General Travel News

Niqab ban in France from April 11 2011

Effective April 11 2011 the French government has outlawed the wearing of a full face veil in public in France. Women who wish to wear a niqab have to stay within their homes or they will be fined Euro 150 if they are seen at any French airport, street, shopping centre or any other public places. Niqab wearing women may drive private cars but cannot use public transport or visit tourist attractions such as the Louvre or the Eiffel Tower. They may wear the niqab in mosques and places of worship.

Last year Belgium also banned the niqab and the controversial law was criticised by many including Amnesty International. “A general ban on the wearing of full face veils would violate the rights to freedom of expression and religion of those women who choose to express their identity or beliefs in this way,” said an Amnesty Internationall statement on the issue.

Although a small minority of Muslim women in France wear the niqab - or full face veil - this law has created a sense of insecurity among the millions of Muslims in Europe. Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel and more recently Britain's David Cameron have been speaking openly about the failure of their cultural tolerance policies of the past and the need to integrate and adopt "Christian values." President Nicolas Sarkozy of France is also a big proponent of the need to contain the growth of Islamic culture in France.

If tourists from the Middle East speak with their wallets and stop visiting Paris, Nice and other French cities for their holiday and also avoid transiting through Charles de Gaulle or Orly airports then economic pressure may lead to a reversal of the ban. Meanwhile, if you wear a niqab then it is best that you avoid a trip to France.

More General Travel News
Swiss Belhotel to open 4 new hotels in the GCC
Abu Dhabi and Wizz Air announce establishment of new low cost airline
Emirates touches down in Mexico City
Latest Travel News
Abu Dhabi and Wizz Air announce establis...
Emirates touches down in Mexico City...
Air Arabia named as Middle East and Afr...
Featured Sights To See
The Watchtower

The Watchtower

Muscat, Oman

This is another remnant of the Portuguese occupation of Muscat and has been recently restored. It is a sight to behold, especially at night, when it is illuminated amidst the fountains that dot the surrounding area. The climb up is worth the energy, as tourists are treated to a beautiful view of the sea. Stairs to reach the tower can be accessed from behind Al-Inshirah Restaurant. Timings: Da...

Cosmo's World

Cosmo's World

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

This is considered to be Malaysia's largest indoor theme park. It has two sections: one for children, and the other for thrill-seekers. You need only one ticket to get into both sections. Its most popular ride is the seven-story indoor roller coaster. Berjaya Times Square Admission: Adults $7; Children $4   ...

Ali Mosque

Ali Mosque

Isfahan, Iran

Address: Haruniyeh, near Dibai House Hote. Another one of the centuries-old mosques dotted around the city, this architectural gem echoes with impressive brickwork masonry reminiscent of the Seljuk period. Layers of brown bricks laid out in graceful geometrical designs might not stand out as prominently as the blue and green tile work of most other mosques, but they present a stunning visual ex...

National Palace (Palacio Nacional)

National Palace (Palacio Nacional)

Mexico City, Mexico

A palace echoing with the grandeur of the colonial Spaniards. It served as the residence of the Spanish Viceroy until the Spanish were overthrown and Mexico gained independence, when it gained the status of the President’s House. Today, however, it serves as a gallery space for some of Diego Rivera’s murals, which take you on an epic journey through the history of Mexico, from pre-colonial to the ...