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Qatar, despite its working condition controversy, is calling for modesty

The host of the 2022 World Cup is calling for tourists and visitors to dress modestly. But the country is still caught up in controversy.
Herb Scribner, Deseret News Modified: May 30, 2014 at 3:00 pm •  Published: June 2, 2014
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Qatar — a country caught up in controversy related to its slave-like working conditions — is focusing heavily in recent days on modesty.

For visitors in Qatar, clothing isn’t optional. It’s required — and in bunches. NBC News reported Thursday that Qatar wants tourists to cover up, specifically to dress modestly so that the locals aren’t offended.

“A grass-roots campaign set to launch next month implores ex-pats and tourists to recognize local values by covering up from their shoulders down to their knees,” Christina Boyle wrote for NBC News.

The campaign also includes a Twitter account — @Reflect_Respect — which in recent days offered tips to people on what they should or shouldn’t wear while in the country.

For women, dresses, skirts and clothing with a modest neckline are mostly acceptable, the account states. And both men and women shouldn’t be wearing beachwear when away from bodies of water, the account said.

Spokeswoman for the campaign, Umm Abdullah, talked to Doha News this week about what dressing modestly means for the country.

“People say they don’t meet enough Qatari people, but this is because we don’t want to go to these places and see these things,” she said to Doha News. “Our kids as well, we don’t want them to end up imitating this — we want to preserve our traditions and our values. They (ex-pats) have their own places where they don’t have to be covered — but we have the right to go to hospitals, to the market, to the malls, to the beach, without seeing these things.”