Flirting with a woman could get you jailed in UAE
If you are convicted, the court may issue an order of deportation.
I am a senior business executive based in the emirate of Dubai. Recently, I attended a meeting at an office and after it was over, I initiated a conversation with the woman receptionist there. I complimented her about her beauty and invited her to accompany me for a coffee. Thereafter, the following day, the said receptionist was waiting downstairs with the police. I was confronted by the cops and made aware that the woman had filed a criminal complaint against me. Have I committed an offence? Will the complaint filed against me stand during a court trial?
Pursuant to the first part of your query, it should be noted that disrespecting women and any act against honour and dignity of women is not in accordance with the culture and tradition of the UAE. As per the provisions of Federal Law No. 3 of 1987 in issuance of the Penal Code of UAE (the 'Penal Code'), it is an offence to obstruct a woman which shall result in the violation of her prudence by word, deed or by using information technology or any other means. This is in accordance with Article 359 of the Penal Code, which states:
"Any person who obstructs a female in such a manner as to violate her prudence by word, deed or by using information technology or any other means shall be punished by a jail term not exceeding one year and a fine not exceeding Dh10,000, or by either of these two penalties."
Further, if the evidence provided by the complainant is accepted by the public prosecutor and if you are convicted, the court may issue an order of deportation against you after serving the sentence issued by court. This is in accordance with Article 121 of the Penal Code, which states:
"If a foreigner has been sentenced to a custodial penalty in a felony or misdemeanour, the court may call in its judgment for the deportation of the convicted foreigner from the state. Deportation orders shall also apply to felonies perpetrated on the honour.
The court may, in cases of misdemeanours, order the commutation of a custodial penalty stated for misdemeanour to deportation."
Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United Kingdom and India. Full details of his firm on: www.amalawyers.com. Readers may e-mail their questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.
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