So you are a sports star, high up in the rankings of your fellow enthusiasts, andf you confidently expect either to win or to gain substantial earnings from the next stage of the professional tour. But you find you are barred from even entering the country, never mind from the tournament. Have you committed some grave crime? Have you insulted the Head of State? Nope, you have commited the ultimate crime of being an Israeli attempting to play in a tournament in Dubai, one of the United Arab Emirates.
The Al Maktoum family rule Dubai, and they have based the huge rise in investment in Dubai upon being one of the more progressive and responsible areas of the Arab world. We see the move towards acceptance of some Western standards in their promotion of the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships including a whole host of women, who all of course dress in very short skirts and shorts, no doubt to the annoyance of the stricter Muslims around the perimeter of the stadium. But it’s one thing for a woman to wear a short skirt on the court, and it is another to be an Israeli woman who wishes to play on that same court.
The Dubai Immigration Authorities stated that Shahah Peer had been barred from entering their modern, forward-looking country because of fears about repeats of protests she had faced in New Zealand, but also because of public opinion regarding the Gaza conflict. So much for equal rights in Dubai, or any other scrub-desert outhouse with aspiration towards acceptance into civilized society!