Football fans in Qatar wearing traditional Arabic robes and headdress are being asked to remove them when entering bars serving alcohol over fears that it offends locals and insults Islam.
Security staff at a number of Doha’s bars have told fans that they cannot enter wearing traditional Islamic clothing to have a beer following complaints from Qataris that it is offensive to their faith.
The availability of alcohol is severely restricted in the Muslim country but it is served in bars located in four- or five-star hotels which have attracted a large number of football fans.
Popular bars among them during the tournament include The Red Lion, which is located in the Al Mansour Suite, the Irish Pub, in the Best Western Hotel, the Champions Sports Bar in the Marriot Hotel and Boston’s in the Intercontinental Hotel.
Ankle-length robes, known as thawbs have become popular among those attending the World Cup who often wear them with a ghutra, traditional Arabic headdress.
The clothing is being widely sold in the team colours of the 32 nations playing at the tournament.
Portugal fan Frederico Ferraz, 43 was ordered to take off the traditional Arabic dress he was wearing as he attempted to enter The Red Lion.
He told MailOnline: ‘This has happened to me many times and I’m getting a bit sick of it. The security staff tell us that Qataris find it offensive because this outfit should only be worn for prayers and that it is exclusive to Muslims.
‘I am not trying to offend anyone. I’m just trying to show my appreciation of Qatari and Muslim culture. It’s nonsense asking me to remove my robe.’
Mr Ferraz said that he decided to have a few beers before making his way to Portugal’s match against Ghana.
He was accompanied by his friend George Franco, 51 who was also dressed in traditional Arabic clothing and also told that he would have to remove it if he wanted to go into the bar.
Mr Franco said: ‘We thought it would be a nice touch to celebrate Qatari culture by wearing their traditional clothing. We don’t want to upset anyone so when security ask us to remove it we do.
‘It seems like a very petty thing and I don’t understand why some locals are upset about this?’
But some Qataris spoken to by MailOnline supported the actions of security staff and said that visiting fans should not drink alcohol while wearing their traditional clothing.
Hamad, who only wanted to give his first name said: ‘While we welcome people trying to appreciate our culture I find it offensive that they are wearing our traditional dress and drinking alcohol. It should not be allowed.
‘The thawb and ghutra are a symbol not just of Qatari culture but Islamic culture. I know some people have voiced their concerns to security staff about people drinking alcohol while wearing them.’
Another, named Khalid added: ‘I am very proud of my Arabic clothing and happy that fans are wearing it to enjoy themselves in at the World Cup. But having it on while they are getting intoxicated is not acceptable.’ – dailymail.