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article imageQatar mulls family-only mall days, banning bachelor labourers

By Kesavan Unnikrishnan     Nov 25, 2015 in World
Qatar’s municipal council is planning to introduce family-only days at major shopping malls prohibiting blue-collar migrant workers from entering malls on the weekends.
Qatar's municipal council is the country's advisory body, which can propose legislation and make a list of recommendations for change. The proposal, which will be voted on by CMC on December 1, has received criticism from many people of being “racially profiled” as the proposed law targets foreign workers who leave their families in their home countries.
Nasser Ibrahim Mohamed Al Mohannadi , a member of CMC representing Al Khor region said:
Qatar is a family-based society, and it is the right of families to have a day especially for them. Malls are not just for shopping but also for entertainment and family gatherings. Families are complaining that they cannot enter the big malls on weekends because of the huge number of labourers. Families suffer and we want to allocate one day, either Friday or Saturday.
Qatar has more than 1.8 million foreign workers, mostly male, who constitutes 90 per cent of the population of the country. Most of them work on major infrastructure projects related to the 2022 World Cup.
Human rights groups have been putting pressure on Qatar to improve conditions for the migrant workers employed in the Gulf state as part of the World Cup construction boom.
A labourer from Nepal told Al Bawaba news that the move will cause problems for people like him.
The rule makes us feel like we’re not human at all. 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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