Qatar courts controversy as it considers barring single migrant workers from malls on Fridays

Published November 19th, 2015 - 10:00 GMT

In an contentious move, Qatar’s municipality has opened talks on re-instituting a “family-day” policy of barring blue-collared workers from entering shopping malls.

According to online news website Doha News, the policy ensures that shopping malls only allow families during Fridays, usually the only day off in a week for Qatar’s thousands of labor workers, Al Arabiya reported.

The policy has received criticism and scrutiny over the years as many complained of being “racially profiled” depending where they look like they come from.

Malls like City Centre in Doha’s West Bay district scrapped the rule after security officers weren’t able to enforce it consistently. The rule allowed men, so long as they were accompanied by female relatives, to enter the malls. But the policy was only enforced on bachelors from the sub-continent region of India, Pakistan and Nepal.

“The rule makes us feel like we’re not human at all,” a Nepali laborer who did want to be identified for fears of repercussion, said in comments last year. “It hurts us that we can’t enjoy ourselves and be among people inside malls during the hot searing months. This policy makes us feel unwelcome in the country we are helping build.”


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