Men are no longer allowed to sell lingerie and women undergarments in UAE’s more conservative emirate, Sharjah. The decision came on Tuesday after an executive council session chaired by the emirate’s deputy ruler .
“The decision is in line with the care Sharjah aims to give women in society according to the teachings of Islamic Sharia, the traditions followed in society, and its keenness to maintain women’s privacy in all fields, in the shopping area in particular,” according to UAE’s online news agency, WAM.
Sultan Al Mualla, Director-General of Sharjah Municipality, told Gulf News that the rule was issued in 2010 by the Economic Department and that commercial outlets had one year to comply with the new rules.
“The rule was issued over a year ago and we gave the shopkeepers a grace period all this time so that they could arrange their staff accordingly,” Al Mualla said.
“Our role is to ensure that the rule is carried out, which will be monitored by municipality inspectors.”
Al Mualla said with immediate effect men would no longer be able to work in outlets that sell women’s undergarments and lingerie, but that they may continue to sell clothes and other related items.
“If the shops are found flouting the rules they will be given a warning,” Al Mualla said.
“If they repeat the offence they will be fined. If the offence is repeated a third time the shop will be closed down until they no longer have male employees.”
Sharjah has also banned the display of naked or underwear-clad mannequins, and according to the law the mannequins have to be headless.
The Sharjah Economic Development Department ordered 10 shops to close in March 2007 for flouting the rules.
In one of its radio advertisement in the UAE, the Canadian lingerie store, La Senza, had to replace the word “sexy” by “trendy” to avoid cultural sensitivities.
Courtesy of Alarabiya.net