Monday 5th April 2010

The Dubai appeal court has upheld the one-month prison sentence given to a British expat who was charged with kissing in public last November.

Earlier this year we reported on the case of the British expat Ayman Najafi and his friend Charlotte Adams who were standing trail in Dubai accused of drunk and inappropriate behavior in public. Yesterday they lost their appeal against their prison sentence and are now facing up to one month in prison. The couple, who were accused of kissing in the restaurant at the Jumeirah Beach Residence, now have 30 days to lodge a further appeal at the highest court of appeal in Dubai, although when speaking outside court yesterday Ms Adams indicated that she would not be taking further action:

'I want to go to jail straight away. I can't get on with my life at the moment. I'm stuck in this country with no money and I can't work.

'If I appeal and turn up to court in two months time and the verdict is still the same then I would have wasted more of my life.

'I just want to serve my 30 days and get out of here. Ayman can appeal but I just want the 30 days.'

The pair were convicted as a result of written evidence from a 38-year-old woman who complained that he was offended by the physical activity taking place between them. Both Najafi and his friend deny the accusations, admitting to greeting one another with a peck on the cheek (which is permissible under Dubai law) but denying that any further kissing or physical exchange.

The couple, who are currently being retained in Dubai will also be required to pay a fine of 1,000 Dirhams for the illegal consumption of alcohol and will be deported after their trail is heard.

The case serves as a stark warning to expatriates living in the Arab Emirates and it is crucial that any expats who migrate to the area are fully aware of the customs, rules and regulations that govern behavior there. For further details please see our city guides. They contain everything you need to know about living and working in popular cities and will arm you with all the information you need to stay on the right side of the law.

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