It's easy to forget that you are living in a strict Muslim country in the UAE, it really is. After all, you can go to bars, you can buy alcohol with a license, you can show your shoulders if you are a woman, although you really shouldn't out of respect, even though it is getting very hot. Heck, you can even buy pork at Spinneys!
But a few headlines this week have people who are living together, but aren't married, or fooling around on their partners, and there are lots of them, looking over their shoulder. In Sharjah an Emirati man and his young South African employee were jailed and charged with having sex outside of marraige after they were found after hours in a dive shop during a late-night police raid last month. The woman was sentenced to three months in jail, the man six. They have appealed the sentences.
In the northern emirate of Ajman, a married Filipina woman was sentenced to one month in jail, and subsequent deportation, for having an affair. The woman accused the man of raping her, but a subsequent police investigation found he was her boyfriend and the relationship was consensual. Hrmmm.
A British mother of two, Sally Antia, 43, faces up to three years in prison and deportation after admitting adultery. She and her alleged lover, who have been in jail for weeks, were nabbed by police outside the Radisson Blu hotel. They were acting on a complaint from her husband. Mark Hawkins, who met her on the Internet before flying out, makes the understatement of the year when he tells the Daily Telegraph "I won't be coming to Dubai on holiday again".