On a shopping spree at The Dubai Mall
, a British woman was arrested for wearing only a bikini. The incident started after the woman walked through the mall wearing a revealing top which drew criticism from a local woman.
The two women then involved themselves in a heated row, with an audience of hundreds of “bemused shoppers,” from a report in the Daily Mail
The Briton, unidentified, incensed by comments made by the Arabic woman, then stripped down to her bikini and commenced walking through the mall while taunting locals, it is alleged. She was then arrested.
A source with the Dubai police said: 'The British woman was wearing a very low top and most of her legs were on display. The Arabic woman stopped to criticize her and that's when she stripped off. That's when things started to get out of hand.
“We ended up questioning both women after receiving a call from the mall security staff.'
Numerous signs in the mall urge women to wear respectful clothing. Most shopping malls in the United Arab Emirates have similar messages.
The Foreign Office confirmed the arrest, but charges have since been dropped.
Dubai attracts more than one million British tourists annually, and is considered to have a more lenient policy than other Arab states.
However, there have been several instances recently involving British tourists leading to prosecutions.
Earlier this year, Charlotte Adams, 26, and Ayman Najafi, 24, received a month-long jail sentence from a Dubai court for “kissing and fondling” each other in a restaurant. The couple maintained their embrace was a mere “peck on the cheek.”
Their arrest came about when a 38-year-old local woman became offended after she saw their lips locked and stroking one another’s backs, she claims.
They were jailed for indecency and for being under the influence of alcohol in a public place.
In 2008, businessman Vince Acors and publishing executive Michelle Palmer received three-month jail sentences after being convicted of having sex on a local beach, according to The Independent
The Foreign Office website offers a reminder for those wishing to visit the UAE that local laws and customs should be respected: “"You should respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times and be aware of your actions to ensure that they do not offend other cultures or religious beliefs.
"Women should dress modestly when in public areas, such as shopping malls. Clothes should cover the tops of the arms and legs, and underwear should not be visible.
"Public displays of affection are frowned upon, and there have been several arrests for kissing in public."
The Dubai Mall, billed as the world’s largest, covers 12.1 million square feet, has 1,200 stores, and attracts more than 750,000 visitors weekly.