Ayman Najafi, 24, a marketing consultant who lives in Dubai, and Charlotte Adams, 25, an estate agent from North London, were said to have been touching each other and kissing passionately as they dined with friends in a beachfront restaurant.
They were arrested and sentenced to a month in prison after which they were told they would be deported.
But the pair told a hearing at the Dubai Appeal Court on Sunday that they were the victims of a “huge misunderstanding” and had simply exchanged a friendly greeting.
“We kissed each other on the cheek as a greeting, nothing more,” Mr Najafi told Judge Aysar Fouad. Miss Adams pointed at her cheek to show where contact had taken place.
The latest incident took place when Miss Adams and Mr Najafi met along with four other friends for dinner at Bob’s Easy Diner on the beachfront at the Jumeirah Beach Residence complex on November 27.
The police were called at around 2am by an Emirati woman sitting at a nearby table with her children and claimed her daughter had been upset by the display of affection…
“My daughter told me that the accused were kissing on the mouth,” she said…
At the appeal hearing on Sunday, their defence lawyer Khalaf al Hosany said the couple admitted kissing each other on the cheek but denied any intention to break the law…
But their pleas of not guilty to indecency were rejected and they were sentenced to a month in prison followed by deportation.
Apparently there’s another round of sentencing in a couple of weeks and they have expressed hopes for more understanding at that hearing. Frankly, if Dubai wishes to continue to be a tourist destination for travelers from around the world they had better get their morality coppers into the 21st Century – or give up on the idea.