Illustration for article titled Two Westerners Are Sentenced to Three Months in a Dubai Jail After Allegedly Sexing Up the Back of a Taxi

If you've seen Sex and the City 2, first off, my condolences — that movie is awful except for the "Lawrence of my labia" joke, though it does teach us all a very important lesson about Dubai, which is that, if you have to have a drunken sexual escapade with an especially attractive European businessman on the beach, Dubai is definitely not the place for this to happen. Far better, we Sex and the City 2 veterans all know, to sex it up somewhere else, like Panama City or Nice. Unfortunately, a British businesswoman and an Irish man might be spending three months in a Dubai jail because they made what seemed like a wise decision not to see Sex and the City 2 and ended up trundling down a fateful path that led them to having sex in the backseat of a Dubai taxi.


Rebecca Blake and Conor McRedmond have both been charged with "breach of honor with consent" as well as committing "an indecent act in a taxi," both of which they denied when they appeared in court last month (the two did plead guilty to a third charge related to the public consumption of alcohol). The United Arab Emirates, however, doesn't take public sex lightly, and sentenced Blake and McRedmond to three months in jail, deportation, and a fine of 3,000 dirhams (about $815) each. Their attorney, Shaker al-Shammary, assured Reuters that his clients planned on appealing the court's decision.

This sort of thing has happened before — in 2010, a British couple was sentenced to one month in jail for kissing on the mouth in a restaurant, and earlier, in 2008, another British couple was caught having sex "out of wedlock" on the beach, full-on Samantha-style (the latter couple had their three-month jail sentence overturned after an appeal). There is a yawning cultural gap, explains the Reuters report, between the UAE's expatriate population (which accounts for about 90 percent of the country's entire population), and the native Muslim population. For instance, though the UAE is very conservative about drinking and public humping, many of its beach bars and resorts boast all-you-can-drink brunches, which attract revellers from all over the more freewheeling, loose-moraled Western world. It makes for an awkward intersection of cultural values, and what may seem like the natural conclusion to a night of drinking and dancing in the sultry desert air, i.e. sex on the beach, can very quickly turn into a scary Midnight Express anecdote.


British businesswoman jailed for three months in Dubai over sex in taxi claims [Telegraph via Reuters]

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This seems like fair punishment for having no respect for the customs and norms of a country in which you are a visitor.