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Dubai’s PR machine has more work to do

Dubai’s PR machine has more work to do

An article published in the UK claims Dubai has double standards

January 17, 2010 1:14 by

One of our colleagues forwarded us an article about Dubai’s seedy nightlife titled Sordid Arabia published in the News of the World. The author accuses Dubai of being hypocritical when it comes to the emirate’s moral code. He writes: “In the heart of the Middle East resort where a young engaged British couple were jailed for sex outside marriage we found the law turning a blind eye to Arab locals bedding an army of PROSTITUTES.”


The paper published a 1.08 minute video featuring Gulf Arab men cradling alcoholic beverages in a nightclub. It’s a scene many Dubai journalists have seen in throughout the emirate, but failed to report it for fear of being deported (and because our editors are scared to death of the subject, but we’ll leave that battle for another blog).

Kipp was a little taken aback to see that the faces of numerous men were clearly visible in the video. We doubt they’d file charges against the paper, as that would be an admission that they were actually there, but the News of the World took a risk publishing it.

The article doesn’t help Dubai’s ploy to portray itself as a fair and open society. Indeed, if an unmarried British couple is going to be jailed because they slept together, surely the hundreds of bars in Deira and Bur Dubai should be raided, and the prostitutes that roam around Bur Dubai should be arrested. A little consistency would be nice.

Kipp is curious to see how the emirate will handle the accusation that it is being hypocritical in its application of the law. Who knows, it might not react at all.

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  1. Dismanirie on January 18, 2010 7:05 am

    Not sure what that will achieve, except drive the drinking and prostitution underground.

    The fact is that the couple admitted to having sex while unmarried, and thus confirmed they broke the law.

    Without catching a person in flagrante delicto with a prostitute you cannot prosecute them; and they are hardly likely to volunteer a confession that they slept with her (or him).

    Being seen in a bar in compromising circumstances is a long way from proof of intent, let alone commission of an offence.

  2. Mansoor on January 18, 2010 6:57 pm

    What a joke! Dubai is famous for prostitution and drinking. In USA of-course drinking is common, but prostitution is hard to find. It is not as easy as I had seen it on my visits. When traveling to Pakistan I have to
    hide my alcohalic beverages in the suitcases and also bribe customs
    sometimes to have my liquor. I guess money can buy anything in so-called
    muslim societies. Dubai is not any different. They are little less hypocates
    than Saudia, Iran, Pakistan, Abu-Dhabi etc.
    My muslim friends in Houston will drink alcohal like fish, sleep with any
    female regardless of size and age, but will never touch/smell/eat any
    pork products, and if you say anything against virtues of Islam, they are
    the first ones to pack you to hell.

    Richmond, Texas


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