Canadian singer and songwriter Bryan Adams has been touring the Middle East throughout the past week, and his latest stop in Qatar was not all positive news.
A number of hijab-wearing women, who had already purchased their tickets months ahead of the concert, were turned away at the door at the Grand Hyatt Doha beachside venue.
Because the concert was serving alcohol. According to Doha News, Qatari law does not permit people in "traditional dress" entry into venues that serve alcohol. Hijabs are considered traditional dress.
Ticket holders had not been informed of this restriction prior to the concert.
Qatari resident Nancy Mahmoud, a product specialist at a medical company, was among those who had been refused entry at the door, despite asking the Grand Hyatt Hotel of any restrictions prior to the concert.
"I called the Grand Hayatt Hotel before going to make sure the veil wouldn't be a problem. They said it's a normal concert, no problem if you're veiled," the 29-year-old told StepFeed.
A spokesperson for the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Doha told StepFeed that they were not responsible for the decision. It was a decision taken by the organizers of the Bryan Adams concert.
"The organizer's team refused to scan our tickets as they have instruction not to pass veiled women as alcohol will be served," Ahmed, a ticket-holder whose wife wears the hijab, told StepFeed.
According to Mahmoud, the police made it out to the venue and explained to those denied entry that they would not be allowed entry as per the Qatari law.
"I've been waiting for this show for 3 months," Mahmoud told StepFeed
Following the police's arrival, the hotel refunded some of the tickets at the reception desk, according to Ahmed and Mahmoud.
Mahmoud did not let this decision get in the way. She went out of her way to hear Bryan Adams perform, sneaking from behind the beach to hear bits and pieces of his performance.
Husbands spoke out against the ban as well ...
Some pointed out that hijabis are allowed in restaurants that serve alcohol, but beach concerts aren't?
This is not the first time such an incident happens in Qatar
Qatari women were previously subjected to the same discrimination at the "Women in Jazz" event at the Lincoln Center at the St. Regis in Doha in 2014.
This sparked outrage among the community and some of the women who turned back at the door expressed their discontentment and disappointment online.
"Was non-Qatari ‘national dress’ allowed? Was it the presence of alcohol? Then why is ‘national dress’ allowed at many restaurants and airlines that serve alcohol?" Fatima Al Dosari wrote in an opinion piece titled "No Entry for Qatari Women: The day I was banned from Jazz."
According to Gulf News, in 2006 a woman was denied entry into a five-star hotel's restaurant because she was wearing abaya.
"We were told by the facility's management that the Ministry of Tourism has issued a new policy prohibiting them from allowing entry to anyone in traditional attire because alcohol is served on the premises," said Elan Fabbri, an American resident, who accompanied the Qatari woman.
What are Qatar's regulations when it comes to serving alcohol?
In Qatar, public drinking, intoxication and drunk driving can result in severe fines and a prison sentence.
According to Article 270, Law No. 11 of 2004, "whoever drinks any alcoholic beverage in a public place or opens a store or a house to trade in alcohol shall be punished with imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months and/or a fine not exceeding three thousand Qatari Riyals (QR 3.000)."
When it comes to serving alcohol, expats in the country can purchase alcohol via a permit system - which are administered by the Qatar Distribution Company.
Licensed restaurants and hotels may sell alcohol to "adult, non-Muslim customers" in restricted areas.