Holidaymakers in Dubai were recently arrested for kissing in public and could face jail. It seems totally over the top, but should tourists respect the rules of the countries they’re in? Georgina Guedes says: “Dubai is a leading Middle Eastern tourism destination because of its relaxed attitude to drinking and partying among tourists. In recent years, however, there has been something of a clampdown on visitors engaging in acts of what they term ‘public indecency’. One comment made in the news by a Dubai local rings particularly true. He acknowledged that we all live in a global village, but stated that at the same time, every house has its rules. When I was travelling around South East Asia, I was particularly careful to research the local customs in order to avoid giving offense. Some of the countries we visited even viewed public handholding as indecent – local women walked behind their men-folk. Although I wasn’t at risk of being jailed for any transgressions, I did my best not to offend the local people in whose country I was a guest. It was sometimes quite difficult to remember. My husband and I are very physically affectionate. I often found myself withdrawing my hand as if I had been burnt, as I reached across to take his, but caught myself in time.”
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