As high tech and upscale as Dubai would like to think of itself, with all the incredible amenities, ultra-fancy hotels and now the world’s tallest building, it’s still mired in strict religious traditionalism, including aspects of Shariah law. Given that, I have no clue why people would choose to holiday there when there are such strict rules to follow. Even though it’s very expensive, Dubai attracts a host of vacationers; a great many coming from the U.K. And those laws seem to get many people into trouble.
I’ve always believed if you travel somewhere foreign it is incumbent upon you to find out what the laws of the land are. Knowing those laws can help you make an educated decision on whether you even want to travel there. If you are a drinker, which I’m not, why would you choose to go someplace that has strict alcohol laws? If you are unmarried and you know a country has strict laws regarding sexual conduct, why would you choose to travel there? Although I think a country, like Dubai, that depends on tourism for much of its economy is asinine for adhering to such strict religious rules, they are the rules and you’d better make damn sure if you do go there you are willing to follow them. But that’s not always the case. At least not for one British couple whose vacation has turned into a Dubai nightmare.
A young British woman (23), who happens to be a Muslim of Pakistani origin, and her fiancé (44) had been celebrating their engagement at Dubai Marina’s Address Hotel when the young woman apparently got drunk and passed out in the ladies room. A waiter,
… is then said to have followed her into the toilets and raped her while she was in a state of semi-consciousness.
When the boyfriend found out about the violation, they immediately contacted the police who, rather than helping the couple, arrested them instead for
.. “illegal drinking” outside licensed premises as well as having sexual intercourse outside marriage. Her fiancé was also charged with the same offences.
Not only was the young girl victimized by a rapist, a violation of the worst kind, she is also being victimized by the police. So now the couple has had their passports confiscated (Dubai wouldn’t want to let these evil criminals leave without their day in court, now would they)and are awaiting a court date. Out on bail, for now, they could both get sentenced to jail for up to 6 years.
It also appears it wasn’t until the British embassy insisted that the woman be given the appropriate medical checkups, did that actually happen. I suppose they were to busy worrying about the fact she was drinking and having sexual contact with her boyfriend.
While jailed, a cellmate mentioned that
“She’s a British girl but a Muslim, so I think they were tougher on her because of that.
“She was trying to report the rape but soon realised the policemen were more interested in how often she has sex with her boyfriend.”
Although the rapist claims it was consensual, which isn’t surprising, he too will face charges of “illegal sex.”
This isn’t the first time something like this has happened in Dubai.
In July 2008, British woman Michelle Palmer, was convicted after being caught having drunken sex outsider marriage with Vince Acors. They were given three-month suspended jail sentences.
The difference between the 2 cases is that, Palmer was caught having sex on the beach, not so with this couple. I can well understand how the Palmer case was justified, given their laws, but what a couple does in the privacy of their hotel room is a totally different story. And as far as drinking in an unlicensed establishment, if they were drinking at the hotel and the hotel isn’t licensed, then the hotel should be liable, not the couple. And if they are so concerned about alcohol, how about just not allowing it anywhere in Dubai, and then maybe they wouldn’t have to impose such draconian laws.
If Dubai wants to continue being a tourist hub, they are going to have to lighten up some of their laws for foreigners, or I would say- DON’T TRAVEL THERE!