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The government of Sharjah recently published local rules and regulations on decency and public conduct and issued by His Highness Dr. Shaikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah on June 16, 2001. The following text comes from a brochure which was produced and distributed by the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority.




It is a fact that societies differ in their perception of issues and vision.


A conservative society is one that can accommodate all ethnicities and religious persuasions with their diverse habits and norms, while successfully providing them self-respect, and human rights. It can also preserve the social structure and the integrity of the family by maintaining a high standard of moral conduct. The society should be capable of preserving moral decency, whether in private or public, avoiding immoral behaviour that threatens its very existence and safety.


As believers in enjoying the benefits of modern civilization and technology, we feel compelled to preserve our specific heritage and social values. These values are based on the certainty that clean entertainment and healthy safe habits between diverse ethnicities and cultures, can only function in environments that encourage human virtues and are guided by honorable morals.


In concurrence with the rules of decent conduct, and in expressing society's conscious need to stand against indecency, and to preserve public civility, and to clarify that proper concept of personal freedom, of safeguarding other's rights. It is vital to adhere to and execute these directives (No.1) for the year 2001 in the Emirate of Sharjah.


1:            DECENCY   


Decency is a behaviour or an attitude that conforms to the commonly accepted standards of what is right and respectable.


Its broad and universal meaning was proclaimed by all heavenly and religious practices. It is the collection of practices that keep a human from falling into wrong. Decency is against vulgarity and shamelessness, it is the opposite of indecency in appearance and speech. Decency is the basis of all honorable values. That which is civilized as opposed to immoral or degenerate, sophisticated instead of harsh and rude is the epitome of decency.


It is one of the natural habits and a virtue in all religions. Adherence to it is an act of worship, and practicing it is a virtue. It results in comfort for all. Its adherents will be rewarded, and the negligent will be in sin.


A:            MENíS DRESS CODE


Indecent Dress or Behavior:

bulletVery short pants in public or commercial places like malls and public offices.
bulletChest nudity.
bulletEzar in public places (Ezar is the local Emirate male underwear).


B:            WOMENíS DRESS CODE

Indecent Dress:

bulletClothing that exposes the stomach and back.
bulletShort clothing above the knee.
bulletTight and transparent clothing that describes the body.




bulletBeaches are among the public places that people use for their leisure activities like swimming, or enjoying the scenery. Thus, it is important to make these places enjoyable and liked, so that people will not hesitate to use them. Therefore, all swimmers should wear conservative swimwear that is acceptable to the culture in Sharjah.
bulletDo not wear swimwear in streets or other public places.


3.                     LADIES AREAS


bulletFor social and cultural considerations, women have their own private areas that are not to be used by men. To protect their privacy; and to avoid nuisance, men are not allowed to visit these "Ladies Only" places, except in acceptable circumstances, in accordance with society's norms and culture.




bulletIt is not allowed for a man and woman who are not connected by a legally acceptable relationship to be alone in public places or in suspicious times or circumstances.




bulletKeeping peace in public places is important for providing society with the proper atmosphere that stimulates productivity. Protection of civil rights shows the true face of a society. Therefore, please consider the following:


bulletDo not bother others or disturb the peace with acts of vulgarity or loud noise.


bulletDo not engage in acts of harassment that violate public decency.


6:                     ATTENDING MOSQUES


Mosques have their holiness and their sanctity. This has to be respected. People should attend in proper clothing. People should avoid sleepwear or clothing that have images or improper slogans that are shameful.


7:                     GUIDANCE


Adherence to decency rules and proper conduct is a positive response to society's call to stop any harm or any violation to its norms or its virtues. It also creates the proper civilized atmosphere for family stability and security of all.


Sharjah Police, designated employees, security officers, and building guards are ordered to observe, coordinate and ensure adherence to these rules of decency and public conduct. Police, only are to enforce these whenever a warning is not sufficient. Public employees are to provide instructions, advice and clarification to the violator, keeping goodwill as the basis in the interaction. In case of negative response, the police may be called to follow their procedures in enforcing the law. When violators of this code seek service, it may be refused and they should be made aware of the regulations.


We are very hopeful that all will participate with these directives, for a better conservative society with morals and sophisticated conduct.


For further information call the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority at Tel:  (+971 6 563 2222).