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Thu 5 May 2011 02:58 PM

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London surgeon detained in Dubai over driving row

Dr Nunoo-Mensah is alleged to have raised his finger at another motorist after being tailgated

London surgeon detained in Dubai over driving row
Dr Nunoo-Mensah, a surgeon at Kings College Hospital London, has been held in Dubai over a row with another motorist

A top London surgeon has been detained in Dubai on a charge of public indecency following an alternation with a motorist, it was reported Thursday.

Joseph Nunoo-Mensah, a consultant surgeon at King's College Hospital, London, faces trial after he was accused of making a rude gesture at another driver, The Independent reported.

Dr Nunoo-Mensah was in the UAE with his family at the invitation of US healthcare group Cleveland Clinic, which is building a medical centre in the Gulf state’s capital.

The British national said he was returning to Dubai when he was tailgated by a car flashing its lights. The stretch of road had a 60kph speed limit as roadworks were ongoing, he told the paper.

“I was trying to abide by the speed limit and couldn't move out of his way. I pulled over when I could but instead of overtaking us, he pulled up alongside… and drove in parallel with us for up to a minute. He was looking at me in an intimidating way – I was quite terrified,” he said.

“I raised both my hands to say, 'What do you want?' but he pulled and then took off and turned right. He alleges I stuck a finger at him but I raised both hands. I am sure he must have seen them at an angle, and that was offensive to him.”

Making offensive hand gestures is illegal in the UAE and can lead to a jail term.

Dr Nunoo-Mensah had his passport confiscated by police the next day and is now waiting to be notified of his court date.  

At King’s, his patients awaiting surgery have had their operations reallocated to other doctors.

The case is the latest documenting the arrest of British nationals in the UAE, following a spate of arrests relating to crimes such as the illegal consumption of alcohol and inappropriate behaviour.

Holidaymaker Lee Bradley Brown died in custody in Dubai last month after being arrested for the alleged assault of a Nepalese housekeeper at the emirate’s iconic Burj al-Arab hotel.

The British Embassy said in 2009 that Brits were more likely to be arrested in the UAE than anywhere else in the world.

A poll of British tourists in March ranked Dubai, which hosts around one million Brits a year, alongside Mexico, South Africa and Jamica as the countries they feel the least safe in.

The King 8 years ago

Yet again a Brit causes trouble when abroad, when will they ever learn to behave? And if a respected Surgeon behaves like this, then what can you expect from common-folk?
When someone is behind you, move OUT of the way else you should be ready to face the consequences.

John 8 years ago

it is probably a false complaint. Many people make false allegations of raising fingers when someone does not move out of their way. I had been tailgated on a single lane road when I was following the limit like this good doctor.
People visiting Dubai should know that when someone who thinks he is important is behind you, move out of his way otherwise be prepared to be falsely accused of raising finger.

Lanuk 8 years ago

I am curious as to what typically constitutes as evidence in cases such as these - the word of one against the other or is there more? We read about the recent case of the Tunisian woman and what she had to go through.

John Smith 8 years ago

here in the USA if you flash a rude sign to another driver there is a very good chance you will end up with a bullet hole somewhere in you, or in your car if the other driver was not a particularly good shot. Concern about such "road rage" generally causes people to keep their hands on the wheel where they belong.

Phil Macavity 8 years ago

"When someone is behind you, move OUT of the way else you should be ready to face the consequences. "

@ "The King" of spin

What a stupid comment to make, its a known fact that tailgating is dangeous and causes accidents, its illegal in most (developed) countries. Just because there is someone behind you it does'nt mean you have to move out the way. Its not dodgeball your'e playing on the roads.

Colin Occupants 8 years ago

Yet other example of the British Embassy too worried about losing their cushy high society lifestyle by upsetting the local authorities when they should be demanding the release of one of their citizens for such a trivial matter that's more or less impossible to find someone guilty of anyway. You can guarantee if the guy was American, he would already be at home.

Roger 8 years ago


I would suggest that the police arrest the dangerous, irresponsible idiot doing the tailgating.

celticmonkey 8 years ago

The person who files the complaint wins. i have a number of friends who have been bullied off the road and they are the ones who have ended up in Jail for a few days. I honked the horn at a motorist near emirates towers, he tailed me until the nixt light, wound down his window and said "why you make noise at me? flash lights OK'
free driving lesson for me.

Telcoguy 8 years ago

@John Smith, I am not sure you have experienced Dubai driving. From my time in the US (outside big cities at least) I can ell you that driving was extremely courteous. It is more likely than the people would use their fingers in the way you suggest if subject to the abuse happening in Dubai's roads, removing the need for rude gestures, but on a different way as the one you suggested.

hisham 8 years ago

They should have arrested the guy who was tailgating.