A few days I was telling a friend in India how safe I feel in Dubai, and how women are not troubled here but I was wrong. This weekend I was struck by reality.
I was at a local mall in Deira's Naif Souq. I have frequently visited this place in the past three years, but this Thursday was very different. I enter Naif mall with my family from the basement car parking, my brother goes off to take care of his work, while my sister in law, my neice and myself look around and shop. A minute after my brother left the security guard came up to me saying, my dress is too short, I cannot be in the mall! I was stunned! I was in a knee length dress, with a full sleeve jacket on top, which is decent for every other mall I've been to in the UAE. I was shocked as to how this man could come up to me and say this. I clearly told him, I've never been stopped before at this mall (I have also seen people walk around in tiny shorts over here), to this he tried to act surprised saying that's not possible. Next he goes on to say its on the door. The basement door where I entered from had no such signs, but then I was not wearing a short dress why would I need to justify myself.
This did not end here, next he suggested I leave the mall, and I clearly refused, I told him I will not leave and he cannot make me leave. All this while I could see the sedestic pleasure on the douche bags face. Next he goes back to saying that my dress needs to be long, by then I was being to get really annoyed. I tugged on my dress and told him, see this isn't getting longer and I am going to go ahead and shop and not leave the mall. On this he again told me that I can't shop here, with an even stern tone I clearly told him I am here and I am not leaving, next time I will wear something longer but right now I am NOT leaving. After realising that I am not going to leave and how persistent I can be he gave up, and even before he could saying anything else I started walking and went up the escalators. I haven't experienced this level of moral policing, anywhere, not even in India!
When I came down 45 minutes later, there was the the security harassing yet another woman. The second that lady saw me, she pointed me out to security that even I'm wearing a dress, then why were they stopping her. I don't how that conversation ended, but soon my brother was back he did not like what that just transpired. The not so surprising part was that, all the while my brother was next to us, nobody dared to come say anything, but when it was just us women they think they can just harass us!
I did not get bullied by such men and I never will and neither should any one of you. The next this happens I am going complain against them to the police and if someone harasses you or even if they try to, don't be scared, Dubai may not be the safe place I thought it to be, but doesn't mean we women cannot protect ourselves. No matter which country you are in, you deserve to be free, we have rights, so don't just fight for your rights, proclaim them!