The booty is back. And it’s better than ever.

There was not a hijab or niqab in sight as clubbers at the Global Dance Hall worked up a sweat to gangsta rap and Kenyan hip-hop. Instead, women shook their hair and stole glances at the men lining the wall.

Quite what Mogadishu’s Union of Islamic Courts would have made of the occasional flash of ankle beneath the long dresses is anyone’s guess. But no one cared as they celebrated their new freedom.

For six months this liberal northern corner of Somalia’s capital had been under the rule of one of the city’s most conservative Sharia courts. Cinemas were shut and music had to be played discreetly. “Even booty [flirting] was banned,” said Suad, 20, giggling before she rushed back to the dancefloor.