this small group fights the good fight, one has to wonder if it’s fair. Should you have to tone down you just because you’re traveling to a different country? So many tone down themselves in certain situations in their personal and professional life (ie. covering tattoos at jobs and family dinners, etc), but if you’re on vacation should you have to do that? And if you do, will it prevent you from visiting a country because of it? To be honest, considering the heat there, if I wore to visit, you would not see me in a black abaya; you’d see me the way I dress on any given, sweaty day in NYC:  too much skin exposed to swallow. It’s not out of lack of respect, it’s just me.


Photo: Warner Bros.