For being dark skinned, a Nigerian woman named Hanna Fanni was recently disrespected by an attendant in a five-star hotel, Mövenpick Hotel in Dubai.
The attendant reportedly refused to serve her and showed her the door when she visited the hotel’s popular West Beach Bistro & Sports Lounge with her black American friend.
“They suspected us of being prostitutes and targeted us solely because of the color of our skin. I have lived here for 10 years and have never been treated in such a disrespectful and despicable manner. My friend had just graduated and we were hoping to enjoy a girls’ night out at the bar but came back traumatized.
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First the waitress refused to serve us and then a security guard ordered us to leave the hotel. At one stage he was ready to engage with us physically which is classified as assault and sexual harassment in UAE. He kept telling us that the bar didn’t allow unaccompanied women. I found it strange because there were several tables occupied by women. When I pointed to them, he said he was merely following orders.” Hannah explained.
Speaking further, she said as things got heated, the bar manager intervened.
“I showed him my business card. When he saw it, his face contorted in panic as it dawned on him that they had racially profiled the wrong people. But instead of making amends, he said the security guard had asked us to leave as some black women had come in earlier and solicited their guests. I was stunned. Just because some black women had approached their guests, the hotel assumed we were also prostitutes.”
Realizing their mistake, the hotel tried to make amend but the damage had already been done.
“The incident occurred purely due to the misunderstanding of the employees and we would like to clarify that there is no such management policy existent in the hotel. Mövenpick Hotel Jumeirah Beach welcomes and respect each and every guest and this incident in no way reflects our true standards of service. An official apology letter from the hotel management and employees involved has also been sent to the guest.” the management said.
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