A British man and woman are facing jail for kissing in public in Dubai. The pair have appealed against sentences of one month in jail and deportation after they were convicted last week of kissing and drinking alcohol at a beachside restaurant. Their appeal hearing is due on the 4th April.
They were arrested in November 2009 after a Muslim woman complained that she had seen them flouting Dubai’s strict decency laws. Appearing in court last week, the two admitted drinking alcohol and were fined £180 each.
This case highlights the culture differences between the carefree beachside lifestyle of many expatriates and the emirate’s strict Islamic laws, which impose severe punishments on indecent behaviour.
Foreigners enjoy greater freedoms in Dubai than in other countries around the region but tensions remain. Locals are a small minority in the emirate and many are unhappy at what they consider the disrespectful and offensive behaviour of Westerners.
About 1.1 Britons visited the United Arab Emirates in 2009, while more than 100,000 British nationals live there.*
* Source – The Telegraph 2010
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**Premium £19.14 includes Insurance Premium Tax based on an adult aged under 55 taking out a “Standard” Single-trip 24/7 travel insurance policy for 8-days in Dubai excluding personal possessions cover. Cover details and prices are correct at time of going to press (March 2010) and are subject to change.