Not with that thing on, sister

Published: December 20, 2011

In the thriving, modern metropolis of Dubai, women who wear hijabs are not allowed to enter nightclubs. PHOTO: REUTERS

So it turns out, I cannot enter a nightclub in Dubai.

To those who haven’t ever visited the city, Dubai is a place where there are more nightclubs than mosques. Here, alcohol is a ready consolation for all and sundry. When I was visiting, I was forced to put a pillow over my head in a desperate attempt to drown out the noise from the clubs nearby. In Dubai, according to the Emirati who drove our Land Cruiser over sand dunes for the desert safari earlier in the day:

“We Dubai people, we do this every day. We get tired of clubbing and partying, we take our cars over the sand and have some desert fun.”

However, I, a hijabi was denied entrance in a club in Dubai.

To put it in the words of the huge bouncer who refused me entry, while encircling his head with his hand to imitate the Palestinian checkered scarf on my head:

“You can’t go where there is free distribution of alcohol with that thing on.”

So astounded was I, that the only comeback that came to my mind was:

“So you think hijabis don’t party eh?”

In hindsight, this was probably not the best retort considering he knows we’re neither allowed, nor is it really our cup of tea – pun intended.

I left Dubai wondering that if I was treated like this here, I might as well forget about going to Europe.

You might think that I over-reacted or got unnecessarily stung. You might even be wondering why in the world a hijabi girl would want to get into a nightclub in any case.

Well, we’re curious too, you know. We were in Dubai, we didn’t want to sleep, and I was itching to see what the hype about clubbing actually was. I don’t drink and dance – yes, I know this defeats the actual purpose of going to a club – but what if I did? What if I wore a hijab and enjoyed swaying to some trance? Or what if I didn’t wear a hijab and still didn’t dance or drink? How would they know not to let me in? And what about the boys? Why is it that all  boys, devout or not, have the freedom of entering a club, but not all girls?  Would the bouncer exercise the same discrimination on a man whose pants were above his ankles? Would this bouncer even be able to differentiate these men in a sea of sweaty bandanas and bermudas? Why did they let me enter the desert safari camp for dinner and allow me to see a belly dance? There was the dance and bottles of Jack went around, but no one said, “Hey, get that covered one out from the camp first”.

I know an entire debate can ensue on how a Muslim simply should not be in a club to begin with; I do not want to indulge in this debate. This is not the point of my post. I am no fan of nightclubs, and I probably would have made my way out in less than five minutes. In fact, if granted entry, I might not have availed it. But that’s completely beside the point. It’s the funny rule that baffles me; it is just the really pointless segmented enforcement. I mean, if you’re a girl and cover your head, you can’t do anything else, but if you’re anything besides that, then the world’s your oyster. Next time a gypsy head-band might do the trick for me, just for the heck of saying, “Gotcha!”

I wonder if this rule stems from the concern of protecting Islamic values. If this is the case, then here’s an idea: do away with the clubs and the alcohol? Oh no, but then how will people make money? How will Dubai be the city of gold if there is no place to celebrate its overflowing opulence? Where would my Emirati friend go if he gets tired of trampling the dunes under his four wheels? Turns out you also need a license to buy and consume alcohol, but not one to sell it. Because, of course you don’t want to let your Muslim brothers touch the liquor, but selling to the others, that’s just business.

I think more than anything, Dubai has confused and amused me.

Nuvaira.A

Nuvaira A

A business graduate from IBA who loves art.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • http://zaidzamanhamid.wordpress.com/ Zaid Hamid

    Dubai discos are run by Israel and since you were wearing Palestine style hijab you were denied entry to the club. Israel is behind it. Believe me. I know everything.Recommend

  • Captain Obvious

    Who is confused here?Recommend

  • Justice

    You may try Afghanistan, my be Taliban does not impose such inhuman restrictions in night clubs of Kabul. Recommend

  • xzy

    Yup you really are confused. Let ‘kafirs’ enjoy all that booze and haram music, why are you (a muslima) incited to go to a club?
    And when you weren’t able to, you shout ‘do away with them clubs then I wont have a reason to visit one‘ philosophy.
    Why can’t you control your curiosity of visiting a club.
    I though control over your ‘nafs’ is the Greatest JIHAD, eh?Recommend

  • an A level student

    tht guard wouldnt have let a bearded man in shalwarkameez enter either. . . .its strange though. . =P
    Btw where were all these nightclubs anyway. . .i didnt see a single one .. Wen i went to dubai =DRecommend

  • Qaisrani

    Same is the case with skirt wearing women who are not allowed to enter the places of worship.Have they ever complained??

    Every place has it’s own code of conduct so we must not complain about that.You already have given the answer in your own article.What the hijabi has to do with the club?

    People must come out of this perceived persecuted mentality.You go there by your choice,refused entry which you knew in advance and now you complain posing yourself not treated well.What a hypocrisy?Recommend

  • xzy

    A hijabi cannot enter a club in this
    modern, thriving metropolis.

    A topless club dancer cannot enter a mosque in this modern thriving city too I believe. Isn’t that a discrimination?Recommend

  • an A level student

    thats strange! By the way, those guards wouldnt have let in a bearded man in shalwar kameez either.
    I didnt see a single club in dubai. .while i was there for vacations. . .i wonder where they are =PRecommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/430/faraz-talat/ Faraz Talat

    Would you be equally outraged if a woman in shorts is denied entry into a mosque? Would you write an angry blog complaining how a “woman in shorts cannot enter a mosque in this modern, thriving metropolis?”

    Every place has its own dress code, and should you refuse to follow it, it’s perfectly reasonable for them to ask you to change into something more appropriate for the venue of the occasion.Recommend

  • Radians

    ermm…hypocrisy in of itself is a major sin…but man these modernist Muslims…always gets me thinking:DRecommend

  • Muhammad Ali

    So sad to see what our muslim country is becoming. Recommend

  • Kay Jay

    Great.. Recommend

  • narayana murthy

    The Author says “A hijabi cannot enter a club in this modern, thriving metropolis.”

    Pity you for you do not understand the meaning of the word modern.

    Modern does not mean, westernized. Modern does not mean consuming alcohol, disco dancing or doing drugs.

    Modern is when one’s thoughts are modern. When he clearly sees what is right from what is wrong. Modern is when you have good modern (up to date) educational institutions, research felicities, hospitals with modern (state of the art) technologies, technology to improve the quality of life like rocket/satellite, telecommunication, manufacturing automobiles, manufacturing electronics etc.

    So, what is modern about Dubai? Dubai is in fact one of the most hypocritical/fake cities, living on a bubble that’s about to burst.Recommend

  • Girl

    curiosity kills the cat? sorry but you got me confused. The nightclub the drink the dance the company. Kills the whole purpose of the hijab.Recommend

  • Faisal

    I like the courage and the boldness with which you put forward your case. Getting an entry into a nightclub should be totally irrelevant to whether you are religious or not. Plus, why the hell do we have a stigma against apparently devout Muslim women (judging form their apparel) engaging in activities that are perhaps seen as “unislamic”. It is their choice and we can’t simply be judgemental, that is not my business. At first I thought this article would be another piece on Muslim feminism but it got me thinking when I reached the end. Good Job!Recommend

  • Modazul

    Well yeah I guess it’s about a hijab girl in a nightclub so it looks bad. Lol just imagine a guy in a nightclub in Europe and his name is Muhammad. Guess how weird it would feel if his friend shouts his name in the club saying ‘Hey Muhammad!!’ lolRecommend

  • Maha Mahira Waseem

    Yes,it is true..
    When i visited Dubai back in 2005,i experienced a similar situation.We were staying at the Capital Hotel,which houses the famous “Xanadu” on it’s ground floor. My sisters and myself,adorned in hijab and abayas, tried to enter the Xanadu. Why? Mere Curiosity… Of course,we would have come out in a jiffy anyway..A man standing at the entrance started tutting away when he saw us trying to enter. And yes,we were denied.
    I agree with the writer here,on what basis and why, do they discriminate..Recommend

  • LOL

    “In the thriving, modern metropolis of Dubai, women who wear hijabs are not allowed to enter nightclubs”

    LOLRecommend

  • 10th

    Would the bouncer exercise the same discrimination on a man whose pants were above his ankles? Would this bouncer even be able to differentiate these men in a sea of sweaty bandanas and bermudas?

    Sweaty bandanas and bermudas in a nightclub? I’ll just assume you’ve never been to a nightclub before then.Recommend

  • Ibrar

    What you witnessed is just another example of double standards which not just Emiratees but all Muslims have set for themselves.But still You shouldn’t have gone there at very first place knowing the fact how those who follow religion are treated these days, and the bouncer probably thought this “hijabi” might create a trouble inside so its better to keep her off.So you see, it wasn’t his fault if he didn’t let you in.This is how Muslims are seen in the world today, as terrorists and trouble creators. Recommend

  • Gullible Nomore

    So I don’t quite get what to take from this blog. So you want equal opportunities even when you wear a hijab, and your measuring stick of that equal opportunity was the permission to enter a club freely? Or are you annoyed that you’re being judged for wearing a hijab? Isn’t being judged as a pious muslim the sole purpose of wearing a hijab? If you’re being “discriminated” (as you put it) then isn’t that what you wanted to begin with when you wrap a piece of cloth around your head? Sorry i’m just totally confused by what exactly are you whining about. Recommend

  • Err

    I live in Dubai, and I know for a fact that its not just hijabis, but even men in local attire of Kandooras banned from entering clubs. Other even discriminate on the basis of whether you are wearing approp club attire, and you will be turned away for wearing sneakers or looking too casual. Some clubs even discriminate based on colour, and there have been numerous instances of Asians been turned away from predominantly club. This is not UAE policy, this is individual club policy.I am in complete support of hijabis, but seriously a club is not the forum for challenging prejudicial hijabi stereotype narratives.
    Try getting into Boujis in London or the Moulin Rouge in Paris with a hijab, and then come back and write another whiny article about why you were judged at the door.Recommend

  • murtaza

    a woman in skirts cant do so many thing …….right ?Recommend

  • Desi Lawyer

    I’m beyond shocked and appalled on MOST of the comments on here! Hypocrites, you all are! Disgusting!Recommend

  • Nuvaira

    @xzy:

    (and this is directed to a lot of others as well who are saying the same thing and thereby again want to go into a debate i have already stated is not the direction this is supposed to be)

    you are completely missing my point. The reason for this blog is to highlight the weird and ineffective rule that is there. If you can stop judging me for a moment you will see that i am trying to point out the pointlessness of banning a hijabi from a nightclub for reasons that there is alcohol when there is absolutely free selling of alcohol EVERYWHERE. i mean really how pea sized brain does one have to be to see that the rule does nothing. period. if i wanted alcohol i would get it from anywhere. if i wanted a dance party i really would arrange one and no one would be able to do anything about it. i have stated granted entry “i would not have entered anyway.” But when the bouncer stated i wasn’t allowed it enter, i was like really?! what point does that serve! and you are also missing the point where a woman’s hijab is taken at face value. does that mean all the boys are free to choose whether to go in or not and the woman doesn’t? u do realize there is no difference as to how religious a man or a woman can be.Recommend

  • Nuvaira

    @Qaisrani:

    what the hijabi has got to do with a nightclub is the hijabis business not an authority which is ok with selling alcohol to make money and actually having nightclubs to entertain investors whose money they live on. please try to get the point of the blog and not harp on things that ive already stated are NOT the reason for this blog.Recommend

  • Nuvaira

    @narayana murthy:

    ET edited the blog. i didn’t include this statement. I agree with you. my definition of modern does not include the presence of nightclubs or bars for that matter. Recommend

  • Nuvaira

    @Girl:

    yes but u think the authorities are the guardians of the hijab? authorities who wold make money off alcohol, have the right to enforce what is Islamically right or wrong? the reason i tried to enter was half to see the reaction. I mean seriously, Dubai, of all places should let the choice be the persons own. or if theyre so concerned, then stop making money off it too.Recommend

  • sidjeen

    in pakistan you can get capital punishment for burning a few pages of a certain book its the law you see now i agree with you laws can be stupid but hey as long as its not me receiving the punishment who cares!Recommend

  • Nuvaira

    @xzy:

    hmmm so you cover up for the mosque out of respect and strip down for the club for what exactly? and if nightclub was a religious place and being skimpily clothed was a requirement i wont even think about it just like a topless dancer wont even think about going to the mosque like that. The reason i got was: i cant go where there is free distribution of alcohol. how the hell does that make sense when there’s alcohol everywhere.Recommend

  • Amna

    @Faraz Talat: you’re absolutely right!Recommend

  • Anthony Permal

    What a load of BS!

    Jeez, talk about using the same ill-informed arguments that some in the West use to define Pakistan!

    Did you know there is a GOVERNMENT rule in place that no nightclub can allow anyone with a hijab, niqab or kandoorah (UAE national dress for men) inside?

    Did you know that you’re wrong, there are more mosques than nightclubs here?

    Did you know that clubs are only present INSIDE hotels (with the exception of just 4 or 5 which are on the beach and even those are on hotel premises) meaning that ‘pillow’ example you gave is an exception rather than the rule? I live NEXT to one of the most popular clubs in Dubai, adjacent building FACING the club and I can’t hear a single vibration let alone noise.

    Let me guess, you didn’t read up on the rules of law for a country you were visiting? And even better, your EMIRATI friend didn’t tell you it was illegal for him / her to enter in the first place if dressed in national attire?

    The most ridiculous opinionated piece I’ve ever read on Tribune. Recommend

  • Parvez

    The first comment by Zahid Hamid was funny.
    Frankly the bouncer at the door was a goof, he should have let you in, it was no big thing.
    Why didn’t you try another club ?Recommend

  • Adeel Baluch

    Thats some real descrimination! in my opinion, dubai itself is one big whorehouse!Recommend

  • Indi-Pop

    Denial of entry has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with western attire. Even in India most nightclubs do not allow entry of salwar suit or sari clad women. Only jeans,skirts and other forms of western attire are welcome. It is the unwritten rule for nightclubs everywhere. They want a certain type of crowd to enter nightclubs only. According to nightclubs it increases their exclusivity. This has to led to debate and heavy criticism in India because of which nightclubs have started ‘traditional’ days, which allows local attire on certain days only. I believe it is discriminatory , but look on other hand , isn’t a certain type of dress expected of you when you enter a temple, gurudwara or dargah. It is an unwritten role which you cannot deny. I guess nightclubs have their own set of rules and you’ve got to follow them if you wish to be a part of that lifestyle or else don’t visit such places, simple.Recommend

  • Kiran

    Firstly, I must say that this blog fails to make any point whatsoever. I don’t know what sleazy part of Dubai you visited, where you had to drown out the noise, and there are more clubs than mosques? I mean, really…

    Having lived here for sometime now I can tell you, that clubbing and consumption of alcohol is not ‘in your face’ and limited to clubs within hotels and restaurants that are licensed to sell. A lot of other Muslim countries like Malaysia eg sell and advertise liquor at food courts in the mall even and to an offensive level. I can tell you from living here that the balance is there and western expats are aware and respectful of that.

    There are some very good things that people who visit tend to overlook, because they are too obsessed to just check out the clubbing scene and then complain about the sleaze factor. There are abundant mosques in Dubai. Ramadan is celebrated in worship in the most amazing way with prayers everywhere, there are plenty of suhoor and Iftar places as well. Point is, the choice is entirely up to you. 90 percent of the economy is supported by expats, so a certain lifestyle is available which is why they are happy to come and work here. But nobody is forcing anyone to opt for that lifestyle.

    As for the hijab, I get that you want to go for kicks, but instead of making it a conspiracy, just like there is a black tie, formal attire event or mosques require a certain dress code, so do night clubs. And hijab and night club are too ends of a spectrum and contradictory to some extent. There are tourist attractions in Dubai, beyond night clubs, the choice is entirely up to you. You want to go to the party joints and will come out complaining that guys were staring at you. Well, what did you expect? You’re at a night club! Recommend

  • Kiran

    Firstly, I must say that this blog fails to make any point whatsoever. I don’t know what sleazy part of Dubai you visited, where you had to drown out the noise, and there are more clubs than mosques? I mean, really…

    Having lived here for sometime now I can tell you, that clubbing and consumption of alcohol is not ‘in your face’ and is limited to clubs within hotels and restaurants that are licensed to sell. A lot of other Muslim countries like Malaysia eg sell and advertise liquor at food courts in the mall even and to an offensive level. I can tell you from living here that the balance is there and western expats are aware and respectful of that.

    There are some very good things that people who visit tend to overlook, because they are too obsessed to just check out the clubbing scene and then complain about the sleaze factor. There are abundant mosques in Dubai. Ramadan is celebrated in worship in the most amazing way with prayers everywhere, there are plenty of suhoor and Iftar places as well. Point is, the choice is entirely up to you. 90 percent of the economy is supported by expats, so a certain lifestyle is available which is why they are happy to come and work here. But nobody is forcing anyone to opt for that lifestyle.

    As for the hijab, I get that you want to go for kicks, but instead of making it a conspiracy, just like there is a black tie, formal attire event or mosques require a certain dress code, so do night clubs. And hijab and night club are too ends of a spectrum and contradictory to some extent. There are tourist attractions in Dubai, beyond night clubs, the choice is entirely up to you. You want to go to the party joints and will come out complaining that guys were staring at you. Well, what did you expect? You’re at a night club! Recommend

  • G. Din

    @Nuvaira:
    “The reason for this blog is to highlight the weird and ineffective rule that is there. “
    You were not allowed to enter. So, it was effective, wasn’t it? The problem is this holier-than-thou, smarter-than-thou attitude of Muslims towards everything, everyone non-Muslim. You are always the rebel when Islam doesn’t tolerate even suggestion of a rebellion. The result – you always get into trouble!
    @narayana murthy:
    “So, what is modern about Dubai? “
    So, the world asks:”what is modern about “hijab”? Why wear it? To provoke, that is why!Recommend

  • myra

    @Faraz Talat:
    please understand the difference between a place of worship and a place of entertainment.
    i agree with the writer whole heartedly. what if she had covered her head with a scarf or bandanna or something? there was no reason to deny her entry. whether she chooses to wear a sari or a hijab or a mini skirt or aba’aya or whatever, its her choice. Recommend

  • N A Layak

    Did you sit down quietly and think through the issue before wasting paper and ink? Recommend

  • Sophia

    The mere fact that you wanted to explore the nightclub scene with your attire has confused your audience! Silly argument. Recommend

  • Qaisrani

    @Nauvaira

    With due respect,let me say that you yourself are confused as what did you want to say.
    It’s not me who commented like this way,have a careful look at each and every comment,you will find more or less same comments.Either you could not elaborate your idea well or whatever has been commented is true.For me,the 2nd argument is right.

    Please d’not take my comments as derogatory.Recommend

  • Shayan Afzal Khan

    Nuvaira – you found it amusing and confusing. let me assure you, Dubai is the place that is confused and hypocritical. Not only do they have clubs, and serve alcohol (even to underage kids), they actually have a law that disallows anyone in any ‘national dress’ to enter a club. They obviously do not think that Western pants/shirts/dresses constitute a ‘national dress.’ So, never make the mistake of trying to enter a Dubai club wearing a shalwar kameez – make sure you take the shalwar off before trying to get in!!

    It is also technically illegal to consume or serve alcohol anywhere other than in a licensed hotel (which is why most clubs are in hotels, as are most restaurants that serve alcohol). It is also illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to be out (anywhere, even walking, or at a supermarket, or restaurant) without an adult guardian accompanying them.

    And, if you are a gora, you are more likely to get away with breaking these laws. If you are Pakistani – chances are you will get picked on anyway, as Emiraties don’t really like us much. That’s the way the cookie crumbles!Recommend

  • Anthony Permal

    Fact: the UAE has a clear, easily readable law forbidding ANY establishment that serves alcohol to allow anyone dressed in UAE national attire (including anyone with a hijab, niqab or kandoora). Violation of this will provide an immediate closure of the establishment for 30 days and a fine of AED 10,000.

    So no, it has nothing to do with any prejudice on the club or bouncers’ part.Recommend

  • gp65

    Many poster here have called out the unreasonable expectation of the author that clubs do not have any rights to enforce a dress code. Rightly so. Yet I recall that when Canada brought a law that during citizenship oath taking ceremony a person could not be wearing a burqa that covered their face everyone jumped in to criticize Canada. I guess different standards for Dubai than Canada – eh?Recommend

  • Cynical

    The bouncers had no right to deprive the patrons of watching a hijabi drinking milkshake in a night club. Recommend

  • cornflake

    you don’t drink,don’t dance yet you are curious about how it looks or smells.. then you come up with a baffling statement like this
    “i have stated granted entry “i would not have entered anyway.”
    whole point in this article is ,how dare the bouncer had barred you from entering the pub, though you wouldn’t have entered if he had allowed you. now i am almost dumbfounded/perplexed with your venting…So,what is that you are curious about.??,i feel you are more curious about the bouncer than the pub itself.Recommend

  • Samir

    This is a silly blog post. Nightclubs, just like places of worship, have a dress code. If you don’t like the dress code, don’t give them the honor of your business. A nightclub is a private business and can choose to set its own rules.

    Nightclubs all over the world discriminate on clothing, wealth, looks, gender (women have an easier time getting into most nightclubs targeting heterosexuals), etc. In Russia, there is something called “Face Control” – there is literally a bouncer at the front who determines if you are attractive enough to get in to the club or else you have to spend a lot of money (on alcohol) to get in via bottle service.

    You clearly don’t understand how nightclubs work. A nightclub is a place people go to party. I totally support your right to wear a hijab anywhere you want and exercise your approach to practicing your religion but let’s be honest, a hijab does not scream out “party time”.

    But hey, in Pakistan, we always want to be victims and yet not value diversity in our own country.Recommend

  • zalim singh

    Fair enough. Dubai is the steam valve of middle east.Recommend

  • Nojeba

    Completely agree with Qaisarani. Theres a saying ” when in Rome, do as the Romans do” You cant enter a mosque in a skirt, then why did you bother going to a club in a hijab in the 1st place? I dont wear hijab in regular life, but I used to work for an Islamic bank where as per rules I had to wear Hijab in office. It was a code of conduct, so I did. I wasnt allowed to work in the bank if I didnt, if I didnt wear Hijab I would be denied employment in that bank. Its the same way.

    As far as being jugded is concerned, it happens to everyone. And PLEASE dont say women in hijab dont judge other women. They judge women without hijab all the time. and by saying “I am no fan of nightclubs, and I probably would have made my way out in less than five minutes. In fact, if granted entry, I might not have availed it.” again your being judgemental. If allowed to enter the club you might not have availed it, then why bother writing an article if you werent allowed to???!!! Recommend

  • Pir Ali Raza

    nightclubs have dress codes all over the world. so dont feel discriminated againstRecommend

  • Err

    Novaira, I think you out of everyone here are not getting the irony of the whole situation here. When you make sweeping generalised judgements based on one specific experience, you open yourself up to being attacked from several sides. If you had the problem at this club, you could have confined your criticism to this one club, and not made it about the whole of Dubai (which you obviously did) This again would have been quiet pointless because, you do know that BY LAW clubs in any part of the world are allowed to define their own rules and regulations for their patrons. That’s the point of a club, you go in for a specific experience in a particular manner which the rest of the world outside the door are not getting. This means the club can define the dress requirements, the number of people being allowed through the door, if they want they can even request you to remove any cameras and phones off your person for privacy reasons. The discrimination you faced is not just specific to clubs in Dubai but the same would have happened in any other club in the world. So once again your activist-y stance is completely misplaced. You are supposed to meet the clubs requirements not the other way round. Otherwise like you said, stay home and pop yourself some beer while wearing a hijab and no one will give two hoots. Recommend

  • Nandita.

    @author – Also, you should know that there are clubs and restaurants that have a dress code. There are restaurants in mumbai where you won’t be allowed to enter if you’re not dressed in formals. People wearing denims/shorts/chappals are denied entry. You have to be dressed really formally ( shirttie/collared /sari/trousers/formal shirt ) Recommend

  • RS

    HEY
    You can’t compare places of worship with nightclubs. Stop trying to justify this. You cannot justify this. Granted, it’s a little weird seeing girls in hijabs trying to enter clubs, but that doesn’t mean they can’t enter. Recommend

  • nyla

    so sad:((( Recommend

  • Sarah B. Haider

    @Faraz Talat: I second your comment.Recommend

  • Nandita.

    Err you don’t want hijabi’s to be judged but clearly you have no qualms in judging others.
    1) Dubai has more nightclubs than mosques – i dont know if this is true but if it is SO WHAT ? This is a ridiculous statement. Maybe people living in dubai like partying more than praying. If they do, it’s no body else’s business. There’s nothing wrong in going clubbing either. It’s awesome fun.
    2)Here, alcohol is a ready consolation for all and sundry. You clearly have a problem with people drinking alcohol as well. Again it’s not for you to judge what people do or do not drink. ( even if they are muslims )
    The author and some women commentors write about wanting to enter a club/disco because of ” curiosity ” Oh Please Stop being so sanctimonious and pious. Stop behaving like it-is-so-beneath-us-to-enter-such-“haram”-places. Clubbing is just about having a good time, dancing to rocking music and enjoying a few drinks with friends.
    That ain’t so bad, is it ?Recommend

  • sars

    ok how about this viewpoint, so if you are not wearing a hijab and are dancing in a club you wouldnt want to be there to put on a show for those not dancing (ie. most women in a hijab, or bearded guys for that matter).Everyone there should be there to do their own thing and not be bothered by others.Clubs arent a show, so perhaps you are the wrong demographic.Next time go to a show insteadRecommend

  • Nandita.

    why is my comment being censored. ? :O .. the moderators found that rude ? :ORecommend

  • Barooq

    A minute of my life I won’t get back.Recommend

  • Zain Hassan Zaidi

    May be the bouncer knew the significance of Hijab and the influence of night clubs.Recommend

  • alicia

    This blog has proved my point that dressing does not necessarily coincide with morality. I know so many girls who do not wear hijab but would never even think about entering a night club that too in Dubai.Recommend

  • Sadia

    Great piece Nuvaira!

    I do not wear a hijab, but find it appalling that nightclubs police dresscodes. I mean seriously? I can’t enter a club because i ‘look too Muslim’?

    Secondly, this concept of curiosity being ‘unIslamic’ is equally outrageous. I think it’s commendable that Nuvaira can go to a club and still choose not to drink etc. Kudos to her for sticking by what she believes in.

    Thirdly, for all those saying that ‘you can’t wear shorts to a mosque’, let me clarify that the Quran contains written RULES about an Islamic dress code. I have never seen dress code rules posted outside a club. Anyone?Recommend

  • Err

    @Nandita
    Lady before you hastily whip out your Morality Radar and beat other commentators on the head with the Sanctimony Stick, you might need to recheck on what I wrote, inorder to ensure that your reply even makes sense and has the desired effect
    Did I ANYWHERE have a problem with the hijab in the club? or try to admonish the writer on her hijab? Did you not read about my specific issue with her generalisation of Dubai? I called out the author for being silly over something which was obviously going to happen to her at ANY CLUB in the world? I specifically mentioned that all clubs have a dress code and she would have to put up with whether she liked it or not. She could be wearing potato sack and a sari, and she would still be turned away at the door. Infact correct me if I am wrong, in India too, MANY clubs impose dress code policy and turn away patrons wearing traditional saris. SO my issue with this article is that it has been written in a silly way and has no issue with Dubai in general. This is not a Hijab vs Club or Hijab vs Modernity debate, because it could have been a Sari vs Club situation too. Clubs individual policy is not reflective of the ENTIRE country.
    So before addressing me, atleast read my comments properly so that you atleast know what you are talking about.Recommend

  • Samuel

    Dr Ilmana Fasih my late grandmother was one such person. She met per mother 1-2 times in her lifetime after partition.Recommend

  • Nandita.

    @Err:

    THAT COMMENT WAS FOR THE AUTHOR NOT YOU ! OK. I DIDNT REALISE SOMEONE HAD COMMENTED AS ” ERR ” TILL I READ YOUR POST TO ME. SO PLEASE, Cut me some slack. thankyou.

    since i haven’t even read your earlier post, i m not going to read this one as it simply won’t make any sense to me ! And what i wrote was directed to the AUTHOR.
    Piece of advice – Can’t you choose a name ? Let go of the ” err ” please.Recommend

  • Ashish (India)

    Dear Author,

    On the one hand, you wear hijab to protect you from dirty eyes and thoughts of men and on the other hand you want to visit a night club, where you will be packed in to alcohol drinking and wildly dancing people!
    Entering a night club nullifies the very idea of wearing a hijab. If you are Religious forget about the logic of entering a night club etc.

    RegardsRecommend

  • ashok sai

    Most of the comments here missed the point by author and diverge to different topics such as dress code, club rule, etc., she is asking,

    What does alcohol got to do with hijab ?

    If consuming alcohol is a sin then selling the same is more than a sin, if its a business aspect and revenue source, it should be sold only to foreigners with Id cards. If you really want to preserve your Islamic values, do it by more authoritative way, not like following some dress codes. Its a valid point that author asking and understood its not about clubs.

    @ author

    You could have written this blog in a much more organised way so that the essence of the argument would not have got lost.Recommend

  • Nandita.

    @ ERR – this is nuts ! i have clearly quoted lines from the article so my post was obviously directed to the author. Recommend

  • Baba Ji

    Hahahahahahaha … Naive A … the name says it all !!! Recommend

  • Muhammed

    @Nuvaira:

    say Alhamdulillah

    Allah the Most magnificent did you a favour by not letting you enter that wretched place which is a manifestation of the signs of the end times.

    your entire life of obedience and all your deeds would have been at risk on the day of judgement.

    and sister…. pls …. stay away from music… “swaying to some trance” you say .music invites fornication..like flowers invite bees. There is a reason its been declared haram.

    May Allah give the entire humanity Hidayat including myself.Recommend

  • Err

    @Nandita
    Okay, in that case I apologise.
    I tend to react when I see alot of uneducated comments about Dubai from people who decide to become authority after just one visit or one bad experience. Dubai is one of the most culturally open minded places. Its not only one of the easiest places to observe the hijab/abaya compared to touristy places like France (and even certain parts of Pakistan where you can draw snooty looks) but its also accomodated other cultures. Every now and then alot of friction tends to come up, especially from the local Emiratis who find expats ungrateful and rude despite all the freedom they have been provided. It’s easy to complain like a spoilt brat, so if you dont like it here, take a flight. Conditions in Dubai are alot better than what is being offered back home for most expats.Recommend

  • prodigy

    The purpose of the hijab is to not bring unwanted attention to a female. By wearing a hijab in a nightclub you are bringing a tremendous amount of attention your way, which fundamentally negates the reason to wear one. You have to understand the sociological norms of your current location. This also applies to places where most women don’t wear hijabs, like Europe/America etc… By wearing a hijab in these locations you in fact ARE bringing much attention to yourself and this is un-islamic. By the way, where in the quran does it say you have to wear a hijab? Just curious about this please inform me. Also, don’t quote the hadiths as those were written by people just like you and I, and you would be a fool to base your whole life’s principles on ancient people’s personal idealogies.Recommend

  • Saad

    Try going into a good club wear sneakers, they wont let you in. its about dress code not religion. Most clubs dont allow you to wear hats and NO club allows sweaty baggy pants!

    Its a private place and rights of admission are reserved. Perhaps if you had guaranteed that you wont start preaching there, they would still have accepted but force public service is becoming all to common in colleges in Pakistan, so a bit of introspect would do you good.Recommend

  • Gul Aslam

    Everyone got there own thoughts and ideas. After reading what you said, a question came in my mind… why is this just happened to her why at the nightclub… she was just curious to check the nightclub she don’t like alcohol she didn’t want to dance then why??…

    I must say you were lucky not to be there in the club,, its like smoking a cigarette.. we in the starting stages just do it for fun with the friends or whteva company we are having.. even we knew that its not good for our health but still he do it for fun… and all of the sudden we become chain smoker without any reason..

    Let suppose If you had have entered that club that day. What you think…. did that hijab thing would have come in your mind and this whole topic on this blog now :).. If you are a Muslim you must consider your self lucky that this hijab saved you from experiencing something which is considered negative in our religion…..

    BE PROUD TO BE A MUSLIM AND CONSIDER YOUR SELF LUCKY :) Recommend

  • sashayub

    @Zaid Hamid:
    lets have some documentry proof Mr Hamid……..not just your words “i know everything”Recommend

  • Grace

    Why would you want to go to a night club if you are so pious and it is against your faith? Makes no sense. As for the folks who wear the full covering, they should not go out in public too much since people might see them and it will offend their morals. You can’t have it both ways. By all means wear your relgious coverings but then stick to the lifestyle too and don’t make it a joke.Recommend

  • Ishant

    This world is for “kafirs”, next world is for muslimsRecommend

  • amna

    uhhh…I think the point of your post was to challenge the hijab stereotype, no? That just because a girl wears a hijab doesn’t mean she has to behave a certain way? Okay, point taken. Except you went on to say how you in fact do disapprove of nightclubs and you just wanted to go inside for a few minutes to gawk at the sweaty heathens inside. See, that’s the thing. That’s where you fulfill your stereotype. If you are judgmental and quick to say how you disapprove and you just want to enter a club just to see how far girls are slutting it up…you’re probably going to make the other patrons uncomfortable. Plus if you wear a hijab, you’re unlikely to drink and they’re not going to make any money off of you. So what’s their incentive? It’s a club. The point is to drink, dance, hook up. Not to be politically correct. Nightclubs don’t even let in girls who aren’t skinny/pretty/sexy/naked enough. So quit complaining. And then there’s everything Anthony Permal said. Recommend

  • http://fruitforbidden.wordpress.com Forbidden Fruit

    You wouldn’t have availed the access because it didn’t matter, fine. But it mattered enough to share it here with us?! Recommend

  • Imran

    Do in Rome as the Romans do.Recommend

  • ahmed

    its nt just the wearing of hijab and keeping of the beard its all about keeping and protecting its sacredness.Recommend

  • Munis

    What a pointless blog post seriously Recommend

  • A Disappointed Reader

    For the rest of us in Pakistan, please let us worry about how we’re going to tackle the debacles of our politicians who are running the country in to the ground. Don’t distract us with these posts.

    Didn’t get entry in to the club because of hijaab? Too bad. Take it up with Khaleej Times, Gulf News, etc.

    Seriously, ET, what ARE you publishing? Opinion about PTI, PPP, MQM, state of education, state of the country, etc is what should be published here. Dubai has double-standards, myopic views, etc – who CARES?! I want to know what my countrymen are thinking about our country and what’s going to happen here!Recommend

  • Zorawar

    @Nuvaira obviously the bouncer lied about the reason. The club rejected you because they know you are not going to spend money on drinks. Further, you will make some drinkers uncomfortable with your exhibition of piety. As a private business they have the right to reject you if you are just there to waste their time, take up space and make them lose money. It is about their profit but he told you what he thought would be an acceptable polite reason.

    Be happy that you got a blog out of the experience.Recommend

  • sana

    @Kiran: Funnily enough you accuse the author on being judgemental on Dubai and pass the same kind of remarks on Malaysia by giving a totally invalid example. It is an open challenge to come to Malaysia and show me a single food court that sells alcohol. You like the author seem to be in wrong part of the town too!Recommend

  • Asad

    Try to go in a mosque without hijab…

    Pointless article…wasted my 5 mins..Recommend

  • Proud Baloch

    This blog is wrong in so many ways. Going to a nightclub to satisfy curiosity!! Unbelievable Recommend

  • RAW is WAR

    @ Nuvaira

    Getting rejected is a very bad thing for your ego. It hurts. But still, would a chaste Brahmin try to enter a mutton shop anytime? It is as simple as that. The club might have felt, it is very dangerous if you were offended by any drunkards present there. As you know , spirits weaken the senses and make them more foolish. Drunk guys take all kinds of risks playing fool around. Not really a nice place to be.

    I drink a lot, but at home. I hate club atmosphere.Recommend

  • http://www.twitter.com/ahsanzee Ahsan

    the bouncer probably thought you’d go and start lecturing everyone inside… its part of the bouncer’s job description to stereotype. Samir’s Right… you should be happy they said ur not allowed coz of hijab instead of saying ur not allowed coz ur too ugly…Recommend

  • Khalid Chohan

    Had you been wearing sleeveless with a hijab on, you would have been accepted as a socialite! Still u have to learn alotRecommend

  • Asad

    In many cases, it is the curiosity that makes a non-smoker a chain smoker and a normal person into drunkard. If you don’t like to associate yourself to a night club, what if somebody who knows you would have seen coming out of the club? Regret of a lifetime!! Don’t want to preach you but that’s why it is recommended not to go to such places even if you dislike them…

    PS: I have been in dubai for more than 3 years, there are lots of far better things to explore and enjoy…Recommend

  • Faust

    @sana

    It is an open challenge to come to Malaysia and show me a single food court that sells alcoholemphasized text

    Are you serious? I was in Malaysia this year and the last and their is no ‘challange’ to buying a beer at a food court.

    What sort of food court are you talking about?Recommend

  • Faust

    The Bouncer was obeying the law in denying you entry.

    Do some research, Google is your friend.

    But I guess this was another one of those ‘I’m so pious but people are mean to me’ articles.

    Try not being a hijabi in Egypt, just ask the Coptic females how they find their day to day existance.

    Rather than a sob story about being denied access to a nightclub because you were ‘curious’, and ‘wouldn’t have gone in anyway’Recommend

  • Bushra

    .the reason why you were declined entry was not because of alcohol it was because all clubs have a dress code..you arnt allowed in with trainers etc on either..this has nothing to do with your hijab…please get over it..Recommend

  • http://utterlyurban.com/j-lo-and-marc-anthony-not-a-peaceful-split-afterall/ Marc

    There is discrimination in a place even as liberal as Dubai. Its unbelievable! So what if people like to practice their religion. Who is anyone to say they can or cannot be allowed entry to a place that is open for all of legal age. Its patheticRecommend

  • Ali raza

    @N A Layak:

    Wasted paper and ink on a blog? What century did you type this in?Recommend

  • Nina

    I couldnt help but comment on this. You’re not allowed in cause u would make everyone uncomfortable, it’s as simple as that!. The truth hurts. Recommend

  • blah!

    what’s the point? :sRecommend

  • Aakasa

    My wise words for you sister:
    Try opening your own nightclub opposite to the one you visited with a banner outside saying:
    ‘HIJABIS enter at discount rates’.
    This world would be a much better place if we deter viewing atom differences that enshroud us. Differences occur only when you see them! Sense similarities everywhere and trust me you’ll feel what you really are ‘a real normal being’. Recommend