Two British citizens have had their court appeal rejected after being arrested for kissing in public whilst on holiday in Dubai.
The appeal was put forward in the Misdemeanours Appeals Court where the jail term was upheld. British-born Ayman Najifi and holidaymaker Charlotte Adams were initially arrested in November of last year and have been on bail since their alleged kissing was reported to Dubai authorities by a local mother.
The pair, who met only recently in Dubai, insist that the kiss was but a simple peck on the cheek meant as a greeting. However they were also accused of consuming alcohol in a public place, to which they pleaded guilty and were each subsequently fined 1,000 dirhams.
The two Brits are still entitled to take the verdict to cassation court for further appeal but their lawyer, Khalaf al-Hosani, admitted to AFP that “hope is dim”. During the case Mr Hosani told the courts that the accusing woman offered conflicting accounts of what actually occurred “She told the police that she saw them kissing, while she told the prosecution that her children saw them”, he said.
This case has once again highlighted the gulf between visiting westerners and the natives of Dubai. Despite embracing westerners both as tourists and foreign workers, Dubai is still an Islamic country that adheres to strict Muslim laws, public displays of affection are strictly forbidden.
This case is not the first time Brits have fallen foul of Dubai’s laws. In 2008 a couple again made national news when Michelle Palmer and Vince Acors were found guilty of engaging in sexual intercourse on a public beach, they were given a suspended jail term, ejected from the UAE and fined 1,000 dirhams.
British people make up a high number of tourists and workers in Dubai and according to the UK Foreign Office Brits are more likely to be arrested in the UAE than any other country in the world.