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The New Arab Staff

Naked models arrested in Dubai face jail

The women took part in an organised photo-shoot in Dubai's upscale Marina neighbourhood [Getty]

Date of publication: 5 April, 2021

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A video depicting naked women on a balcony in Dubai led the police to arrest a group of people for 'public debauchery'.
A group of women arrested by UAE police on charges of "public debauchery" will face jail time, after a widely shared video showed them posing naked on a balcony in Dubai.

It appears the group of around 20 women were professional models taking part in an organised photo-shoot in Dubai's upscale Marina neighbourhood in broad daylight.

Images captured by people in neighbouring skyscrapers spread on social media platforms late on Saturday.

The police said that they had registered a criminal case against the group and that the women had "been referred to the public prosecution for further legal action", which could mean a fine of as much as 5,000 dirham ($13,000) or a six-month jail term.

"Such unacceptable behaviours," the police statement said, "do not reflect the values and ethics of Emirati society."

It came as a shock in the federation of seven Arab sheikhdoms, where tamer behavior, like kissing in public or drinking alcohol without a license, has landed people in jail.

The sharing of pornographic material is also punishable with prison time and hefty fines under the country's laws, which are based on Islamic law, or Shariah.

State-linked newspaper The National reported it appeared to be a "publicity stunt", without elaborating.

The United Arab Emirates has strict laws governing expression.

People have been jailed for their comments and videos online. The country's majority state-owned telecom companies block access to major pornographic websites.

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