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Discrimination at Dubai Hotel. What should I do? Who is right?

Discrimination at Dubai Hotel. What should I do? Who is right?

Old Aug 3, 12, 10:39 am
  #1  
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Discrimination at Dubai Hotel. What should I do? Who is right?

Hello Friends,
I booked a stop over hotel in Dubai for 2 persons and paid through an online booking site. However now Im learning that females are barred from entering hotel rooms! But it is to be noted that this policy was NOT reflected anywhere during the time of the booking. Had I known about this I would have booked at some other female friendly hotel. This is absolutely not fair and blatant gender discrimination and why should I be on the hook when they did not mentioned this prior to the booking, and also let me made reservation for 2 persons?!?!

Writing a complaint to the booking site doesnt seem to resolve this situation either. Please help and tell me what should I do? Who is right?

Thank you!

----------------------------------------------------------

Dear Mr XX

Thank you for your email.

Please note, In the UAE and Dubai, it is against Sharia law to live together, with someone you are not married to especially if you are a Muslim. The same rule applies to sharing a hotel room. It is their country law and not our policies.



However, we have send the request to the hotel to check on this and we need the hotel's confirmation that the booking can be cancelled without any charges as well.

We will revert back to you soonest as hotel reply us.

----------------------------------------------------------------
Dear Sir/Madam
Im writing to you in regards to my booking with your site. I booked a one night stay at *********** Hotel for myself and a friend and have made you the payment through my credit card.
However Im now learning that the Hotel does not permit female guests into the rooms despite of the fact that my booking was clearly made for 2 people and this policy of NO FEMALES were NOT mentioned anywhere in their terms or conditions. You are more than welcome to clarify this policy directly from the hotel if you wish.
Therefore I would kindly like you to request me in the full amount, so that I may rebook again through you to a different hotel.

Please be advised that I reside in Canada, and my card issuer is registered in Canada, and under Canadian law it is AGAINST THE LAW to discriminate somebody based on their sex (female).

(Canada Charter of Rights)15. (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

Im giving you the opportunity to do the right thing and CANCEL my booking, however if you wish to uncooperate, it will leave me with no choice but to block these discriminatory charges through my Credit card company.
Thank you!

Last edited by Zulazai; Aug 3, 12 at 10:55 am
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Old Aug 3, 12, 10:46 am
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What does this have to do with EK? Was it a hotel booked thru them on a companion fare where only one room may be booked?
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Old Aug 3, 12, 1:16 pm
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Strange, my experience as a single male traveler to Dubai a few weeks ago was one met with an unsolicited offer from the 3 1/2* hotel: I could bring a female guest to stay over for a charge of 150AED.
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Old Aug 3, 12, 1:41 pm
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A firm reminder to stick to the topic. No personal comments are allowed, if you have something to post on topic, feel free to do so, otherwise move on, there is plenty to read on FT or for that matter on other parts of the internet.

Posts in violation of FT TOS will be deleted.

Regards Oliver2002
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Old Aug 3, 12, 1:57 pm
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Sheesh. This is bogus -- any hotel will let a man and a woman check in together as long as they both provide ID. (Well, there are certain local hotels, not international chains, that cater to Gulf Arabs, but I doubt that even they would bar you.)

The booking site gave you information -- if that is the first e-mail that you cite -- that is complete bunk. To the extent that sharia law applies in the UAE, it only applies to Muslims. If you got your information from somewhere else, I'd like to hear where.

You have nothing to worry about. In the unlikely event that the front desk challenges you, just say she's your wife. They would never know the difference.

Notwithstanding the above, I find your attempt to cite Canadian law pretty offensive and arrogant, however. If you visit another country, you abide by their laws -- are you really thinking that just because you're paying with a Canadian issued credit card, Canadian law applies? If "medical marijuana" is legal in California, does that mean that if you check into a hotel in Dubai paid with a California-issued credit card, you can be allowed to bring your marijuana even if it's against the law in the UAE? If prostitution is legal in Germany, can you stay in a hotel room in the U.S.A., paid with your German credit card, and legally engage in prostitution? The fact is (although it won't affect you in your case -- and even if they did bar unmarried guests of the opposite sex, that would not constitute discrimination against women), it's not unlawful to discriminate in public accommodation in some countries, including the UAE. If you travel outside Canada, you will have to get used to it.
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Old Aug 3, 12, 2:48 pm
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Originally Posted by mecabq View Post
Sheesh. This is bogus -- any hotel will let a man and a woman check in together as long as they both provide ID.
That's because they ignore the law.

Originally Posted by mecabq View Post
The booking site gave you information -- if that is the first e-mail that you cite -- that is complete bunk. To the extent that sharia law applies in the UAE, it only applies to Muslims. If you got your information from somewhere else, I'd like to hear where.
I'm afraid the information is accurate, insofar as sharing a hotel room (or even a car) with someone of the opposite sex you are not married to is illegal, Muslim or not. Like most such things in Dubai, it's really not in any way a problem... until it is. The Tahseen Al Ma'asiya is not really enforced in Dubai... unless it is.

It will be, with near-certainty, fine for an unmarried couple to check into a hotel together in Dubai. Indeed, my now-wife and I did so many times. (I'd be much more nervous in Sharjah.) However, as with most things Dubai, it's worth understanding exactly what the position is.
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Old Aug 3, 12, 3:24 pm
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As intimated above, there's a big difference between what the law might say and what happens in practice.

My girlfriend has visited me several times in Dubai for weekend breaks and I've never had a problem with hotels. I know several ex-pat couples who are 'living in sin'. They don't draw attention to themselves and don't give cause for anyone to make a complaint.

In many cultures women don't change their name after marriage, and nobody is expecting you to carry your marriage certificate with you !

This is a useful reminder to do some basic research before visiting somewhere for the first time. IMHO this article gives a realistic and balanced view of the current situation: http://www.dubaifaqs.com/living-together-in-dubai.php.

I did read somewhere that one interpretation of the liquor laws would require holidaymakers to get a licence to be able to drink in their hotel
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Old Aug 3, 12, 4:08 pm
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Originally Posted by typical View Post
I'm afraid the information is accurate, insofar as sharing a hotel room (or even a car) with someone of the opposite sex you are not married to is illegal, Muslim or not.
I don't think that this is true, especially about the car. Of course there is really no rule of law in Dubai anyway, but can you point to a law (either nationally or in the emirate) that says that unmarried people of the opposite sex cannot share a car?

As a comparison, I checked with my legal counsel in Qatar, and he confirmed that there is no law against unmarried non-Muslims cohabiting. Of course that's not the UAE, but given that Qatar is more conservative, and has shariah strictly referenced in the "constitution" of the country, it's a data point.

Last edited by mecabq; Aug 3, 12 at 4:16 pm
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Old Aug 3, 12, 4:40 pm
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Thank you everyone for your reply.

A couple of clarifications that I need to address to clear out any doubt so that you have a better insight to this situation.

1. I completely agree about respecting native laws. Im in no shape or form contesting their laws. The sole intention of mine was pertaining to the booking site since they are refusing to cancel my booking. I have NO problem with a certain hotel policy or their laws, my only grievousness is that they are refusing to cancel my booking so that I may try another hotel.

For those who don't believe me this is a hotel in Bur Dubai and I have confirmed twice over the phone with their receptionist that are adamant that they would not let female guests into the room. Despite the fact that this is a fully functional hotel and did not indicate such policies in arrears to my booking.
Please be advised that both of us are READY to provide all identification including passport copies so that we could stay, however the hotel remains adamant to enforce this NO FEMALE GUEST policy.

Im just trying to seek help in resolving this issue so that I can get this cancelled and book another hotel. As you can appreciate Im no rich by any means and its undue hardship on me to purchase another hotel, neither do I have option to stay alone due to this binding.
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Old Aug 3, 12, 9:33 pm
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Originally Posted by mecabq View Post
I don't think that this is true, especially about the car. Of course there is really no rule of law in Dubai anyway, but can you point to a law (either nationally or in the emirate) that says that unmarried people of the opposite sex cannot share a car?
I already did: Tahseen Al Ma'asiya.

On the hotel room side, see also http://www.uae-embassy.ae/Embassies/uk/faq%27s/585#a21

Originally Posted by mecabq View Post
As a comparison, I checked with my legal counsel in Qatar, and he confirmed that there is no law against unmarried non-Muslims cohabiting. Of course that's not the UAE, but given that Qatar is more conservative, and has shariah strictly referenced in the "constitution" of the country, it's a data point.
Qatar is not the UAE, no. I also believe this is wrong, too, from what my Doha-based friends tell me, but IANAL.
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Old Aug 3, 12, 9:36 pm
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Originally Posted by dunk View Post
I did read somewhere that one interpretation of the liquor laws would require holidaymakers to get a licence to be able to drink in their hotel
Tourists indeed have been arrested in the past for not having one. Of course, it is not actually possible for a non-resident to get one.
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Old Aug 4, 12, 5:45 am
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If you're willing to have intercourse (unmarried) while three Muslims watch, then you would be in trouble...
You're more likely to have the sort of problem described in the lower price Dubai hotels.
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Old Aug 4, 12, 3:05 pm
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What interests me is how the hotel came to be interested in the social status of the guests.

Dubai has to have the most pragmatic approach to tourism and the ways of tourists in the GCC: to pick on an unmarried couple in this way suggests their status was drawn to the attention of the hotel in a way that could not be ignored.

Are we discussing a couple travelling together, or a more complex situation?
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Old Aug 4, 12, 4:23 pm
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Do all Canadian laws apply in Dubai, or just this one?

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Old Aug 4, 12, 5:11 pm
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Originally Posted by IAN-UK View Post
What interests me is how the hotel came to be interested in the social status of the guests.

Dubai has to have the most pragmatic approach to tourism and the ways of tourists in the GCC: to pick on an unmarried couple in this way suggests their status was drawn to the attention of the hotel in a way that could not be ignored.
My interpretation is the OP read something or heard a rumour and called the hotel to enquire. I was totally unaware the first couple of times I visited Dubai and was totally brazen as a consequence

Originally Posted by IAN-UK View Post
Are we discussing a couple travelling together, or a more complex situation?
Given the OP's first post (in another thread), you could well be correct !
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