#UAEDressCode: A Tool for Judgement, or Education?

Sign requesting people to wear "respectful clothing."  Image via sandierpastures.com.

A few years back, when shopping malls turned into major destination for shoppers and tourists in the United Arab Emirates, the issue of how men and women appear in public began to gain greater attention. Mall entrances have come to carry signs and instructions relating not only to pets, trash, bicycles and skaters, but dress codes as well.  In a cosmopolitan society, the idea of modesty does not have a clear definition; it just refers to wearing clothes that do not resemble wearing a swimming … [Read more...]

A Muslim Woman Worth Her Salt

The latest additions to the collection...

So I never really envisioned this being a topic worth mentioning on MMW.  However, for reasons that will become clear in a minute (or already, for most of you, given the photo attached to this post), it has become unexpectedly relevant to tell you that my family has an impressively (or embarrassingly, depending on who you ask) large collection of salt and pepper shakers - the more ridiculous and tacky, the better.  It started a long time ago with salt and pepper shakers shaped like very ugly t … [Read more...]

Book Review: Desperate in Dubai

Cover of Desperate in Dubai.

Desperate in Dubai, a cheeky exposé novel based on the original blog written by Ameera al-Hakawati (a pseudonym), revolves around the lives of four women who live, love, and labour in the sparkling Gulf city of Dubai.I recently had the chance to catch up with al-Hakawati in Dubai, to chat about her book, her faith, and the politics of anonymous writing as a Muslim woman.British-born Al-Hakawati says she knew she had to write a book about Dubai the moment she arrived in what she … [Read more...]

Common Ground: Sexist Ramadan “Mistakes”

For many of us, the last few weeks before the start of Ramadan mark a time to prepare ourselves mentally and spiritually for gaining the benefits of the month ahead.As such, the mass email forwards began arriving in my inbox in early August, with lists prepared by various Muslim institutions gently reminding the faithful to beware of the “Common Mistakes Made During Ramadan.”The Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department of Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, recently published one … [Read more...]

Random WTF – Financial Times Edition

Last Friday, the Financial Times covered the "richest race meeting in the world", the 2009 Dubai World Cup. What do you think might best illustrate a story about horse racing in Dubai?Two Arab women in abayas contrasted with a white girl in a short dress. Of course!This is really just a preview of what's to come, because the Financial Times' Robin Oakley can't seem to get enough of those abaya-wearin' ladies: when describing the atmosphere, s/he states: "Women in black abayas, some wearing … [Read more...]

All About Eve: a Women’s Only Business Complex in Dubai

Dubai's leading U.A.E.-based international property developer, Hydra Properties, recently announced plans to build an all-female office tower for businesswomen.I have mixed feelings about this.On one hand, I dislike it because it promotes segregation of the sexes and further perpetuates the idea that women need 'different' facilities in order to succeed in the workforce.This article in Emirates Business 24/7 paints the development as a Utopian picture (and for some reason gives us at the … [Read more...]


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