Dozens of female concertgoers in Qatar are claiming discrimination after they were denied entry to a Bryan Adams concert in Doha on Wednesday night.
At least 40 women were refused admission from the Grand Hyatt Doha by security because they were wearing headscarves. The country has strict rules banning women wearing headscarves or “traditional clothing” from entering venues serving alcohol.
The banned concertgoers were left standing outside, and many complained that they weren’t given any advance notice by the concert organizers or the hotel. Many of the women and their friends took to social media to express their thoughts on what they claim is overt discrimination.
Tunisian expat Iram Kassis told Gulf Business magazine she was asked to leave the concert lineup because her sister was wearing a headscarf.
“We [are] shocked by that, and asked to meet with a responsible person to clarify this issue, especially [since] it was not mentioned in the terms and conditions of the website [when we] purchased the tickets,” she said.
“Traditional dress” in Qatar usually means a black headdress (a shayla) and a black dress (an abaya) for women.
At this time, Bryan Adams has released a statement saying; “These restrictions did NOT come from me or my management, we know nothing about it. It’s hugely embarrassing and my apologies to anyone who came to enjoy the music and got turned away. #everyoneiswelcome”
The hotel replied to a few tweets, saying it would raise the concerns “with the associated department” and concert organizers.
(For more, watch the video at the top of the article.)