Police arrested a group of people in Dubai on charges of public debauchery over a widely-shared video that shows naked women posing on a balcony in the city. Videos and photographs show more than a dozen naked women lined up on a balcony while being filmed in Dubai's upscale Marina neighborhood.
The videos and photos went viral on social media on Saturday evening and are still doing the rounds. State-linked newspaper The National reported it appeared to be a publicity stunt, without elaborating. Violations of the public decency law in the United Arab Emirates, including for nudity and other 'lewd behavior', carry penalties of up to six months in prison and a 5,000 dirham ($1,368) fine.
Breaking the Law
Footage taken from a next door building shows over a dozen women posing naked on the balcony of one of the city's skyscrapers. The nude women were being filmed by a man.
Late on Saturday, a series of videos and photographs showing multiple naked women posing in broad daylight were splashed across social media. The videos and photos immediately went viral. It came as a shock in the federation of seven Arab sheikhdoms, where even tamer behavior such as kissing in public or drinking alcohol without a license has landed people in jail.
Following this police started a crackdown and arrested a group of people connected with the raunchy photoshoot. According to a report in The Sun, the 15 models in the naked photoshoot were part of a publicity stunt for an Israeli website. The website is believed to be a version of a US adult website, which has not been named.
Sharing of pornographic material is punishable, with prison time and a fine of up to 500,000 dirhams under Dubai's laws, which are based on Islamic law, or Shariah.
Action Against Offenders
Dubai police said those arrested over the indecent have been referred to public prosecutors and strict action will be taken against them. "Such unacceptable behaviours do not reflect the values and ethics of Emirati society," police said in a statement.
Those arrested may now face up to six months in prison and a fine of around $1,382 for violating public decency laws in the United Arab Emirates, which includes nudity and other lewd behavior. The UAE, while liberal in many regards compared to its Middle Eastern neighbors, has strict laws governing expression and social media.