FINA has posted an “advisory” for dress at the 2014 FINA World Short Course Championships. They pointedly advised extra care during the Holy Month of Ramadan, that just finished.
Specifically, FINA says that while “women are not obliged to cover their hair,” that “it is not appropriate to show too much skin in other public areas.”
They did specify that these guidelines don’t apply to “hotel beaches”. Presumably, the restrictions will not extend to the aquatic facilities either.
Qatar, while maintaining close ties to the United States, is a country that is predominantly Muslim, and one of the most conservative countries in the world.
The release by FINA, written in mid-June, is part of a larger campaign within Qatar as they are due to host more-and-more tourists in the coming years, including a future soccer World Cup. The campaign is built around “Reflect Your Respect.”
The FINA release is below:
Men and women should dress modestly as a courtesy to both Qataris and Muslims. Swimsuits and beachwear are acceptable at the hotel beaches (don’t forget sunscreen), but it is not appropriate to show too much skin in other public areas. Tops should cover the shoulders and upper arms, and skirts or shorts should fall to or below the knee. Women are not obliged to cover their hair. Visitors should be thoughtful of their clothing particularly in the Holy Month of Ramadan.
The extreme heat and high humidity of summertime means light-weight fibres are advisable (clothes made from ‘wicking’ – high techpolyester – material are invaluable); covering up susceptible parts of your body whilst outside they will also prevent sunburn. However a jumper or wrap may be needed inside malls, cinemas and restaurants, as the air conditioning can be fierce. Wintertime can be chilly, especially in the evenings, and there is also a chance of rain, so coats and closed shoes will be useful.