from Just Landed (a Blog)
Hi guys! I found this thread with experiences from other expatriates on Gulfnews - this should answer some of your question
Clubbers in Dubai have claimed that they are often turned away from some nightspots because of their race.
Many Dubai residents have stories about being refused entry to various clubs in the city because it is 'couples and reservations only', and a recent Gulf News online poll revealed that 70 per cent of people thought they had been turned away from a club due to racism.
Club and bar owners in Dubai deny that they have racist policies - some saying that groups of men often cried racism after being denied entry, others said they were often too busy to let people in.
Do you think some clubs in Dubai have racist policies? Do you think you've been turned away from a bar because of your race? Are people using the race card simply because they've been refused entry? What can be done to alleviate any problem that may exist?
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Last night my friend and I were refused entry to a club for no apparent reason. First they said it was a private graduate party, but then they let some Europeans in. Little did the bouncer know that I was in fact a guest of the graduate party, however they did not care. I think the policy of the night club makes me sick; I’m an Indian who’s been in London, Australia and California for the past six years and I have never experienced such treatment.
Bouncers are not only racist, but they are also rude. If the argument is don't blame the bouncers they are working under management orders, then I believe that they have also been told to treat any dark skinned men, i.e. Arab, Asian or African, like an animal, while they graciously open the door to any white clubbers. Not only do we get refused entry, but they stand 'in your face' with a disgusted look on their face. Once we were not allowed in and left outside the club for being an uneven ratio of males to females, five guys and three girls. They claimed it was couples entry only and during our argument three young, white lads walked right in and received a smile on their way. It's outrageous, just disgusting. Have we forgotten where we are? Last time I checked this wasn’t London or Berlin or Paris, but an Arab/Asian country.
As an Indian born in Dubai and having lived in Dubai my entire life, but currently residing in Australia, I have seen both sides of the proverbial river. I can safely say that I have yet to face racism in Australia, but while in Dubai it was almost a daily occurrence. In Dubai racism is prevalent; it seems to be encouraged and segregation enforced, for example the discrimination that occurs when attending/entering night clubs and this it just the tip of the iceberg.
I'm a black African and when I was in Dubai I was turned away from several nightclubs and it was obvious to me that it was because of my race. I was also almost in a fight for just trying to speak to a woman in Dubai. Some men did not take kindly to me speaking to an Arab woman and threatened me with violence. We must stick together to some degree or the Europeans will destroy us both.
Clearly racism is part and parcel of life, as anybody living in the UAE should know. You just have to pick up the classifieds to know what I am talking about. Anyway, I would think that this is a much more serious issue for a progressive society than being barred from clubs. We all know what half of them are like anyway. Trust me, you are not missing much.
Racism exists in Dubai's nightclubs but I would not say to a large extent. I've frequented numerous clubs in the past but have been turned away only thrice from three different clubs. Quite obviously, the rejections were race-based. How else could one explain a no-stags policy when hoardes of White men are allowed in at the same time? What else would you understand when you are not let in since you have no reservations or you are not a guest while other nationalities are given entry without a whimper? But please don't blame the bouncers...they are under the management's orders. Racism is not only obvious at the entry point, some clubs have the serving staff instructed not to entertain certain race so that they don't stick in there for long. I guess, they are only trying to create a perfect world! On a positive note, there are so many wonderful nightclubs waiting with their arms wide open and they even entertain better.
Racism does exist in clubs in Dubai. The bouncers often give a suspicious look to certain 'Dubai residents' from an Asian decent. I have myself faced this. I think its time tht the management of these places take a note of this and understand that these groups are large in numbers and may even contribute more to their bottom line numbers (if given a chance) than the other expats.
Hello, I'm born Canadian of African/Arab roots who looks Indian and I'll vouch for the comments above there is huge racism in clubs here. If I go to the pub with my white friends they bend over backwards to welcome me in but if I'm meeting them inside or come on my own there are instances where they won't let me in. I was at a bar in Bur Dubai, was a regular there for a few months (no longer) went in with my girlfriend they asked for her ID after looking at it and seeing her nationality they said 'no I'm sorry reservations only' and then let the five white people behind us go in no questions asked. So I'm sorry there is blatant racism here, no question. Dubai has changed considerably and the colour of your skin is not indicative to your income or education level and it is about time that people realize this.
Every time. That's how many times we face racism in UAE's Nightclubs. Even though I am fair, and most of my friends are from India, we (mixed groups) are denied entry at Dubai and Abu Dhabi nightclubs. It's absolutely ridiculous. Sometimes we flash stacks of money to show these bouncers that we are monetarily eligible to be entertained at their nightclubs. Its embarrassing. My boyfriend personally tips the bouncers 100 bucks to remember his group of friends. How sad is that? DTCM needs to take severe action. We Indians have the money to buy you guys out and yet they treat us like trash. And if you ask any Indian, they will tell you the same thing, "Yeah! Only reservations or guests are allowed". But then you see flocks of white stags and couples walking in. It's frustrating and extremely embarrassing. Look at the nightclubs in Toronto or NYC. 100 times better than Dubai's nightscene and yet very gracious to every colour of human race that walks in.
I think this whole article is shameful and should not have been published. The racism in this country is probably the lowest in the world. And all I see this article doing is firing-up racism between people and encouraging it even further. From my point of view, nightclubs are private businesses and not some sort of public parks made to amuse the public. The owners have every right to let-in or stop people in whichever way they see serves the interest of the business. I hope not to see such articles in your newspaper in the future as it is only gives negative impressions about your newspaper and the country.
Once, a friend and I were walking in to a club on Shaikh Zayed Road. Prior to walking in, we were talking in Arabic, then to our surprise the bouncer wouldn't let us in! He said only couples are allowed (the oldest excuse in the book). To our amazement, two guys walk past and go in without hesitation, why? Well because they were blonde haired guys speaking in a heavy British accent. After yelling and screaming, we told him we are Lebanese and proud, but to make them feel stupid, I took out my Australian passport, and my friend took out his Canadian passport. That's right, I was born in Australia and my friend in Canada, even though this, i am not ashamed of my roots and heritage. To make things worse, he said that, "I didnt know you were foreign". They begged us to go in, but my pride was worth more than a glass of beer.
I do understand the reason for an enterprise to maintain the male to female ratio in a night club, but blatant discrimination is certainly not the remedy. If companies recruiting in the UAE can boldly state the nationality of the candidate they are seeking, then I don't see anything wrong for a nightclub to clearly state who their target audience is. It's high time they clean up their act. They welcome everyone on a weekday, when business is low and then keep the same client out during the weekends, when they wish to patronise a particular section of the people. Ridiculous.