Dubai, Mar.17 (ANI): The Dubai Executive Council has urged the residents of Dubai, where foreigners make up more than 80 per cent of the population, to respect the customs of the Muslim majority country and avoid inappropriate public behaviour.
Playing loud music, dancing, nudity, kissing and even holding hands in public is considered inapproppriate behaviour under new guidelines laid down by the authorities.
The Sydney Morning Herald quoting a report from the Arabic-language daily Al Emarat Al-Youm said any breach of the guidelines, by nationals or expatriates, carries a possible prison penalty.
The guidelines also stipulate that anyone caught under the influence of alcohol-even small amounts-outside designated drinking areas is liable to being fined or imprisoned.
Dubai, a member of the seven-emirate United Arab Emirates, has a diverse culture as it is home to a foreign population made up mainly of low-skilled workers from Asia and Western professionals.
Unlike most of its neighbours in the conservative Gulf region, the emirate tolerates a relatively relaxed dress code and hosts dozens of hotels that have bars and clubs, where alcohol is legally served.
Whatever the fate of the proposed instructions, it's highly unlikely any crackdown could spill over to Dubai's many resorts and nightclubs, where booze flows freely and the attire is the same as any tropical vacation spot.
The front-page newspaper story said Dubai's Executive Office, which directs the emirate's ambitious development plans, issued the guidelines for "all citizens, residents and visitors ... while in the emirate ... to respect its culture and values." (ANI)