"“Michelle and Vince were both absolutely hammered when arrested – it’s hardly surprising they can’t remember a thing. “No one would have turned a hair about that kind of behaviour in Magaluf, but they made a very grave misjudgment doing it in a Muslim country. “They woke up in police cells with monster hangovers, facing six years in jail. One bonk on the beach has cost her her career."
I posted recently on the Abu Dhabi Media City in the U.A.E and it's competitor, the Dubai Media City.
Before anyone signs up to any potential assigment there, I think it's important you be aware of the following (it is also an important lesson on the cost-benefit analysis of attending a an all-you-can-drink champagne brunch in a city which is hot and near the sea):
Britons get jail time in sex on beach case in Dubai
The Associated Press
Thursday, October 16, 2008
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates: A British couple charged with having sex on the beach were sentenced to three months in jail Thursday in a case that has caused controversy in this Gulf boom town.
The judge did not provide any details about his verdict, as is customary in Dubai, so it is unclear whether Michelle Palmer and Vince Acors were found guilty of engaging in intercourse, or some lesser offense.
The two Britons, who are both in their 30s and met at an all-you-can-drink champagne brunch before the alleged incident occurred, were arrested in July and later charged with sex outside of marriage, public indecency and drunkenness.
In addition to the three-month jail sentence, Judge Hamdi Mustafa Abu el-Khair levied a 1,000 dirham (US$272) fine against each of the defendants and ordered them to be deported from Dubai after serving their prison time.
"I will appeal (the verdict) and ask a judge to look at the medical report that says they did not have sex," their lawyer, Hassan Matter, told The Associated Press after Thursday's ruling.
Both previously admitted they were drunk but denied having sex. The two were not in the courtroom Thursday to hear the judge's verdict, and it was unclear if they would remain out of prison while their lawyer appealed the case.
Matter said he will submit his appeal after the judge issues a formal explanation of his verdict, which the lawyer expects in a week to 10 days. The defense has to file an appeal within 15 days.
"I think the judge gave a small punishment for a kiss, not sex on the beach," said Matter.
The couple could have received two years in prison if convicted of all charges.
Public displays of affection are illegal in Dubai, a city that has worked hard to cultivate an image as a haven for Western tourists and businesses in the Middle East but has a conservative legal code based on Islamic laws and tribal rules.
What the AP story does not remind us of is that Michelle works in guess what industry? That's right - media and publishing. Here's more but I'm now putting in a vote against the DMC and for the Abu Dhabi Media City.
Beach cop saw Michelle on top
From NICK PARKER
Chief Foreign Correspondentin Dubai
Published: 10 Jul 2008
BRIT Michelle Palmer was caught romping on top of her lover on a Dubai beach, police said yesterday.
She was arrested after a cop said he saw her having sex on the sand in the Arab emirate.
The officer said she was sitting astride sozzled businessman Vince Acors, who lay on his back, and that she was moving up and down.
Michelle, 36, faces up to six years’ jail in Dubai as she awaits trial for public indecency, drunkenness and assaulting the arresting cop.
Divorced dad-of-one Acors, 34, from Bromley, Kent, faces a similar sentence.
Front page ... Sun exclusive
And yesterday brunette Michelle was called in by the publishing firm where she had worked for three years in the Muslim state – and sacked on the spot.
Bosses at ITP Publishing said they had no option but to dismiss her for bringing their name into disrepute.
Michelle, who collapsed in tears, was said to be “close to despair” last night.
The expat had linked up with SMS text company boss Acors after getting drunk at a bar last Friday.
Pals said they began kissing and cuddling as they joined revellers on a crawl around local booze joints.
The Sun told yesterday how they ended up on Jumeirah Beach, where they were TWICE caught romping by a local police officer.
Cops say feisty Michelle blew her top after her arrest – allegedly abusing the cop and trying to assault him with one of her shoes.
Both she and Acors have been barred from leaving Dubai until police finish their investigation.
Acors, dubbed “Vince Charming” due to his success with women, had travelled to the Middle East on business.
He and Michelle told cops they could not remember if they had sex in the early hours of Saturday.
But police, facing pressure to curb the excesses of western visitors, pressed on with the inquiry.
Michelle and Acors, who has a son aged seven, must now wait for at least two weeks before local chiefs decide whether to pursue the case.
They face jail terms estimated at between three months and six years plus a fine and deportation.
A pal said yesterday: “Michelle and Vince were both absolutely hammered when arrested – it’s hardly surprising they can’t remember a thing.
“No one would have turned a hair about that kind of behaviour in Magaluf, but they made a very grave misjudgment doing it in a Muslim country.
“They woke up in police cells with monster hangovers, facing six years in jail. Vince is beside himself with worry – he never intended to offend anyone.
“And Michelle is absolutely devastated. One bonk on the beach has cost her her career, reputation and, most probably, her liberty.”
One of Acors’ pals said: “Vince is a top class bird-puller. A great character who laughs the ladies into bed.
Idyllic ... the pair romped on Dubai sands
“I have to say I wasn’t surprised to hear he’d been at it again – but I feel terribly sorry for him now he’s in such terrible trouble.”
Another chum said: “He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, that’s all.”
Michelle was born in Oakham, Leics, where mum Margaret and dad Jim still live.
She set up home in Peterborough with ex-fiancé Max Paterson, 26, before they split and she moved to Dubai.
Yesterday her employers confirmed they had fired her as a manager. A spokesman said: “Michelle Palmer is no longer an ITP employee.
“It is made clear to all employees when they join that certain standards of behaviour are expected.”
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