16 July, 2008

Dubai cracks down

Westerners were getting too racy on the beaches of this Persian Gulf tourist haven, and a police crackdown on topless sunbathing, nudity and other indecent behavior has resulted in 79 arrests in recent days.
The city is installing signs warning tourists in Arabic, English and several other languages not to sunbathe topless or change clothes in public, said Abdullah Mohammed Rafia, an official with the Dubai Municipality whose office is overseeing the public awareness campaign.
"I understand that I have to respect the rules of the country," said John MacLean, a British tourist on holiday with his girlfriend. But, he added, "I am not sure if I can kiss her or touch her in public."


Tainted Female said...

"I am not sure if I can kiss her or touch her in public."

When you're not sure of something, either learn about it or refrain from doing it, period. It's that simple when it comes to traveling especially, as curing ignorance may take a few days, but staying ignorant may very well get you a six year jail sentence.

Abu Dhabi/UAE Daily Photo said...

I can't say I came across any topless sunbathers on Dubai's beaches, though many people changed clothes near their car (usually quite discreetly). Is this only about the case of the couple having sex, or has this become more common. My experiences in Sharjah were that the biggest offenders of beach attire laws were not "westerners".

Niss said...

I like how some tourists play dump, or claim that they weren't told. Hell, even European countries have certain rules and ethics — why is it suddenly wrong when we set our own?

Tainted Female said...

dump... Maybe that'll be my next chapter... lol

Proud Emirati said...

serves them well ....

Anonymous said...

Indecent exposure: The breach on the beach

Bikram Vohra
The global brouhaha over the Dubai police catching two British citizens inflagrant delicto on a beach seems grossly out of proportion to other burning issues of the day. However, now that the British tabloids have picked up this story and destroyed two lives there seems to be no confidentiality or restraint in using these two for everyone else’s cathartic satisfaction. Gee, we are so clever, we don’t get caught. Not that we don’t behave badly, we are heap smarter.
Contrary to the prevalent belief, it is actually the westerners who suffer from culture shock when they come to these parts. The leap from a council house in Hounslow (does it really exist?) Stratham and Slough to villas and houseboys, housemaids, gardeners, 4 wheel drives and the pretensions to Country Club tally ho imitations with a few nightspots and caviar and blinis and smoked salmon replacing bangers and mash and a bit of bitter pink bubbly thrown in for the bit of bitter gives them the feeling of racist superiority. Add to this hubris the sudden financial liquidity and it is easy to see how they go off the tracks. The fact that Asians, by and large, render space to Caeser with graceless ease because they feel that, like them, their bosses also tend to look up to white people more than they do to coloureds adds to the arrogance. The residual dregs of imperialism still survive. The system allows for this sort of genial racism and naturally, it occasionally goes sour. White nationalities continue to snuffle at the colonial trough and get more money for the same work and a better lifestyle. Asians and others may resent it and respond with equally vicious racism in reverse but they let it be. So an Indian can be pushed aside by a fellow native attendant at a supermarket in preference to a westerner standing behind, a club can refuse entry to non-white people on flimsy excuses, politeness can trip just a bit in the same divide and upper class Asians don’t make it any easier by slavishly aping western customs and habits. Service staff will be politer to those from the west because a report or complaint from one of them tends to cause heavier ripples than one from Asians. Ergo, you are so not the better man, Gunga Din.
So, when Michelle Palmer and Vince Accors did the naughty they actually believed in a corner of their minds that they were exempt from the laws. If not that, at least they had the social standing to expect leniency. Sense, if you will, the sentiment behind the words to the policeman: I will sue you.
No Asian would even dream of saying that.
Not because he is weak or feeble but because he does not feel that sense of superiority.
I remember when I was the editor of a newspaper in the UAE a young cheeky English reporter came to me and said, “Do you know my houseboy and you are from the same country, fancy that.” The public school insolence so nurtured and loved in Britain was palpable.
Nothing changes. Being snide is the replacement for poor education and an absence of grammar. Native English speakers may speak it but they couldn’t for the most part write their way out of a paper bag.
Those apologies after the incident by the foolish twosome only conceals the contempt and derision in which such people hold those who are not of their ilk.
If the British community has rallied round these two it is because most of them are a decent lot, living their lives with grace and dignity and not being snotty about who they are because it is not relevant anymore. And, as is their tradition they are going for the underdog. The spate of letters reflect all points of view but paramount is the fact that this incident should be seen as a symptom of a deeper malaise where young western people are flaunting rules and abusing hospitality of foreign nations where they are guests. In this case, the company ITP issues letters marking out the rules of social conduct and gives it to each newcomer, so what part of it did they not understand?
It is getting a little awkward.
A drunk westerner falls off an uptown skyscraper. Another gets smashed and picks up a fight on his way to Heathrow. Gets arrested. A third is caught with his pants down. All in a week. Pub fights become more common. Being decanted into cabs at night is regular activity and the hedonistic self indulgence might get a brake on it for a while after this show all but will it stop the shenanigans.?
I quite doubt it. Don’t take tolerance for weakness.
The weakness lies in you, chaps.

A Blessing in Tragedy said...

"I am not sure if I can kiss her or touch her in public."

You CAN. You CAN do anything. anything at all.

What the ramifications of doing certain things that you very well CAN is another story.

Lirun said...

such hypocracy..

Proud Emirati said...

^^ do u even live here to judge?

shorty said...

are these signs coming soon to a hood near us?
i can just picture them
"this is a no jungle-love making building!"

rosh said...

It really is getting out of hand in DXB, esp these past few years. Being a tourist is good - however, whilst on vacation one isn't released from local social sensibilities. People need to behave.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I found the Nazi and SS scenes at the Wafi Mall far more obscene that I ever would a... nipple.

The twits boffing on a beach - they'd be arrested in many countries, especially given their conduct. However, 6 years is a little rough!

Cost benefit Analyser said...

Anon, 17 July 18.07.

HATS OFF! You've nailed the issue (s) as they truly stand. Hats off to you for saying things as they are.

Anonymous said...

I don't get all the fuss that's being made by Britons about this issue. Having sex in public is also illegal and offencive in Britain. So, why is it an issue that such laws exist and are enforced in a conservative, Muslim country?

Lets get over ourselves, shall we..!!

Anonymous said...

These westerners go to do Dubai for the tax free salary, and because it gives them a life they could only dream of in the west. Eg in Dubai they own BMW M3's in London it would be a second hand Ford. But these westerners have no respect for Islam or Arab culture, they do not show any common decency, and their words in private border on hateful to Arabs and Islam, I have heard,and trust me they say the worst thing about Dubai is the religion and the Locals. The Emiratis need to be tough and keep this people under control otherwise soon they will be fighting in your streets and abusing your people like they do in other places

Anonymous said...

The mistake that Dubai has made in its attempts to become a world leading city, it to rely to much on westerners and hold any white person in high regards, not realising that back home the same person may be considered uneducated, or could never attain a high position or good salary. Also, these very people who are treated like GODS by Emiratis and Indians have absolutely not respect for Islam, Arabs or the culture so what you have is master slave kind of relationship that is not based on equality. Yes, Western standards of Education are the best in the world, but not every white person takes advantage of it, there are countless MUSLIMS from the west who are very well educated and would fit in more with Dubai's values, but unfortunately these people have come to Dubai on holiday and seen less educated white chavs treated more honourably then them selves, and thought to themselves they would be better off in London/New York where respect is given on Merit and personality. And restaurants/shops serve in order of arrival. Its a shame coz Dubai could have been a beautiful place for Arabs and Muslims, but now most western Muslims see it as an undignified place that commits shirk by worshipping white people

This has given a complex to Arabs that Whites are better then them. Yes, w

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