- The Washington Times - Friday, May 27, 2016

Every few months, it seems, a news story crosses the wires about a couple arrested in the United Arab Emirates for an act as innocent as a peck on the cheek. 

But, of course, individuals swept up in such cases tend to be average Joes and Janes. Celebrities may get away with a looser standard, judging by recent photos taken by R&B singer Robin Thicke of his bikini-clad girlfriend April Love Geary while the two are vacationing in Dubai.

“The ‘Blurred Lines’ singer posted some sexy snaps of his own, including an image of Geary posed in a doorway sporting a string bikini. The singer is seen in the background, phone raised for a photo and sexy six-pack on full display,” the New York Daily News reported Friday.

“What a magical day! Waterskiing, kneeboarding, beach volleyball, Atlantis water slides,” the Daily News quoted the singer’s Instagram account. “Thank You Dubai.”

Mr. Thicke and Ms. Geary are doubtlessly enjoying themselves, but other couples visiting the UAE have had a different take. 

In November 2012, the British newspaper The Express reported how “Rebecca Blake, a recruitment consultant, and Irish welder Conor McRedmond” were convicted on indecency and fornication charges “despite DNA tests showing no evidence of intercourse having taken place.”

Both “were sentenced to three months in prison before deportation and fined £512 each,” the paper noted.

In January 2013, the Daily Mail relayed the case of another couple convicted of a charge of public indecency for kissing on a public beach. Both individuals were sentenced to a year in prison, followed by deportation, and fined for consumption of alcohol.

The U.S. State Department warns American citizens traveling to the United Arab Emirates that “penalties for public displays of affection or immodesty can be severe. Travelers have been sentenced to lengthy jail terms for kissing in public.”

“Sexual relations outside marriage and adultery are illegal in the UAE and convicted individuals have been punished by lengthy jail sentences,” the State Department website cautions, adding, “Travelers should keep in mind the cultural differences among the many people who coexist in the UAE and should be cognizant that unwitting actions, including clothing choices, may invite unwanted attention.”

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