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Sex on the beach saga is over

Sex on the beach saga is over

Finally. The Britons' jail terms have been suspended, and the Dubai courts have ordered them to leave immediately.

November 25, 2008 1:05 by

Dubai’s appeals court has freed Michelle Palmer, 37, and Vince Acors, 34, who have been on bail since their conviction in October. But they’ve also been ordered to leave the UAE immediately.

Both Palmer and Acors were not present at the court house today, but their lawyer, Hassan Matar was there on their behalf.

When the case first broke, media coverage across Europe and Asia highlighted the cultural contradictions that exist in Dubai, which include hosting free-flowing alcohol at Friday brunches, the holiest day of the week for Muslims.

The pair was arrested in July for allegedly having sex on the beach, which Palmer and Acors both denied. They admitted to being under the influence of alcohol and of kissing and hugging in public. Tests taken only hours after their arrest in July showed Palmer had not engaged in any sexual activity, while Acors’ results were inconclusive.

Their arrests in July sparked widespread media coverage of the case, which may have led to Palmer losing her job as a sales executive at ITP, the Middle East’s largest publishing house.
In October, the pair was found guilty of having sex in a public area and sentenced to three months in jail, and ordered to pay an AED1000 fine each.

The UAE has strict laws concerning public displays of affection. If arrested and charged, offenders face up to six years in jail.

Palmer and Acors met at a boozy brunch at a five-star hotel in Dubai. Later that evening, they were caught by an officer getting frisky on Jumeirah beach on July 9. –DB


  1. Mark on November 25, 2008 2:34 pm

    A stone age culture having laws of any kind scares me. No one should be doing business with these midevelists until they pass a literacy test.

  2. Gareth on November 25, 2008 4:33 pm


    With your spelling, you may want to take part in that literacy test yourself… I also get the impression you’d be the first to complain that foreigners in Britain do not respect our culture.

  3. zouzou on November 25, 2008 5:32 pm

    Gareth is right. We are not in our country and should respect this country. Who are we to judge their customs an values? Many places around theworld the couple would be in jail with no bail. Why the UAE should be different? And by the way the largest publishing house in the region is Saudi Research. check their turn over and profitability. ITP tried to approch Saudi research so that they could take them over.

  4. AP on November 26, 2008 8:32 am

    Scientifically, human beings are also animals. So what if they are rational (as some say so!), they still have animal instincts. Then there is the attraction of a weekend to drown the daily problems faced in Dubai (read separate KippReport thereon) so naturally these two, like many others, wanted to drown their sorrows in a ‘bit of spirit’, which led to a ‘spirited’ display of affection. All natural, all pure instincts, but unfortunately, it ended up with an officer watching. You can do anything here, but dont get caught.
    There is no doubt that a law of a country must be honoured at all times. Dont be fooled by the open society views expressed by the general masses, the ground reality can be different. These Brits were lucky to be released (thank the colony rule of the past, may be) but if the same was done by others, say eastern country nationals, things would have been different.
    At the end, I must say that this case will add to Dubai’s woes of attracting good investment from the west in the name of recreation, entertainment and vacationing. Already the real estate sector is facing a major problem as a result of global financial crisis and relentless effort of adding concrete homes, then there is the issue of 99 years residence permit being flouted.. so in all, it looks like a tough game ahead for the emirate.
    The famous disclaimer, modified slightly, would apply: “Views expressed by the promoters of Dubai are not necessarily those of the law enforcing officers”

  5. Krylon on November 26, 2008 8:43 am

    Irrespective of the country and culture, having sex in public is an indecent act and they would be tried in a court law. They are fortunate to have been given an out of jail free card.

  6. Jayan Nair on November 26, 2008 10:57 am

    Personally, I support sex between adults if they like it,and can protect themselves – unmarried, boringly married or not-so-boringly married. An occassional fling. Having said that I wonder whether the not-so whites who have such sex will also be flying home from Dubai, by writing a letter of “marriage intention”. What a low joke! So Dubai is afraid of the British Embassy. Plain and simple. Interestingly many pre-dominantly white countries including Britain are generally non-racist,whereas in the Arabian world, racism reeks in the street and even in the court rulings.
    I would like to see all the Asians, Africans and Arabs languishing in jail for sex related charges released immediately.

  7. Lianne on November 30, 2008 9:34 am

    This whole thing has been blown out of proportion just because it involved some high-profile folks. I’m just glad to see the end of it!

  8. Articles on January 8, 2009 9:28 pm

    This new year the web will come of age. Quality will prevail as the cream rises to the surface


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