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Thursday, August 08, 2013


The word Dubai brings to any Indian's mind, crowded streets, India-like residential localities, ferries, multi-storied buildings, endless constructions, expatriate Indian workers, golden sand, palm date trees, Indian restaurants,  Sharjah cricket stadium, artificial palm islands archipelago resort and now Burj Khalifa, the tallest structure in the world. And of course, the local Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) operates the Dubai Metro also, other than ferries and buses. And Indians are always welcomed with open arms into this international beehive city of UAE. It is therefore quite shocking to hear such an incident even happened in Dubai last Saturday.

Yes! This is about the local news that a policeman near the punching gates of the Etisalat Metro Station prevented the 67 year old father of Madhumati from entering the metro clad in his, hold your breath, DHOTI. In spite of RTA claiming there is no such regulation or dress code that they are aware of, Madhumati told Gulf News that their pleading fell to deaf ears and her father was very upset at this incident.

"What has happened is really surprising. There is no official restriction from the RTA and we have not given instructions on dress codes," said Ramadan Abdullah, Director of Operations at the RTA's Rail Agency. "I think anything that covers the body and is respectable should be allowed. I believe it was a personal reaction on the part of the policeman and this matter will be investigated."

Abdullah urged the victim to approach the RTA with details of the incident which would help in the investigation. Madhumati has lodged a formal complaint in the matter.

Ramadan Abdullah? And this happened during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan? Chillingly coincidental! By the by, Abdullah originates from Abd Allah which means faithful servant of Allah. No wonder his reaction and action both exuded fairness. But the burning question is, can an Indian not roam the streets of Dubai in his traditional attire, especially when the mental image is of Kaili/Lungi clad Indians in Dubai?

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