Dubai authorities on Tuesday said that those involved in a naked photo shoot on a high-rise balcony in the city are to be deported, after the footage went viral and prompted a crackdown.
Dubai Attorney General Issam Issa al-Humaidan said that the public prosecution has completed investigations and those behind the photo shoot are to be sent back to their countries.
At least 11 Ukrainian women and a Russian were arrested over the widely shared video on charges of public debauchery and spreading pornography.
The move to deport the foreigners is highly unusual for the legal system in Dubai, an absolutely ruled sheikhdom.
Typically, such cases go to trial or are otherwise adjudicated before deportation.
Earlier this week, Dubai police announced that they had arrested a group of people on debauchery charges over a widely shared video showing naked women posing in broad daylight on a balcony overlooking the city’s upscale Marina neighborhood.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday said that 11 of the detained women were Ukrainian, while a Russian diplomat in Dubai said that the photographer who filmed and took photographs of the naked women held Russian citizenship.
The nude photo shoot scandal comes just days before Ramadan, the holiest month of the Muslim calendar, and as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy lands in nearby Doha, Qatar, for an official state visit.
Over the years, Dubai has increasingly promoted itself as a popular destination for Russians on holiday.
Signs in Cyrillic are a common sight at the city’s major malls.
Dubai is a top destination for the world’s Instagram influencers and models, who fill their social media feeds with slick bikini-clad selfies from the coastal emirate’s luxury hotels and artificial islands.
However, the city’s brand as a glitzy foreign tourist destination has at times provoked controversy and collided with the sheikhdom’s strict rules governing public behavior and expression, which are based on Islamic law, or Shariah.
Dubai police declined to identify those detained.
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