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Dubai

More than just an airport

Dubai is just another tiny oil-rich kingdom on the Gulf of Arabia. While it remains an important regional airport, like its neighbours it is doing all it can to turn itself into an international tourist destination.

You'll find all the usual camel safaris, scuba diving, nice beaches for Western tourists only and exquisite hospitality. But being a Muslim country there is no freedom for the people, especially the foreign workers who often suffer horribly as they do in other countries within the region.

However for the naive Western tourist, especially if she is remotely attractive, she will be a target for rape. The Arabs like pretty girls from Europe and even today is reported that European girls are sold as sex slaves into middle eastern brothels. In fact the city is awash with Russian and East European sex workers.

Over the past few years, an increasing number of Western women visiting as tourists have been raped and under Muslim law (sharia) it is always the woman who is at fault. In all these cases foreign women will go to jail whereas local women are likely to be executed for either shaming their families or having extramarital sex even though they are forced and often brutalised.

If you happen to be a single well-heeled guy, Dubai has a lot to offer in terms of activities and even sex, but if you're a woman, you have got to be bloody insane to go there. The chances of being raped are actually very good, but there's also a chance that you'll end up with bruises and broken bones and if you happen to complain afterwards, you can guarantee to end up in jail while the perpetrators get a pat on the back and congratulated by the envious friends.

Things not to do

Leave your recreational drugs at home, just the slightest whiff will land you in jail for a minimum four years and any hint of dealing is a life sentence. Similarly drink-driving and that means being stopped while driving with any blood alcohol at all will also put you behind bars.

Cover-up, outside of the beach resorts even men must wear shirts and trousers. Because any woman bearing to much skin could face a jail term released a degree of unpleasant harassment.

Holding hands with the man or woman you are married to provided you are of the opposite sex is okay but hugging and kissing in public is strictly taboo and you will likely find yourself harassed by the morality police. If you are not married and travelling together in an informal relationship, just holding hands could land you in jail or stop to be safe you should either have separate rooms or at least separate beds. But if you happen to be gay, do not let it show outside of your hotel room and to be safe you should have a room with twin beds.

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