Why Dubai is so vile, despicable, and reprehensible

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Re: Why Dubai is so vile, despicable, and reprehensible

#41 Post by Rwy in Sight » Sun Aug 12, 2018 5:56 pm

Maybe because they don't bother to do their homework. In a tourist destination in Europe for instance this could just cost you some money. In those areas the cost can be higher and dearer.

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Re: Why Dubai is so vile, despicable, and reprehensible

#42 Post by Capetonian » Sun Aug 12, 2018 6:46 pm

The official informed Dr Holman that possession of alcohol is a crime in the UAE, even if it is inside a person’s body. This is despite the bars in the airport and the fact that his country’s airline staff had given her the wine. As he became increasingly intimidating, Ellie took a video of what was happening for her own protection, action that is encouraged in the West. She had no idea this was also a criminal offence in the Emirates.

The UAE maintains a deliberately misleading facade that alcohol consumption is perfectly legal for visitors. This is exampled by Emirates Airlines serving alcohol in flight, by bars at the airport, by hotels, restaurants and clubs serving drinks. Tourists can not be blamed for believing that the Emirates are tolerant of Western drinking habits but this is far from reality.

It is wholly illegal for any tourist to have any level of alcohol in their blood, even if consumed in flight and provided by Dubai’s own airline. It is illegal to consume alcohol at a bar, a hotel and a restaurant and if breathalysed, that person will be jailed.
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Re: Why Dubai is so vile, despicable, and reprehensible

#43 Post by Smeagol » Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:52 pm

The original headlines which indicated that Dr Holman was detained for drinking alcohol on a flight into Dubai is almost certainly rubbish, she got stroppy with an official who was not going to lose face so had her locked up. fairly standard procedure for the UAE.
I lived in the Abu Dhabi for 3 years and overall had a good time there. Provided you do not publicly flout their rules or piss of a national or someone with more clout than you or your employer it was an OK place to live (I left there about 16 years ago so things have probably changed).
There was one golden rule that applied there and many other similar locations. Quality of life was a balance, with the scales having two buckets on it. On one side is a bucket of money and the other is full of sh1t. As long as the money outweighs the sh1t life is fine but if the balance tips the other way, LEAVE!

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Re: Why Dubai is so vile, despicable, and reprehensible

#44 Post by Capetonian » Thu Aug 23, 2018 6:45 am

British/Irish grandfather’s UAE jail nightmare after disagreement with hotel staff over visiting friend

52 year old John Murphy, from Blackheath in London has already spent 6 weeks in a UAE jail he describes as “like Dante’s Inferno.” He now faces a further 2 to 3 years sentence plus deportation due to a “fabricated charge of sexual assault” made against him by hotel security staff, who claimed that John “sexually assaulted both of them repeatedly in the crowded hotel lobby.”

This type of charge is commonly laid by Arabic men against Western men following any kind of physical confrontation, as evidenced in the world famous Jamie Harron case of 2017

John, a devout Christian and father of 3 .............. had treated himself to a couple of nights getaway in neighbouring Abu Dhabi at the prestigious Armed Forces Officers’ Club and Hotel. A church friend, his wife’s cousin Armando, was in the area and the two men arranged to meet up at the hotel.

“Armando turned up, as planned, around 6:45pm,” John explains. I went down to the reception to let the reception staff know he was my guest. Armando showed his ID as per the hotel protocol, and we went up for a coffee on my balcony.

..........

“After about 15 minutes, we got another call asking us to go back to reception, where events took an unexpected turn. The staff had become hostile and began angrily chastising us that ‘massages were not allowed.’

“Armando is a sports massage therapist, and sometimes works in the gym at that particular hotel, so maybe someone had put 2 and 2 together and made 5, thinking he was there to work on me without the hotel’s permission. We tried explaining that Armando had none of his equipment, and even showed them some Facebook pictures of us at church outings, but it was like talking to a brick wall. They were obviously following instructions and were not authorised to accept our explanations. Two very beefy looking and hostile Arabic guys appeared. One introduced himself as ‘security’ and the other as ‘reception manager.’

“These two men were aggressive, both verbally and in their manner. They called us liars and their voices were raised. Armando is a pretty meek kind of guy and he left, telling me he would see me in our church service on Sunday.

“Then the men turned on me. Their body language was confrontational, and one of them slipped behind me as the larger man, the ‘reception manager’ got right in my face, telling me he didn’t like being lied to, and that business only happened in the hotel with his approval. Every time I started to explain he cut me off with more shouting. It was very humiliating and demeaning.

“I was trying not to match their aggression, as it was beginning to feel dangerous. There were people watching and even videoing the confrontation. In that moment it felt to me like I was either about to be assaulted, or manhandled to somewhere that they could assault me.

“I needed to escape and used a trick my father had once shown me. With the biggest guy, the one in front of me, I tugged his jacket on the left side with my left hand, and gave a slight push on his right hip, to the left with my right hand. This manoeuvre allowed me to dart past him and head down the corridor to the lift where there were a lot of people.

“Armando informed me that someone had videoed the incident and advised me to make a police report, plus a formal complaint to the hotel. I did both.”

“The police called me several times,” continues John. “But they kept putting off seeing me again until one day they turned up at my work, telling me to go with them. They informed me that the Arabic guys had made counter charges of sexual assault!

“The police were taking seriously the accusation that I, a 52 year old, churchgoing grandfather had repeatedly sexually assaulted two giant, aggressive young guys, in a crowded hotel lobby.

“To my disbelief I was taken to the police station, then put in actual chains like in an old movie and whisked away to a hearing in a small court office. This was all in Arabic ......

“I was put back in the cells overnight and back to court in the morning. There was no hearing that day, I just sat there all day and was taken back to the cells, where I stayed for 10 days. All the time in the chains, which chaffed and restricted my movement. I couldn’t wash. I wasn’t allowed a towel or soap. Even eating or going to the toilet was difficult.

“My embassy had apparently tried to visit many times," John continues. "But they were refused, despite them being very near to the police cells, but were consistently refused entry. After day 10 I was transferred to the notorious Al Wathba jail.”

..........

“My passport is held until my final hearing, where I have been told to expect a sentence of 2 to 3 more years, followed by deportation. I have had no opportunity to offer a defence, and have lost all of my savings. My landlord is suing me for non payment and has confiscated all of my possessions. It feels like my life is over.

Radha Stirling, CEO and founder of human rights NGO Detained In Dubai who has spoken with John said: “John Murphy is the latest in a long line of foreigners horrifically abused by the UAE legal system. The danger of the UAE is that they spend vasts amounts of money marketing themselves as a desirable destination for both tourism and business. This can often mislead Westerners to believing it is a safe and modern country to visit, when in fact the risks are high. Countless lives have been ruined because people who are used to more advanced and trustworthy legal systems, travel to the UAE expecting the same due process and legal protection, when it does not exist. We have called upon the hotel in question to drop the charges against Mr Murphy and the government of Abu Dhabi to intervene in a case that has simply gone too far.

"If the UAE wishes to continue to promote itself as a tourist destination, serious judicial reform is required. For every case that is published, thousands more are not and the government can not continue to ignore problems that desperately need change while simultaneously promoting itself as a modern and safe country.

"On human rights issues, the country is on very shaky grounds. The United Nations have demanded response regarding the enforced disappearance of Dubai ruler's daughter Sheikha Latifa. English & Scottish courts refuse to extradite to the UAE based on the 'real risk of torture & abuse‘ and we have endless reports of legal abuse, false allegations, wrongful detentions, torture and abuse, with some allegations even coming directly from the missing princess of Dubai. We've seen women jailed after reporting their own rape, couples detained for a kiss or holding hands, adultery charges for civil partnership couples who share hotel rooms, charges for consuming alcohol served from hotel bars or airlines, poppy seeds, taking photos, tweeting, sharing a charity on facebook and too many more. The UAE is the most likely country for Brits to be arrested abroad and most foreigners will have broken the law before they have even arrived in the country, whether by drinking alcohol in flight or by their use of social media.

"We hope the hotel will see to it that the charges are dropped and that the government of Abu Dhabi swiftly intervenes to assist Mr Murphy return home, especially during Eid.

David Haigh, partner at Detained in Dubai and former Leeds United Managing Director said “Having spent 22 months in the jails, I know he will face the horrors of abuse, torture, discrimination, lack of medication provisions, lack of food or worse. He will, without a doubt, be persecuted because he is a devout Christian in a system that rewards inmates with sentence reductions and better food and conditions if you convert to Islam."

UAE Criminal and Civil Justice Specialists. Contact us on info@detainedindubai.org
And another, who mismanaged his debt.
Brit Jonathan Castle one of thousands stuck in Dubai homelessness nightmare surviving on handouts because of unpayable debt in UAE. Jonathan and thousands of other expats are held hostage for money the banks make impossible to pay

Jonathan Castle made the move to Dubai (like 240,000 other Brits) in 2002 lured by high wages and glamorous living.

Until 2010 Jonathan was a successful copywriter in an upscale UAE advertising agency. Like a lot of expats in Dubai, Jonathan received constant phone calls from banks offering him loans. He allowed himself to be caught up in the 'Dubai lifestyle' and accepted some credit cards from Emirates NBD Bank; too many as it turned out. Jonathan fell behind with payments, and then the unpleasant side of the Dubai loan business began to invade his life.

Jonathan cut back on his lifestyle; rarely eating out, he sold his car and moved to a cheaper part of the city. It was not enough for him to meet his payments and in Dubai, unlike in most countries, debt is not a civil matter, it is a criminal offence punishable by substantial jail time.

UAE banks are notorious for their unwillingness to negotiate. Why should they when they can threaten debtors with years in a hellish desert jail? As Abdulfattah Sharaf (HSBC country head) openly says, “Jailing debtors in the UAE remains an effective way for banks to retrieve bad loans. People immediately get people to come and bail them out, and get the money to us”.

So the nightmare began. Debt collectors began to call him on the phone. Despite Jonathan’s pleas to restructure his loan, they refused, becoming more angry and aggressive: "You filthy defaulter. this my country. Give me my money and go home to your country" Jonathan recalls being told by one collector, “the stress was horrendous. They cursed, insulted me and constantly threatened me with jail, explicitly frightening me with how I would be raped and beaten during my sentence, which would be for years, not months.”

Susan, Jonathan’s wife adds, “they were aggressive and insulting with me too. Shouting down the phone that if I really cared for my husband I would be ‘standing with the prostitutes down at Bur Dubai’ to help him.”

Jonathan kept paying what he could and trying to restructure, but debt collectors in the UAE are generally poorly trained, unprofessional, low-wage young men and women from the nearby subcontinent. They get paid a percentage of the money they recover and will apply any pressure they can to collect. Soon they were calling and emailing all of Jonathan’s friends and colleagues, telling them Jonathan was a criminal and insulting them for associating with him. Before long, rude, loud, aggressive debt collectors were actually going to Jonathan’s workplace and harassing him, his co-workers and even clients. Sometimes they actually became physically violent. Amid these circumstances, although they liked Jonathan, his company had to let him go.

“It’s a catch 22,” Jonathan tells us. “Emirates NBD bank has a police case filed against me for missing credit card payments. But the fact I have a police case against me means I can’t get another visa, so I am not allowed to work, so I have no hope to earn money to meet the payments.” The police case comes with a travel ban, meaning it is forbidden for him to leave the country until the debt is paid. Unable to leave, unable to work and definitely unable to pay, Jonathan now lives on handouts, and sleeps on friends’ sofas, knowing that sooner or later he will be sent to jail. “The sentence for debtors is 3 years,” Jonathan says grimly. “But you don’t get to go home after the 3 years. You get 30 days of freedom to arrange to pay the debt, or you go back inside indefinitely, until somehow the debt is paid.”

Jonathan’s marriage is under strain, his wife had to leave the UAE to return to their family home in the Highlands. His health is suffering too. He is unable to afford a doctor although in need of medication for high blood pressure and other ailments. What is Jonathan’s ambition should he ever escape his nightmare? “While most of my friends are enjoying their retirement, I am 59, and living the life of a penniless student. I Just pray that one day I can escape this city, finally visit my father’s grave and live out my remaining years with my wife” (Jonathan’s father died during the time he has been trapped in Dubai)

Gill G, a soft-spoken homeless Scottish expat has to wash and sleep in mall toilets during the day and walk the city at night because she can’t afford to rent an apartment. She lives on the generosity of restaurants she used to frequent who now save leftovers for her. Gill tells us, “I’m suicidal. I’m 60 and I can’t face going to jail. I’d rather die. The UAE government should do something to help. If it wasn’t for the travel ban I would have packed my suitcases and flown straight back to Glasgow. At least I would have had the chance to pay some of my debt. What hope is there for me now?”

Radha Stirling, CEO of UK based NGO Detained in Dubai released the following statement: “UAE banking laws are in desperate need of modernisation. The fact that the bank knows the debtor cannot pay from inside jail and yet will keep him there indefinitely until a relative bails them out means that the bank is effectively taking the debtor hostage. The fact that a debtor can not get a new job because of the police case is also an obvious legal strategy to force them into jail. Such punitive measures clearly do not facilitate debt recovery. We have found that seeking professional debt negotiation services can often resolve the matter, as long as this is initiated at the earliest possible stage.”

Stirling goes on to say that leading global banks with branches in the UAE all use the same ruthless tactics. “Well known international banks collaborate with local debt collection agencies, knowing that they employ methods that would be illegal in their home countries; knowing that they are participating in a process that will likely result in the imprisonment of clients who themselves come from the very countries where they are headquartered. These banks have a duty to uphold the same standards of fairness and decency in the UAE to which they are bound in the UK and Europe; but unfortunately, this is not what happens, and people like Jonathan Castle suffer for it.”
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Re: Why Dubai is so vile, despicable, and reprehensible

#45 Post by Woody » Wed Sep 05, 2018 4:34 pm

This isn’t going to help their Skytrax position :D

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-45425412
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Re: Why Dubai is so vile, despicable, and reprehensible

#46 Post by Capetonian » Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:32 pm

Oh dear, what a shame. Couldn't happen to a nicer airline.
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Re: Why Dubai is so vile, despicable, and reprehensible

#47 Post by Ex-Ascot » Fri Sep 07, 2018 6:46 am

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/0 ... l-flights/

If EK stop serving inkinhol on board flights into DXB they will lose us. Not that they will care of course.
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Re: Why Dubai is so vile, despicable, and reprehensible

#48 Post by Sisemen » Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:00 am

Quick scuttle through DXB yesterday, straight into the biz lounge and then back on the plane. Way to go. What gets my annoyance rating off the scale is, having gone through all the security nause at departure, sat on the secure aeroplane for x hours, you are subjected to a thorough search as you get OFF that flight before moving through to the secure transit area.

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Re: Why Dubai is so vile, despicable, and reprehensible

#49 Post by Capetonian » Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:17 am

If EK stop serving alcohol, or if it's banned in the Emirate, that will lose them a substantial portion of their passengers, but they won't as their double standards will be maintained.

So drunken binging in DXB and transport of prostitutes by EK from all over the world will continue.
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Re: Why Dubai is so vile, despicable, and reprehensible

#50 Post by Ex-Ascot » Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:54 am

Sisemen wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:00 am
Quick scuttle through DXB yesterday, straight into the biz lounge and then back on the plane. Way to go. What gets my annoyance rating off the scale is, having gone through all the security nause at departure, sat on the secure aeroplane for x hours, you are subjected to a thorough search as you get OFF that flight before moving through to the secure transit area.
Also never understood this Sisemen. Just the ragheads wanting to look 'impotent'

Agree Cape.
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Re: Why Dubai is so vile, despicable, and reprehensible

#51 Post by Sisemen » Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:53 pm

After some thought I did figure it out. Dubai is a hub from all the parts that currently foment unrest and mayhem where boarding procedures may not be of the best or may even aid some Islamic nutter. Makes some sense to check to see if they’re not importing some nasties intent on doing some damage in a terminal where a lot of infidels congregate.

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Re: Why Dubai is so vile, despicable, and reprehensible

#52 Post by Undried Plum » Sat Sep 08, 2018 10:09 pm

Mebbe they are checking for GRU agents smuggling in some of that dodgy perfume.

You can't be too careful, y'know.

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Re: Why Dubai is so vile, despicable, and reprehensible

#53 Post by Capetonian » Sat Oct 20, 2018 6:44 am

Recently, there have been several high profile cases that exposed the dangers of visiting the UAE, such as the case in which an Emirates Airlines passenger was charged with drinking a complimentary glass of wine provided by the carrier. The United Kingdom updated its travel warnings for tourists to highlight the risks of traveling to the UAE. It appears tourism is slowing, housing prices are plummeting, and several major airlines, including Virgin, & Qantas announced cancellation of their Dubai routes.

And in May, the UAE detained British PhD student and researcher, Matthew Hedges who was in the country to research his doctoral thesis. The Emirates appear to allege that Matthew’s academic project, a study of the UAE’s security policies, constituted a breach of national security, and he has been held in solitary confinement, incommunicado, for the last four months.

Radha Stirling, CEO of Detained in Dubai and leading international legal expert on the UAE, says, “We are seeing a very ominous intensification of the UAE’s hostility to free speech, defiance of the rule of law, disdain for due process, and disregard for international opinion. Increasingly, private investors, tourists, and major companies are opting for safer destinations, but the UAE remains intransigent.”

Durham University, where Matthew is pursuing his PhD, has subsequently cancelled all academic research cooperation with the UAE, and other universities are likely to follow.

Stirling tweeted today, “The detention of Matthew Hedges should be a stern warning to anyone in the academic community who focuses on the Middle East. If works have been previously published, researchers are at risk of arrest.”

“Emirati students are studying in the US and Europe, and there is considerable academic cooperation between Western educational institutions and the UAE; many top universities have branches in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.” Stirling says, “But with the detention and outlandish allegations against Matthew Hedges, there needs to be an urgent re-think. Researchers, academics, writers, human rights lawyers and activists, cannot really feel secure visiting the country. The UAE’s well documented abuses and endemic corruption within the legal system, have prompted the UK to basically bar extradition to the Emirates, for fear of torture and unfair trials. There is a growing consensus that the UAE is not a country that can be regarded as friendly to Westerners.”

Stirling continues, “In the past year, Detained in Dubai has dealt with numerous cases in which foreign investors have been defrauded, extorted, and strong-armed into giving up their shares; they have been framed on false charges and convicted on fabricated evidence, in case after case; in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Ras Al Khaimah. The international business community is becoming less tolerant of these kinds of practices, and, when you add to this, the frequency of high profile cases of human rights violations; investors are deciding that the cost of doing business in countries like the UAE is just too high.”

Richard Branson, for instance, has removed himself from two of his franchises in Saudi Arabia, a major UAE ally, over that country’s egregious human rights record. “We would encourage Richard Branson, and all other major figures in the business community, to reassess their presence in the UAE,” says Stirling, “It is not a safe place for tourists, it is not a safe place for business, it is not a safe place for academics. The UAE has ignored an ongoing United Nations enquiry, and in the meantime, continues to falsely accuse, detain, and unfairly prosecute innocent American and European citizens. It is imperative that we in the West demonstrate this is not acceptable, and that we downgrade our relations with the UAE until they can comply with internationally accepted norms of behaviour.”
I would point out that anyone who travels on EK and transits DXB is at risk, it is not just 'visitors' to the hell-hole who are exposed to the risks.
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Re: Why Dubai is so vile, despicable, and reprehensible

#54 Post by ian16th » Sat Oct 20, 2018 9:30 am

I bet it IS a safe place for the GUPTA's!
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Re: Why Dubai is so vile, despicable, and reprehensible

#55 Post by Slasher » Sat Oct 20, 2018 10:37 am

Expats get an earful when they arr in the UAE about what one can and can't do. Keep your snout out of the politics and islam and you'll be ok. Start getting all nosy and asking the wrong questions (especially in a public place) and one is begging for a world of trouble.
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