Here's a few to look out for when travelling. Most of the 14 million people who visit the glittering Emirati city each year come away with only positive experiences of their time there. But many others have discovered that for all its luxury shopping, lively night-life, advanced technology and record-breaking feats of architecture, Dubai can be very archaic when it comes to the law — and it shows little mercy.
But Harron is not the only tourist who has gotten banged up in Dubai for a seemingly innocent mistake. UK tourist Jamie Harron was sentenced to three months in a Dubai jail for touching a man's hip in a bar - however he was later freedSource: According to The Guardian , the men were taken to a police station where they signed an Arabic document in which they apologised and promised not to go plane-spotting in the UAE again.
They were sent to prison but eventually released without charge. In , a British couple was given a three-month suspended sentence for having sex on a beach, while in another British couple, who were merely friends, spent a month in jail for allegedly kissing in a restaurant.
De facto and same-sex couples may find their relationships are not socially acceptable supported in Dubai. Getty Images And an Indian couple were sentenced to three months in jail for exchanging flirty text messages. Mr Richards, who is from South Australia but had worked in Dubai for 10 years, shared a Facebook post in support of a charity working to fund medical procedures and treatment for refugees in Afghanistan.
The father-of-two was detained under recently introduced laws prohibiting people from promoting overseas charities. Officials have since dropped the case. Australian man Scott Richards was detained in Dubai for highlighting the work of an Afghan refugee charity on social media. Billy Barclay, 31, was handcuffed and arrested in front of his horrified wife and kids at Dubai airport and was imprisoned for three days before being released on bail.
A British man is facing six months in a Dubai jail for giving the finger to a fellow driver. And a British IT consultant has learnt this the hard way when he was arrested for sticking up his finger to a driver.
The incident happened in February as Jamil Ahmed Mukadam, 23, drove his wife to the airport in a hire car and a driver started tailgating them, The Guardian reported.
If convicted of public indecency he be jailed for six months. Dubai also has strict laws against swearing: Also that year, police arrested a man who filmed an incident in which a government official attacked a van driver and shared the footage on YouTube. Charges were eventually dropped. Even a tiny amount of illicit drugs in your blood or urine is considered possession.
Travellers should be careful with the medication they bring with them to the UAE. He was reportedly freed a few weeks later, according to the BBC. In May this year, a British woman who arrived at Dubai airport with a runny nose was detained after she was falsely accused of snorting cocaine on her Emirates flight.
DFAT warns travellers to be very careful about taking medication into the UAE, as even medication that is available over the counter or by prescription in Australia may be considered illicit in the Emirates. That includes Nurofen Plus, as it contains the banned substance codeine. Last year, amid huge international outcry at her arrest, officials dropped charges against a British woman who was facing jail after being gang-raped in a hotel room.
After reporting the crime to police, the woman was accused of having sex outside of marriage, a crime punishable by jail time, flogging and even stoning to death. She was eventually freed. Similarly, Australian woman Alicia Gali spent eight months in a Dubai jail after she was drugged and violently raped, and sentenced to a year in prison for having extramarital sex.
Radha Stirling from Detained in Dubai said such situations were common in the Gulf states.