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One rule for celebrities, and another for you and me?

One rule for celebrities, and another for you and me?

An Egyptian man in Dubai has been charged with having consensual sex with a woman. Would he have been charged if he were a celebrity?

July 2, 2009 2:12 by

On Thursday, an Egyptian engineer was charged with having consensual sex with a woman who accidentally fell off his balcony in Discovery Gardens. The defendant admitted he had premarital sex with the woman.

I’m confused. Why would one adult be charged with having consensual sex with a woman, but another adult – who’s famous for a raunchy sex-video – be invited an all expense paid trip to the emirate?

It’s one thing for the emirate to have its laws, which most of us respect, but it’s an entirely different issue if it embraces people that are in clear violation of its moral code.

Since Paris Hilton landed in Dubai in June, she’s been paraded around Dubai like a jeweled peacock.  And while I understand the commercial value of celebrities visiting Dubai, I can’t understand why this particular celebrity has been embraced, especially given the emirate’s pledge to uphold its moral code: Paris is a professional party animal. She exudes sex, and if it weren’t for her sexual trysts, she’d be a nobody (albeit a wealthy one).

Anyone who knows anything about Hilton knows that most of her work contain “content that [fall] in the ‘Prohibited Content Category,'” and is blocked by the UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA).

So why is she here? Granted, Dubai has gained serious publicity by having her here. But what would have happened if she hadn’t broken up with her boyfriend Doug Reinhardt, and he travelled to Dubai with her? What if she shared a hotel room with him, and had consensual sex with him? Would she be charged with a crime, like the Egyptian engineer?

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  1. amna khaishgi on July 2, 2009 8:16 pm

    Excellent piece!

  2. amen on July 4, 2009 7:21 am

    I wish there were more honest peaces like this… but I guess, people dont have the guts to write or publish them… great article.. .

  3. MO on July 4, 2009 7:35 am

    I don’t really see how this poor Egyptian guy’s plight has ANYTHING to do with Paris.. and complaining about the media saturation? That’s absolutely the pot calling the kettle. Money and wasta talks here, that is the point. I don’t care about Paris whatsoever but you look like the biggest hypocrite going..

    But really, celebrities? WHO CARES! There are more important issues here.. for eg. how is it that it is so easy to pay for consensual sex? who sponsors these prositutes, how do they get here, do those bars in Bur Dubai need a ‘special’ licence run these joints for eg (and who gets paid if so)… why do police let it continue and then lock up an Egyptian guy who has just lost his dearest.. to add painful insult to injury? Why does local media never touch this issue.. importantly, do locals actually have a real issue with co-habitation and sex outside of marriage and does this correspond with the govt’s primitive and confusing stance; why not ask questions instead of shouting about celebs again.. please

  4. Wasim K on July 4, 2009 9:14 am

    My Godness, this is so unfair.

  5. faw on July 4, 2009 10:06 am

    being a celebrity, paris hilton is valuable to dubai, as long as dubai intends to be global, at any cost. if however dubai doesnt want global recognition at absolutely any cost, then thats a different story. i think its about double personality: does this city-state want to please the global consumer or the conservative regional neighborhood. until this question is answered, this debate is endless.

    i personally think that the private lives of both the ‘sinful’ egyptian and the ‘sin-insinuating’ celebrity should be left alone, but thats me. i dont make the rules. what i fail to understand is the double standards of moral laws when it comes to the tolerated, albeit illegal, prostitution that shouts loudly in dubai. has anybody been to burdubai?! mind you, i’m not complaining about it; i merely ask for consistency; a frame of reference.

  6. David M on July 4, 2009 12:10 pm

    Very honest article! Well done!

    How could Paris Hilton be a role modle to women?? She borders between slutty and very slutty…..

    Honest journalism is the way to go!!!

  7. Mahiwal on July 4, 2009 4:04 pm

    really amazed at the courage of writer. excellent article to read . hats off to you.

  8. Ron on July 4, 2009 9:37 pm

    The paradox of the UAE can only be solved by the men that lead the country. They walk the tightrope of social,economic and intellectual adversity everyday. I guess there are numerous such paradoxes in every country in the world. The law is never perfect and connot be so in the complex multicutlural society we live in. only evolution can correct the mistakes of humanity over great periods of time. So do speak out but criticize positively.One never know the stakes & pressures that governements operate under till one is in government themselves. Proof of the pudding is in the eating and what happens to one after eating it!

  9. AL on July 5, 2009 5:48 am

    i absolutely agree with MO in every word…

  10. Rashid on July 5, 2009 6:50 am

    After recession..I can see that Dubai is adopting double standards! This is a very dangerous situation. You can’t be sure that whatever you are doing is legal or illegal. At one side, people pickup women under the nose of police or rather under police protection and on the other side, people are being charged and arrested for same??

    Is Dubai under influence or pressure from another emirate due to financial burdens?

  11. Sara on July 5, 2009 7:35 am

    *Thumbs up*

  12. jessy on July 5, 2009 8:09 am

    Well done Dana. I am really not sure how long a honest journalist will survive.

  13. Mai on July 5, 2009 8:36 am

    Celebrity or not is completely irrelevant. Why was this guy charged? If this is the law, then I think most of the UAE’s unmarried expat population is guilty of the same and should be charged too. Unmarried couples live together here all the time. The landlords don’t ask questions, the police don’t ask questions. The police patroling outside of Cyclone don’t aks questions.

    I don’t get it. Why THIS guy? Why now?

  14. Mai on July 5, 2009 8:40 am

    But Dana, you forgot to mention that the woman died in the accident.

    SO I guess someone had to be blamed and tried for something. Couldn’t be murder, or suicide, so let’s lay the pre-marital sex card.

  15. JB on July 5, 2009 8:59 am

    Sex in the UAE is prohibited, but everyone does it, and the goverment could care less if they do not know about it.

    Although everyone might know what goes on in hotel rooms of celebrities, but nothing has been proven, and they were not caught.

    Same goes with regular people, they do have sex, maybe more than half the UAE population has consensual sex, and as long as no one knows about it, they can continue doing it.

    I don’t get this article, and what’s the objective of it. If this ‘poor’ egyptian guy was caught, it could have been in any country, especially if its protitution, and he would have been caught.

    What point do you want to make from this article? you want consensual sex to be allowed in public? Dream on :)

  16. katia on July 5, 2009 9:14 am

    JB , what you said , we all know it already; its either you didnt get anythign from this article, or you just wanted to comment! i hope you never get charged guilty for consensual sex or else you would AGREE 100 % to this article. and its not about Paris, it just happened that she’s in the spotlight for the moment! so NO we dont want to pulicise consencual sex, we just need fairness in a very hypocrite country!

  17. Lina on July 6, 2009 6:23 pm

    Finally, an article worth reading on Paris Hilton in Dubai

  18. pankaj on July 7, 2009 8:48 am

    Excellent, excellent and excellent…If hypocrisy is a word, dubai has given a face to it…i am amzed by the courage of the writer…great going. Being global does also means having courage to accept what you are, but unfortunately this doesn’t happens here.

  19. Taghreed on July 8, 2009 8:18 am

    Dana: Hats off to this….

  20. Ravi Shankar on July 9, 2009 8:43 am

    This is UAE law, when an expatriate without vasta or influence commites a mistake, his acts are published as though they have committed a treason. Look at the recent judgements which were published in the newspapers (censored reports) , when ever local is involved either in murder or traffic deaths , he is given suspended sentence, and in case of expatriates they are jailed immediately even not allowing them surrender in a civilised manner. Question of getting any bail is out of question even if its clear from all angles that he is innocent. There are hundred of cases where first the arrest is done than the wheels justice move in a snail pace. What is the point in jailing a drunk driver and deprting him, when hundreds of locals do it on a regular basis and are not punished even if they kill after drinking. If the countrry wants to have justice system , it should be equal to all and should not differentiate between nationalities


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