Saturday, July 19, 2008

Dubai- Not So Gay Friendly

Dubai, Dubai, Dubai. Well it may be the land to get rich quickly. It may be the place with the man made Palm island. It may be the 'IT' place of the global partier. But don't you dare cross dress or appear too flamboyant. You may get arrested!
Read this article below from au
DUBAI -- 17 foreign men were detained Wednesday in this gulf tourist for allegedly being gay and wearing women's clothes in public, reports.

The arrests are part of a months-long campaign that police said is aimed at "protecting and preserving the country's social values and traditions," Khaleej Times reports.

Colonel Khalil Al Mansouri, Deputy Director of General Department of Criminal Investigation in Dubai Police, told Khaleej Times that those arrested have been referred to Public Prosecution on charges of cross-dressing and indulging in immoral acts.

As many as 41 men and women have been arrested since May and charged with cross-dressing according to Khaleej Times. A senior police official told Dubai's Gulf News say that the arrested foreigners would be deported soon.

Among those arrested are Asians and some Europeans. Most of the arrests were made at shopping malls and public places.

The visitors were arrested after police launched a campaign against transvestites last May. Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamim, Dubai Police Chief, had said then that transvestites were frequently being spotted in public places. "This is against the UAE's traditions and social values," he had warned.

The campaign was launched jointly by Tamim, and several government departments following what local papers say is "a visible trend of men dressing as women and vice versa."

Col. Al Mansouri said the campaign will continue until after Ramadan and warned people that action would be taken against those indulging in cross-dressing.

Violators would be summarily deported and life ban slapped on them, according to Khaleej Times.

Dubai Police have deployed special CID teams, including women personnel, to combat the growing phenomenon.

The trend is also noticeable among men and women working in beauty salons. Sponsors of such commercial establishments have been warned against employing such people.

Police authorities have also urged the Ministry of Social Affairs to conduct a study and identify the reasons behind the emerging trend. The study would focus on psychological, social and educational aspects, Col. Al Mansouri said.

He said that Dubai Police officers have contacted the families of national students who were found involved in such behaviour. A questionnaire has also been distributed in schools to raise awareness against the trend.

Meanwhile, Col. Jasim Khalil Mirza, Director of Security Awareness Department in Dubai Police, said although cross-dressers may be from different countries and cultures, but those who come to the UAE should respect the country's laws and social and religious values.

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