UAE: Western bathing suits banned on tourist beaches

Muslims troubled by bikinis, hugging and kissing in public

23 April, 19:35

    UAE: Western bathing suits banned on tourist beaches UAE: Western bathing suits banned on tourist beaches

    (ANSAmed) - ROME - United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities have banned women's bikinis and tight bathing suits for men on public beaches, UAE daily The National reported on Tuesday.

    Large seaside billboards have sprung up recently near Western tourist hotels, reminding everyone to ''respect public morals and dress modestly'' or incur a fine. While foreigners and tourists have so far mingled with burqa and hijab-clad locals on the UAE's non gender-segregated beaches, their presence, their bikinis and their tendency to hug and kiss in public have been deemed offensive by the traditional Islamic majority. The local population reportedly welcomed the Western bathing suit ban.

    ''I am absolutely in favor of banning bikinis because they are not respectful of our beaches'', Hessa Ahmed, a wife and mother of two, told The National. She once fled the beach with her children when a Western couple lay down nearby. ''She was wearing a two-piece and I was afraid she might take her top off.

    I did not want my children seeing such obscenities'', Ahmed said.

    While the Emirates want to attract international tourists and investments, they must take into account their traditional population, which is unprepared for coexistence with non-Muslim cultures. A recent survey showed six out of ten citizens believe foreigners do not respect local values, and a December 2012 Twitter campaign called for ad hoc legislation forcing non-Muslims to dress modestly. (@pinna_elisa) (ANSAmed).

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