Customers visiting Dubai are being reminded to read up on local customs before they travel as a British couple face jail for kissing in public.
Charlotte Adams, 25, and Ayman Najafi, a British marketing executive, have both been convicted of indecency and illegal drinking. During an appeal hearing in Dubai yesterday, the couple admitted drinking alcohol but denied kissing and touching each other in a public place.
The couple were arrested in November after a local woman reported them to the police for kissing in a burger restaurant. The pair, who are now on bail, are expected in court on April 4 for the verdict on their appeal.
Travel 2 head of marketing Charlie Bateson said customers visiting the emirate should not “worry unduly”, adding: “As with any trip, make sure you’re fully aware of local laws and customs. I don’t think this is a damaging story for Dubai; it has only hit the headlines because it is unusual.”
A Foreign Office spokeswoman said holidaymakers should read the advice on its website. It warns that Brits can find themselves facing charges relating to cultural differences, such as using bad language, rude gestures or public displays of affection.
British nationals should also be aware of the United Arab Emirates’ strict laws banning sex outside of marriage. In 2008, a couple narrowly escaped a jail sentence after being found guilty of engaging in extra-marital sexual activity on a public beach.
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