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‘Kiss of deportation’: Don’t be too affectionate with your partner in UAE this V-Day

by | Feature

Feb. 11, 20 | 3:48 pm

Public health officials in the Philippines have warned couples to refrain from doing ‘beso-beso’ and holding hands this Valentine’s Day as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of the dreaded novel coronavirus.

In the UAE, these forms of public display of affection in whatever occasion like Valentine’s Day are frowned upon since time immemorial. This is why it is not an excuse to be overly affectionate in public.

James and Mayla, not their real names, were subtly fondling each other by the beach in Dubai three years ago. It was already dark, and they thought that no one could notice them. So, they kissed and hugged each other. It did not cross their minds that PDA is not tolerated in the UAE.

But some men doing the rounds at the beach, apparently operatives of the police’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID), suddenly apprehended them.

The two were not married in the first place and so the decision of the court was swift. They were both handed down one month in prison each followed by deportation.

With its magnificent landscape, many foreigners fall in love with the beauty of the UAE. Although it’s a poetic and romantic place for couples, PDA is not allowed here.

Holding hands, kissing, and other forms of display of affection when in public places are socially unacceptable and strictly discouraged.

The government of Dubai’s code of conduct specifically states that, “Display of affection among couples – whether married or not – in public places does not fit the local customs and culture.” This code of conduct adds that “holding hands for a married couple is tolerated but kissing and petting are considered an offence to public decency.”

In 2017, another couple was sentenced to one month in jail for hugging and kissing inside a public restroom. A petrol station attendant told his manager about seeing the couple’s actions from the window of the door of the restroom. The manager then alerted the police who immediately arrested the couple.

“Social values in the UAE are very different from other countries,” said advocate Imran Khan. “Many countries don’t permit PDA in public areas in a vulgar manner, but in terms of seriousness, UAE law enforcement is stricter,” he added.

“If PDA is showing affection towards someone, then it should be done in the presence of only that person. After all love isn’t a showoff to other people,” he said.

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THE FILIPINO TIMES is the biggest and most trusted Filipino newspaper in the UAE.

It has a print run of 60,000 copies and 250,000 readership per week; bolstered by 2.5 million visitors to its website every month. It also has an e-newsletter sent to its 250,000 subscribers every day.

The Filipino Times is FREE and has the widest targeted circulation across the 7 emirates of the UAE.

With more than 2,500 strategic distribution spots, TFT is available where the Filipinos are - at Smart Bus Shelters, Metro Stations, restaurants, supermarkets, schools, airport lounges, Emirates and Etihad Philippine-bound flights, churches, Filipino community events and many more.

THE FILIPINO TIMES. We are where the Filipinos are.

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