The Sultanate of Oman has drawn up new rules that would require visitors to shopping malls in Muscat to dress modestly, and failure to do so could result in fines of up to OMR 300 and jail terms of up to three months.
“The terms of dressing modestly have not been specified in great detail but must include covering the body from the shoulder to below the knee. This clothing must also not violate the terms of modesty by ensuring that it properly covers the required parts of the body, [is not] revealing, and [has no] sensitive drawings or illustrations on them,” Qais bin Mohammed Al Ma’shari, the Chairman of the Public Affairs Committee of the Municipal Council in the Governorate of Muscat told Times of Oman in an exclusive interview.
“Wearing a veil, however, is not [mandatory] because of multiculturalism, ideologies, and religious tolerance in the Sultanate,” he added.
The rules, which apply to both men and women, were drawn up by the city’s Municipal Committee and submitted to the Municipal Council, which will submit it to the Minister of the Diwan of Royal Court for approval.
“The rules will be the same for residents in the country as they are for Omanis,” explained Al Ma’shari. “We need to make sure that the clothes worn do not breach the etiquettes of modesty. Therefore, this decision will include everyone, without discrimination. As part of this decision, males and females will not be allowed to wear shorts above the knee [or] sleeveless shirts that expose the chest and shoulders.”
(Writing by Seban Scaria; editing by Daniel Luiz)
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