Dubai has many sides

I’m always intrigued to read about foreigners getting into trouble in Dubai. It must be easy to think that the emirate is so “Western”. On the surface, it is. Go beneath it, it is not.

 This article about an unmarried couple having consensual sex in the UAE is shocking by Western standards. It is true. The UAE has strict laws. But it’s not nearly as cut and dry as this story might suggest.

 In the first instance, the couple did not have sex in Dubai; it was Sharjah, an adjoining emirate, which has adopted Saudi rules. There is no way anybody would have allowed any hanky panky there.

 I know people who have brought alcohol back to Dubai via Sharjah, from Umm Al -Quwain, and they were put in prison. No tolerance, is how the emirate operates. Maybe that’s why accommodation is cheaper there than in Dubai.

 The police only found out about the sex because the woman complained to them about the Pakistani man molesting her with his abusive text messaging. If she had kept quiet, nothing would have happened. That’s the way it works in the UAE, and in Sharjah specifically.

 Moreover, Dubai Courts conduct most, if not all of its business in Arabic (there are often Egyptian judges presiding), and with Sharia law, under which ruling women, Westerners in particular, would never win. In this case, she was already engaged to another man, who was living in the UK. A reason to keep quiet if ever there was one.


Here’s what the Daily Mail said:

British woman is sentenced to a year in jail for having consensual sex with a man during a trip to Dubai

  • The woman went to Dubai to stay with a Pakistani man she met on Facebook
  • The pair, who knew each other for years, had consensual sex on the 2016 visit 
  • The woman then told the man she was planning on marrying a man in London
  • When he sent her threatening messages, she told police and he was arrested
  • During the investigation, police found out about the consensual sex they had
  • They were sentenced to one year in prison for having sex outside marriage

By Kelly Mclaughlin For Mailonline

Published: 21 July 2017

A British woman and Pakistani man have been sentenced to one-year in prison for having an affair while on a trip to Dubai.

The pair had met on Facebook and became acquainted with one another for three years before she flew to stay with him for a week in Dubai in 2016, when they had consensual sex.

Having sex outside of marriage is strictly prohibited in the UAE, and those who take part in extramarital relationships face prison sentences and deportation.

The British woman, who is set to marry another man in London, and the Pakistani man are filing appeals in hopes of getting out of the one-year prison sentence.

A British woman and a Pakistani man were sentenced to a year in prison in Dubai for having sex while not married in Dubai

The man claimed that when the woman visited in 2016, he picked her up from Dubai International airport and drove to a flat in Sharjah, according to Gulf News.

He said that a Pakistani religious scholar married the couple verbally, though the woman denied that this ever happened.

In her court statement, the woman said that she was calling off her three-year-relationship with the man because she was getting married to man in London.The Pakistani man then threatened to shame her, post photos of them together on Facebook and reveal to her family that she was already married to him, the woman said.

The woman also claimed that the man threatened to kill her if she married someone else.

 The pair had met on Facebook and became acquainted with one another for three years before she flew to stay with him for a week in Dubai (pictured) in 2016, when they had consensual sex

Following the threatening messages, the woman and her father flew to Dubai to file a complaint against the man, who was then arrested by Dubai Police.

During an interrogation, he denied the threatening messages, telling police that she told him her family was pressuring her to stay away from him.

During the investigation, police found out that the couple had consensual sex while unmarried during their stay in Dubai in 2016.

The Dubai Misdemeanours Court sentenced the man and woman to a year in prison each for their crimes followed by deportation.

The man and woman pleaded not guilty and have appealed the ruling seeking leniency. 




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Wednesday, 17 August 2022