Opinion split after transvestite arrests

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A police clampdown on transvestites in the UAE has split opinion among Arabian Business readers, our online poll has revealed.Following the news last week that 40 cross-dressing tourists had been arrested in shopping malls and other public places in the country and would shortly be deported, we asked for your views on the subject.

And opinions were divided with many thinking the arrests were a waste of police time and effort but a significant number also backing the police for their crackdown.

More than 40 percent of respondents believed the arrests were not a proper use of police time and that officers should be concentrating on more serious matters.

The 40 offenders were referred to the Public Prosecution, which issued an administrative deportation order against them, and police issued a reminder that any man or woman who dresses up and behaves like the opposite gender in public would be questioned and legal action would be taken against him or her.

But nearly 30 percent of people who took part in our poll on Monday said it was right that cross-dressers were deported because they were not respecting local laws and customs and so should be punished. A further seven percent believed transvestites should be punished but that deportation was too harsh a penalty.

More than 20 percent of respondents called on the UAE government to consider making laws such as the one covering cross-dressing more flexible as more and more Westerners arrive in the region to live and work.

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Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

Posted by: kris Z

I think that it is high time that the UAE Ministry for Tourism authors a document covering the accepted Dos and Don'ts for guests in the UAE and makes it available in a number of languages to be given as a free handout upon arrival. Something to read while waiting in the passport control queue. Could be used for all GCC countries...

Posted by: TJ

now, i come from the USA and yes, cross-dressers don't get harrassed by police... but there have been uncomfortable moments for instance, when a cross-dressing male decides to use a woman's bathroom. but as for here in UAE, those cross-dressers did what they did either in ignorance of local laws, or knowingly violated those laws and they should be punished for it. If they want to claim ignorance, well, let it be a lesson to them that they should be researching about a country's laws and customs before travelling next time! as for any persons who think the UAE should allow cross-dressers to do as they please, then just remember that if you voluntarily came to work and live in UAE, then you need to respect the laws and culture of the locals. the respect for the local culture is so low right now it is pathetic.

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