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.