Feature

Sex on the beach in Dubai

British expats learn the limits to an Islamic culture's tolerance of Western behavior

A word of caution to Westerners planning to visit Dubai, said Karen Beaudoin in Maine Today. Leave your libido at home. A British couple convicted of having drunken sex on a beach in the United Arab Emirates have been sentenced to three months in jail, followed by deportation. “Sure, doing the nasty in public is frowned upon unless the cameras are rolling or you're at a Sandals Resort, but yikes.”

The local authorities did nothing wrong, said Mark Blanksby in the British construction magazine Building. “Dubai is extremely welcoming and tolerant”—probably more so than any other city in the region. But these two lovebirds—Vince Acors and Michelle Palmer—wore out their welcome by trampling on the rules of their conservative Islamic hosts, so they deserve to be punished.

Palmer lost her publishing job in Dubai over this, too, said Janet Street-Porter in the British daily The Independent, but it‘s hard to feel sorry for her. She “behaved like a trollop”—even if she was only making out with Acors as she claimed. If police back home would punish drunken misbehavior half as severely, maybe expats would conduct themselves in ways that reflected better on Western culture.

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