Dubai, a liberal investment dream or a nightmarish Sharia-ruled Vegas?

It’s funny how people who have visited or lived in Dubai, the most liberal of Arab countries, swear and insist it’s as free and safe as the West and it has no correlation to the descriptions of Sharia Islam – until they get arrested over some small civil offense, sometimes over fabricated offenses with no evidence, and then imprisoned for ten years.

Dubai is in an investment and expansion frenzy trying to plan their future survival, after it was revealed that their oil reserves would dry up “in ten years”. They have to endure the presence of foreigners for that sole reason. Most likely UAE’s oil resources are already scraping the bottom of the barrel as the country’s resources were always modest in scale compared to its neighbours. The biggest producer, Saudi Arabia, is already running on low reserves and their oil capacity has been inflated by 40% according to foreign engineers working in the rigid Mohammedan prison-like country. It’s always dupes and lies with these people. Oil is becoming so scarce in the Middle East that the government now pockets 99% of total oil revenues to max out on earnings while they still can.

After watching a lively and alluring documentary about Dubai’s get-rich-quick-crowd presented by the annoying British pain Piers Morgan (Piers Morgan on Dubai), we realized that half of the people Morgan interviewed in the show are now sitting in jail on long term sentences. It appears the deeply deceptive and unpredictable Mohammedan have hit nearly everyone of the successful people in Morgan’s show.

So why did so many people from a single show end up in prison in Dubai? It was revealed earlier this year that the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade confidentially noted the 2009 Dubai property boom and bust saw a number of foreign nationals from Australia, the United States, UK and Canada “caught up in the government’s prosecution of people they felt were responsible”. So, basically, Arabs were blaming their own financial downturns on foreign business owners! So they had to be arrested.

Now here’s a picture you probably won’t be seeing on the many tourists brochures for Dubai:

You’re looking at inmates in a Dubai prison (staged, cleaned up photo).

Here’s a real video taken inside Briman Prison In Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Should give a taste of the real thing.

In contrast to the man-made islands, ski slopes in the desert and other worldly spectacles, a very old value system persists that you will never see in a tourist brochure – and it’s one that can get Americans in a heap of trouble.

Former residents told us that a drunk driving arrest (that is, consuming any amount of alcohol) will lead to an automatic six-month prison term without a trial. Nearly five years ago, DJ Grooverider was sentenced to four years imprisonment for possession of 2.16 grams of cannabis at the Dubai International Airport. He was pardoned seven months later.

According to Sky News, you can get arrested for swearing or making rude gestures, kissing or holding hands in public, adultery, cross-dressing, homosexual behavior, exposing your underwear, taking pictures of certain government buildings, bouncing a check or failing to pay a bill, and wearing revealing clothing at places other than the beach. Visitors can’t eat, drink or smoke in public places during Ramadan.

Dubai’s Sharia “Justice” System:

  • British sales manager Michelle Palmer lost her £50,000-a-year tax-free job as a manager with a publishing firm in 2008, and sentenced to prison in Dubai for public kissing and ‘sex’ on a beach, although she denied this ever happened.
  • In May 2013, a Dubai court found Australian property developer Matthew Joyce guilty of accepting a $6 million ‘bribe’ while he worked for state-owned property company in order ‘to dupe’ Gold Coast developer Sunland. He was sentenced to 10 years’ jail and leveed with a $US25 million fine. Although Sunland insisted Joyce was innocent and they found no evidence of him committing fraud, Joyce is stuck in Dubai’s prison.
  • In April 2012, 29-year old Shezanne “Shez” Cassim, an American citizen, former Minnesota resident, and consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Dubai office, was jailed in the United Arab Emirates. His crime? Posting a rather innocent comedy video to YouTube in 2012. We’ve looked at the video and could see nothing offensive with it.
  • Rebecca Blake, 30, faced a terrifying ordeal in Dubai after a taxi driver reported her for ‘having sex outside marriage’, a charge she denied and which medical exams proved her right. She was still convicted. Blake could have faced the death penalty for adultery if officials knew she was technically still married. They forgot about her in prison and she ended up serving double the sentence than intended before being released.
  • A Norwegian woman at the center of a Dubai rape claim dispute faced a 16-month jail sentence for ‘having sex outside marriage’. 24-year old Marte Deborah Dalelv was raped in Dubai by a co-worker and was arrested while filing a complaint.
  • British friends Grant Cameron, Karl Williams and Suneet Jeerh, were wrongly accused of dealing drugs before being taken into the desert and beaten with electric cattle prods. Their rental car had been left with a bag of tobacco by the previous renter. They called the rental company to report the find – and instead found themselves reported and arrested to police for ‘dealing drugs’. All three were jailed for three years. In Dubai’s prison they discovered that violence, and daily rape was a common occurrence, and prisoners would infect others with HIV in revenge for losing a fight.
  • A long list of foreign property developers have been arrested in Dubai and imprisoned for up to 26 years for ‘bouncing checks’. Some of the charges are merely due to delays in goods by suppliers because Dubai relies on imports – a very common problem in property development – yet have lead to an extended prison sentence.

Here’s another tidbit from Sky News: “Raw poppy seeds are included on the UAE’s banned list, and Fair Trials International highlights the case of a man held at customs after poppy seeds from a roll he ate in the airport became trapped in his clothing.”

Then there’s this picture in a story from The National last summer:

Here’s the downright scary caption: “Social worker Latifa Khadim at Dubai prison with prisoner Zakir Alam. Zakir has served 3 years and 4 months of a two-month prison sentence. He will not be released until he is able to pay the Dh 200,000 blood money to the family of the other driver who was killed in a car accident.”

The Dubai serves up great marketing as a free spirited party town but doesn’t tell American visitors what they really need to know.

Dubai being marketed and promoted as “one of the most progressive and appealing cities on earth”:

The human slaves of “modern” Dubai [had Dubai authorities known what topic they were filming they would have been arrested]:

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3 thoughts on “Dubai, a liberal investment dream or a nightmarish Sharia-ruled Vegas?”

  1. Like all Moslem countries, behind the Western facade there’s a racist, primitive, predatory tribal culture, it’s a kafkaesque world. Why Westerners are so naive is the question, perhaps it’s just the lure of big salaries and ignorance.

  2. Had a similar experience myself. Whilst living in Saudi Arabia my husband and I decided to go to Dubai for New Year. We had a good meal at a Mexican restaurant and danced to the resident band. In the taxi on our way to our hotel my husband put his arm around my shoulder and kissed me on the cheek whilst we were stopped at traffic lights. out of the blue an Arab got out of his car, he was several cars ahead of our taxi, and with mobile in hand told me to wind down the window, then telling me I should be ashamed of myself, not my husband, and I told him to clear off and mind his own business – that was some 20 years ago and as I now reflect on this incident I realize it could have turned out very badly for me. I have never been to Dubai since, would never go to that vile fantasy island and think anyone going there is crazy. You never know where you might end up!

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