No entry for 'shabbily dressed'
BY IMRAN MOJIB
Blue-collar workers living in Dubai face yet another blow as management of Ibn Battuta Mall has banned their entry into the mall on Fridays.
A large section of low-wage earners were shocked when they were denied entry on July 14, 2006, first Friday when the decision was implemented.
They remained hopeful that the management will reconsider its decision considering
their troubles, but lost confidence on July 28, as the ban continued for three consecutive weeks.
Explaining their plight, some of them said they were told by the security to come next day, while others said they were told that Fridays are just for families. But many others confronted with the security guard when they saw other bachelors entering into the mall.
One of the security guards appointed at entry points by the mall management to check the people entering into the mall, said they have been ordered not to allow people who are "shabbily dressed."
Speaking to The Gulf Today on the condition of anonymity, he said it is below his dignity to tell a person that he cannot enter the mall because of the type of dress he is wearing. Thus he uses other excuses to stop them.
"I feel sorry for them, but cannot help. I have to do my duty," he said.
Many of the
labourers who were denied entry into the mall said they felt humiliated. "I do not know what prompted them to take the decision. But it is embarrassing to be stopped by the guards, while other people just walk in to the mall," said Shahjahan.
Mohammed Saeed, another person who was denied entry, said he cannot find any sensible reason behind this decision.
"If it is the way a person gets dressed, then they should also stop those wearing shorts and other revealing dresses," he said.
A number of them said it is a ban on their entry into the mall for ever. "Putting ban on our entry on Fridays is just an excuse for not allowing us to visit the mall. They know that we won't be able to visit the mall on any other day due to hectic work schedule," said Dwakar Chandra.
Irrespective of the reason, the fact remains that workers who live in Jebel Ali and other areas in the
vicinity of Ibn Battuta Mall, are going to have tough times.
"We were happy when the mall was opened over a year ago, but the ban has brought trouble for us. Once again, we will have to go to Carrefour in Bur Dubai for any shopping, as that is the only place easily accessible for us," said Phool Mian.
But choosing another hypermarket does not mean their plight is over, as evident in the case of a worker from Andhra.
"I had sent money a month ago to my family from an exchange located inside the mall, which has not reached to them, so far. But I am not allowed to go in and look into the problem," he said.