Oman tells shoppers to cover knees and shoulders in malls or face jail

Men and women who expose their shoulders, knees or chest could face fines and jail time. (File/Reuters)
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Updated 21 September 2020

Oman tells shoppers to cover knees and shoulders in malls or face jail

  • An official said wearing a veil is not mandatory ‘because of multiculturalism, ideologies, and religious tolerance’
  • The new restrictions come amid rising complaints of public indecency in shops and malls in Oman

DUBAI: Shoppers in Oman’s malls face jail and fines if they breach new decency laws, national daily Times of Oman reported.

Men and women who expose their shoulders, knees or chest could face fines of up to $780 and jail terms of no more than three months.

The new restrictions come amid rising complaints of public indecency in shops and malls in Oman, apply to all people, local, resident, tourist or otherwise.

“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,” Qais bin Mohammed Al-Ma’shari, the chairman of the Public Affairs Committee of the Municipal Council in the Governorate of Muscat, said.

He added people’s clothes must “properly cover required parts of the body, should not be revealing, and not having any sensitive drawings or illustrations on them.”

Al-Ma’shari however clarified wearing a veil is not mandatory “because of multiculturalism, ideologies, and religious tolerance.”

The recommendations will be discussed by the Municipal Council next month, and will only be in effect after an approval from the Minister of the Diwan of the Royal Court.


Over 3 million virus cases reported in Mideast

Labourers, wearing protective face masks, disinfect the front of restaurant in Dubai's marina on March 16, 2020. (AFP)
Updated 31 October 2020

Over 3 million virus cases reported in Mideast

  • Labourers, wearing protective face masks, disinfect the front of restaurant in Dubai's marina on March 16, 2020

DUBAI: The number of reported coronavirus cases has gone over 3 million in the Middle East, an Associated Press count showed on Friday, with the true number likely even higher.
Across the Mideast, there have been over 75,000 deaths attributed to the virus by health authorities, the AP count relying on reported figures by individual countries shows.
There have been 2.5 million recoveries from the virus causing the COVID-19 illness.
In the Mideast, the hardest-hit nation remains Iran, which served as the initial epicenter of the virus in the region. In Iran alone, authorities say there have been over 600,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, with some 477,000 recoveries and 34,000 deaths. Yet even those numbers are believed to be low, Iranian officials say.

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Deaths have been reported in the Middle East region due to the coronavirus, according to health authorities.

In some war-torn nations, it remains difficult to know the scope of the pandemic as well. In Yemen for instance, it’s believed that the vast majority of the country’s cases have gone undiagnosed and untreated, and health workers have said only those who are near death are usually brought to hospitals.