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Sex scandals and Dubai

Sex scandals and Dubai

The recent arrest of Sally Antia, a British expatriate in Dubai, for having an extra marital affair, is just one of the numerous sex-related cases in the emirate in the last year.

June 5, 2009 9:08 by

Sally Antia, a 44-year-old British expatriate in Dubai, and her 43-year-old boyfriend Mark Hawkins, also a British national, were sentenced recently to two months in jail after Antia’s husband, Vincent Antia, complained to the local police that she was having an affair. Antia and her boyfriend Mark Hawkins, who flew in from Britain to spend a week with her, were arrested on May 2 while leaving the Radisson SAS hotel in Deira. Both be deported after the prison term.

According to British media reports, Sally Antia is having a tough time in prison. Her husband claimed he attempted to withdraw his complaint but was told it was too late.

“I did ask to withdraw my complaint on May 3 but was told that the government wished to proceed with the case and it was out of my hands,” he said in a statement.

The case has been big news in the UK press, especially since it emerged soon after another British woman was jailed for adultery in Dubai.

Marnie Pearce, a 40-year-old British national, was jailed for three months in March this year after her Egyptian husband, Ihab El Labban, accused her of having an affair. Pearce, who denied the allegations, claimed that her husband framed the charges in order to get custody of their two young sons.

Although she was supposed to be deported after serving the prison term, she was later pardoned and has been allowed to stay in the UAE in order to fight for custody of her children.

Videos of her tearful separation from her children were viewed across the world, and many petitions were signed campaigning for her release: the Sunday Mirror, a UK weekly paper, and Amnesty International both ran campaigns to free her.

But the one case that caught the world’s attention was the ‘sex on the beach’ incident in July 2008.

Michelle Palmer, a resident of Dubai, and UK-based Vince Acors were accused of engaging in sexual activity outside wedlock in public on Jumeirah beach. Both were sentenced to three months in prison followed by deportation in October. However, in November, the court suspended their jail term, and the two were deported back to Britain.

The two were also fined AED1,000 for drinking alcohol in public.

While there have been sex-related cases in Dubai in the past, very few of them have received such strong public scrutiny. Is it because these cases involved British expatriates? Or is it just that the world is watching Dubai more closely these days?

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  1. philip on June 6, 2009 12:20 pm

    i think just because they are British, the case took that much publicity, i believe we ll should respect the local law if we wish to live here, if not, they we should not stay here and go. i believe adultery in public is a crime and adultery and affairs are crime in all over the world, Dubai is not expectinal

  2. George C. Ittyarah on June 6, 2009 1:09 pm


    There was a time in history when the British people were highly regarded with great respect around the world for their educational progress, disciplined manners and matured behaviour rooted and established in the teachings of Bible. As a result God has blessed them with material progress. This material blessings received from God made them to forget themselves and they began to question the existenance of a living God and hence many of them now want to be globe trotting tourists buying and selling immoral life. Scantily dressed British women are the symbol of education and fashion irrespective of their age and their men adore it and it is spreading its evil tentacles around the world. What is happening in Dubai and other places among all nationals and particulary the British nationals is part of this deteriorating moral life.

  3. Abdullah on June 6, 2009 2:42 pm

    Each country has rules, and must be respected by all nationalities.
    Dubai and all the other Emirates has nothing against anyone and juctice is to be taken when its needed according to rules.

  4. Ken Shaw on June 7, 2009 5:02 am

    Speaking of SEX. How about deporting the thousands of PROSTITUTES who are operating freely in the UAE. Who is sleeping??? Its a JOKE???

  5. neeraj on June 7, 2009 7:13 am

    because the british..think that dubai being then melting pot of clutures its easy to food other nationalities and in the name of business travel etc which is farely common here its easier to survive and still live a life that they are used to!! i am anot saying that everyone is similar but how come they are the only ones looking foolish and dispobeying in this entire lot since 1 year?

    they think they can get away with everything showing their white skins!

  6. rajeshi on June 7, 2009 7:54 am

    No its because the press DOESNT DARE and publish anything regarding the locals here.. so they stress on expats. ESPECIALLY this topic, since alot of locals dont engage in sex or adultery. yeah right!!

  7. It's Me on June 7, 2009 8:16 am

    I totally agree with Ken Shaw. They should deport those prostitutes back to where the hell they came from. They’re such a big disgrace to their land of birth. The government should perform a serious study of a person before letting them come to UAE.

  8. Raj on June 7, 2009 4:10 pm

    Because we all love a good sex scandal.
    I loved the bit about her attacking the cop with her stilleto.

  9. Dan on June 8, 2009 11:48 am

    There was case earlier this year where a couple (I think they were Malaysian) were caught having sex on a Dubai beach.
    I read the 200 word story on page four of Gulf news and nothing seem to follow on from that.
    They each received three months in jail, a small fine and were to be deported after that.
    So the fact that Vince and his girl were front page news I think was to set an example to British expats and travellers that this thing is not tollerated.
    There was also a slight touch of British bashing in there too.

  10. Jim on June 9, 2009 3:35 pm

    There are many instances whereby the morality rules are broken in the UAE. These particular ones were highlighted by the ever sensationalising UK press, who do seem to have a grudge against Dubai. Neeraj’s comment relating to the ‘white skins’ is offensive and totally unjustified. There are over 100,000 british (don’t know how many white skins!) in the Dubai alone – the lack of respect shown is by a small minority.
    The incidents that do occur here include extra marital affairs, alcohol, narcotics, assualts, robbery etc are committed by individuals of all creeds, nationalities and races.

  11. waseem on June 13, 2009 7:30 am

    dubai is diiferent from arab

  12. LEBANESE FREE PRESS on November 5, 2009 6:18 am

    British think they can do what they like in the Arab countries and especially in Dubai . I sometimes feel as if I am in Yorkshire or Brighton here , due to the high number of british poeple .
    Unfortunately , everyone in this planet knows how alchoholic and loud they can get , and maybe this justice served by Dubai can wake them up and tell them that they are in an arab country and should respect its laws .

  13. Iftikhar Awan on November 5, 2009 9:41 am

    Mr. Ken Shaw has a very valid comment, as prostitutes of various nationalities openly operate in most of the hotels in Dubai and Dubai is known for this business. So it’s double standard that on one side protitution is being done under the wactchful eyes of the authorities & on the other side some individuals get caught & punished for the same offense!

  14. Samar on November 25, 2009 10:06 am

    Would like to know can u go in a hotel with a girl? will it not be an issue?


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