31 July, 2006

Ibn Battuta bans entry to blue-collar workers

Has anyone read this?

Isn't that considered a form of negative discrimination, or classism?

Inability to earn enough to buy themselves unshabby clothes, by Ibn Battuta's standards, isn't a valid excuse to exclude them from enjoying their weekend.


bashir bigmac said...

I find it shocking SHOCKING that classism exists in DUBAI?! Ignorance is bliss, eh

secretdubai said...

What I find appalling is that labourers aren't shabbily dressed. They are always very smartly dressed in very clean, new looking clothes (probably because they get so little time off that they never get to wear them).

The only way you can tell they are labourers is because they tend to be all of smaller, similar height, they go round in largish groups of all men, and as I say they wear these ultra neat, spankingly clean clothes.

These poor bastards build this country for us and they're not even allowed into a shopping mall. This place disgusts me more by the day.

(I've been in Ibn Battuta when these men have been in there, and I've never seen them harass anyone. They even buy quite a bit of fruit and veg from Carrefour).

marwan said...

The other way you can tell they are labourers is that their haute couture standard isn't up to Ibn Battuta's.

Well sod them, they should know their place, and their place is Lulu or Carrefour Shindagha.

Have our overlords learnt nothing from colonialism?

PS: Fruit and veg reminded me of something. A labourer was crossing the road outside Carrefour carrying a bag of fresh apples. At the busy junction the bag suddenly breaks, skittering all over the road. As he starts to pick them up, a local watching in his cruiser horns at him to get off the road, then guns it, squashing most of the apples.

The look on his face was utterly heartbreaking.

sand in the vaseline said...

Marwan - sometimes it is the simplist observations that cut through the best.

With all that goes in the UAE, for some reason your tale really made me sad.

Anonymous said...

Levi's is selling shabby clothes, they might have to ban them as well.

The Lady said...

I'd much rather see a labourer donned in his Friday best, than raucuous teenage brats with jeans falling off their asses.

Shame on you, binned potata mall.

nzm said...

This is disgusting.

As SD says, they're always well-dressed, and tend to hang out down the Geant end, because I think that the rest of the mall is too intimidating for them. They might venture down as far as the India Mall, but that's to look at the Elephant Clock! They are never impolite, or loud, and I don't begrudge them one bit for being there - it's their only day off.

When there are specials on electrical goods at Geant, you'll find them buying up large, as well as the fruit and vege, so they are consumers too.

Shame on the mall management.

Harsha said...

yea..I really wish they were banned to have done anything with the mall in the first place..

MD said...

this entire obsession with the 'image' is just...disgusting. they throw out the people who build their shit.

ibn battuta...U SUCK. i hope those s*uce gurls can fix ur toilets if anything goes wrong or if the Armani men can mop ur floors.

Grumpy Goat said...

I was once thrown out of Sharjah Mega Mall for wearing flip-flops!

(BTW, I think the GT hyperlink on the original post is wrong)

secretdubai said...

I fixed the link - it expired, but I found a permanent archive one.

BD said...

I'd like to add a slightly different dimension to the discussion. I remember when I first visited Ibn Batutta after it had just opened. I was wearing my cheapo Carre Four bargain wear and kept thinking as I walked around--what a shame I'm dressed so badly in a place that looks so nice. I looked around noticing that some people were dressed nicely while others were in t-shirts and flip-flops. Too bad, I thought, everyone doesn't dress nicely.

There is a tendency in people to sometimes want things to look a certain way, even if it isn't practical or fair to do so. In America, for example, some people complain that no one dresses well to fly anymore. They feel nostalgic about the "good ole days" when flying was a big deal and people wore their Sunday best. Now people complain it's like taking an inner city bus.

My point is, people do have a tendency to want things to match an ideal. If it really was the management's intention at Ibn Battuta (to promote an attractive ambience)--and not just to descriminate against the laborer class--then I think we could cut them a lttile slack.

BD said...

^^^That being said, I do think the policy is wrong because it does in fact discriminate.

secretdubai said...

BD the point is that the average labourer dresses MORE smartly and neatly than the average non-labourer. The "shabby dress" is a total lie. They are chucking these guys out because they are "bachelors", not because of their clothes.

Of course they can't admit that, because then why not ban all bachelors? Including the rich dishdash making a solo trip to the mall to buy a diamond-encrusted Vertu for his wife's birthday.

No - god forbid they block that sale. A few apples and a bit of rice, whatever, small loss, but let's not offend the Big Spenders.

nzm said...

BD - you can't equate the good ol' days with the Ibn Battuta Mall, because it just isn't old enough for good old days. And it's fine if you stick the mall in some ritzy area to get a certain clientele, but IBM is not in that kind of area.

There's nothing wrong with the way these guys dress - their shirts and trousers are ironed, good shoes, tidy hair - it's the people who are more well-to-do than them who are often more casual.

I don't know how they manage to stay so clean, because I know that they've probably walked miles over the sand from their camp - I can hardly manage to get out of our car without getting grubby!

I hope that we never have a policy where we have to dress up in smart clothes to go to a mall to get our groceries.

Besides, they should be picking on the guys walking around in singlets and beachshorts, and the girls with skintight clothing and bare almost everything. Not to mention the smokers. It's these people who make a place look untidy - not the well-dressed labourers getting out on their only day off.

It's just a pathetic classism - much like banning the maids from the swimming pools.

If they want to start banging on the dress code, then they should start at places like the Burj Al Arab and other hotels where the standard of dress is far worse than it used to be. Now those places could hark back to the good ol' days!

marwan said...

So is Ibn Potato advocating a 'white suit' only policy?

I'd like to think a freaking MALL which depends on foot traffic can't afford to chuck out any customers - especially when they are as successful as Ibn Potato.

Maybe they should have separate entrances? Because, you know, that's worked so well in the past for others.

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