Oman warns ex-pats to avoid dressing in an ‘indecent way’ or face fines

Oman locals are “growing” concerned about the “indecent way” in which people are dressing in public places, especially during the holy month of Ramadan.

According to officials, both men and women are expected to dress more modestly out of respect for the cultural sensitivities of the Omani locals.

Foreign nationals have been urged to respect and follow the dress codes, cultures, and traditions of the Sultanate, to avoid hurting local sentiments and following the law.

According to a report by the Times of Oman, Amer Salem Al Hasani, a member of the Municipal Council in Muscat Governorate and a representative of the Wilayat of Bausher, has called for stronger enforcement of the dress codes laid out for expatriates in the country after many were found to be breaking these regulations.

“Wearing an indecent dress in public places is not an expression of personal freedom because it offends others and does not reflect our culture and identity,” he said.

According to the Omani Penal Code, enforced by Royal Decree 7/2018, those who appear in public in a manner that is prejudicial to public decency or contrary to the traditions and customs of society can face a prison sentence of between one and three months and a fine of between OMR100 and 300.

The code, governed by Article 294a, applies to “anyone who appears in public roads or places in a manner that is prejudicial to public decency or contrary to the traditions and customs of society.”

Nasr Al Farsi, a member of the municipal council representing the Wilayat of Saham, said that they do not demand that tourists abide by the Omani clothing style, but only ask that visitors respect public tastes by wearing respectful and moderate dress that is accepted by people and takes into account the privacy and traditions of society.

Officials are also hoping that the Ministry of Tourism will set up a counter at the Muscat International Airport to advise tourists on the dress code, customs, and traditions of the Sultanate.

They also urged the Royal Oman Police to ensure that action is taken on those who break the law in public places, streets, beaches, and parks, and punish violators as per the Oman Penal Code.

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