When traveling to the United Arab Emirates PLEASE remember local customs or go to jail.
As you likely recall, a couple was arrested in the desert thorn turned desert rose turned desert financial disaster called Dubai last year for fornicating on the beach. Evidently, that couple was caught a second time doing it before being arrested by the police in Dubai whose motto seems to involve the phrase, "fool me twice, a pox on your house." And, for the most part, we westerners were a little incensed but weren't too-too upset.
But since the bottom fell out of the Dubai real estate market et al, it looks like the relatively indulgent Emirate is taking its frustration out on PDA. According to Reuters, British man and his lady friend were sentenced to a month in the pokey after being spotted consuming alcohol and smooching / groping in public. Evidently, a woman objected to their behavior because she did not care for her child to see their debauched behavior. Read: 7 Commandments For Showing Love In Public
The lawyer for the couple claims that they were merely kissing "hello" as is the tradition in some cultures. He is seeking an appeal in the case though the pair will be fined $272 for something to do with the boozing. The couple was scheduled to be shamed and departed after spending a month in the joint, but the appeal could change that. Though it should be noted that compared to a jail in Iraq or France, the jails in Dubai really aren't so bad. Read: Red Wine Linked To Strong Sex Drive
In addition to making making out verbotten, the desert kingdom appears to be cracking down on sexy text messaging. A pair of crew members from Emirates Airlines were ordered to spend three months in the jail for sexting (I'd anyone who writes "sexting" to spend three months in Dubai jail), according to Reuters. Who narced them out for that?
Dubai is a study in contradictions. It's a culture that desperately courts western investment and tourism and only asks that our wanton ways not be rubbed in their faces. Sex, drugs and alcohol are all available in the desert kingdom but behind closed doors and away from the eyes of the pious. Though you'd guess that some people spending $1,500 a night at the Burj Al Arab may care less about the feelings of the locals.
I'd like to note that if a boozy, mostly-public make-out was illegal I'd be serving life in prison. On the other hand, it's nice that the authorities in a Middle Eastern country arrested someone on the word of a woman even if it was for something ridiculous. That's progress, I guess. Read: Egyptian Woman Seeks Legal Ruling On Text Divorce
Lousiest St. Patrick's Day destination… ever. Read: Single On St. Patrick's Day? 8 Tipsy Dating Tips