Dubai Cracks Down on Nude Tourists

79 people detained by 'decency police'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 15, 2008 6:38 AM CDT
With backdrop of the Burj Al Arab hotel, people enjoy the Umm Suqaim public beach in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. But if they try any nude or topless sunbathing, the could be hauled off to jail.   (KAMRAN JEBREILI)
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(Newser) – It hasn't been all fun and games for Western vacationers on Dubai beaches, thanks to  decency police who have detained 79 people in recent days for topless sunbathing and nudity, AP reports. The Muslim city-state is attracting hordes of foreign sun seekers, who are being scrutinized by cops on the ground and in beach watchtowers. Detained vacationers were "disturbing families," said a Dubai spokesman.

The crackdown began after police nabbed a British couple having sex on a beach, according to authorities. Offenders may be issued warnings, but can face jail time. The flurry of police activity has confused tourists. "I understand I have to respect the rules of the country," said one British visitor, who added that he had no idea if he was allowed to kiss his girlfriend in public.