How safe are LGBT people in Dubai?

Old Oct 31, 17, 6:39 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 20
How safe are LGBT people in Dubai?

I was wondering if LGBT people who look a bit flamboyant are safe and accepted in Dubai.
Also do women have to wear a headscarf?
I'm talking about potential tourists of European descent not the locals.
FlyingMonsieur is offline  
Old Oct 31, 17, 10:42 am
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: Massachusetts, USA; AA Plat (2.90MM), DL GM and Flying Colonel (1.04MM); Bonvoy Gold
Posts: 21,997
You'll probably find more information on this in the GLBT Travelers forum, in the Special Interest Travelers section of FT. There's a current thread on gay couples in the UAE there. You might want a moderator to move your question to that forum or even to merge it with that thread, but I'll let you make that call rather than alerting a mod myself.
Efrem is offline  
Old Oct 31, 17, 3:58 pm
  #3  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: MCI
Programs: AA Gold 1MM, AS MVP, UA Silver, WN A-List, Marriott LT Titanium, HH Diamond
Posts: 46,774
I know zero about the LGBT situation there, but female visitors are not required to wear headscarves in public.

Might keep one handy if you wish to participate in a more traditional Arab experience or visit a mosque, but you don't need one to visit the typical tourist spots around town.
pinniped is offline  
Old Oct 31, 17, 4:06 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: HNL
Posts: 671
Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
I know zero about the LGBT situation there...
I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that being LGBT in one of those Arab-Muslim countries is probably not the best thing you want to be.

Legally speaking, IIRC a video that discussed the various legality of international airport zones, and that technically if you're caught doing an illegal act (which in many of these countries is homosexuality) under their nation, you legally could be prosecuted.

To answer the very generic question in the title. LGBT people are probably less safe than heterosexual people in Dubai.
ginmqi is offline  
Old Oct 31, 17, 11:53 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: LAX
Programs: UA/AA
Posts: 1,705
My guess is given the huge expat population in Dubai, being gay is a complete non-issue.....especially for a Western tourist from a non-Muslim country.

Maybe this article will help assuage your concerns:

http://www.news.com.au/travel/travel...9e386a95abc2a0
jaymar01 is offline  
Old Nov 1, 17, 7:28 am
  #6  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: MCI
Programs: AA Gold 1MM, AS MVP, UA Silver, WN A-List, Marriott LT Titanium, HH Diamond
Posts: 46,774
Originally Posted by ginmqi View Post
I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that being LGBT in one of those Arab-Muslim countries is probably not the best thing you want to be.

Legally speaking, IIRC a video that discussed the various legality of international airport zones, and that technically if you're caught doing an illegal act (which in many of these countries is homosexuality) under their nation, you legally could be prosecuted.

To answer the very generic question in the title. LGBT people are probably less safe than heterosexual people in Dubai.
Oh, I would agree with you on the safety of LGBT, and being in a big expat zone like Dubai isn't necessarily protection. I just don't *know* anything about it, and would second the suggestion that the OP go to the gay travel section here for accurate info. There was an article recently where a British expat was charged with homosexuality in Dubai for simply touching another dude by accident in a bar. He could face some jail time...

True about international zones in airports: it's still the country's territory, and they can prosecute you for crimes committed there. Every now and then we get a question about why Canada has "given" little bits of territory in all of their airports to the United States. Or questions about whether those little territories are like individual U.S. embassies. They aren't...it's still Canada...they just created a procedure that is beneficial to the airlines and passengers that use the space.
pinniped is offline  
Old Nov 1, 17, 4:52 pm
  #7  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: London
Programs: Hilton IHG LH BA TK
Posts: 12,118
Originally Posted by FlyingMonsieur View Post
I was wondering if LGBT people who look a bit flamboyant are safe and accepted in Dubai.
Also do women have to wear a headscarf?
I'm talking about potential tourists of European descent not the locals.
of course women visitors re not expected to wear a headscarf!

Male campness (which i'm guessing is what you mean by "flamboyant") registers as interesting, but shouldn't cause any problem a long as the baihaviour doesn't get, errr, physical.
IAN-UK is online now  
Old Nov 2, 17, 3:49 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 22
Originally Posted by jaymar01 View Post
My guess is given the huge expat population in Dubai, being gay is a complete non-issue.....especially for a Western tourist from a non-Muslim country.

Maybe this article will help assuage your concerns:

http://www.news.com.au/travel/travel...9e386a95abc2a0
Please read the later paragraphs of that article that articulate some of the reasons why your guess is incorrect.

Women are not required to wear head coverings. They (and everyone else) are expected to comply with dress provisions in the "Dubai code of conduct", which I believe is available on the Dubai police website. Not all visitors do comply.
CurtainRingSalesman is offline  
Old Nov 14, 17, 6:59 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: London
Programs: EK Gold; UA *G; BAEC Gold, Marriott Titanium
Posts: 295
Hi

Not being gay myself but lived a year in Dubai and have several gay friends who come with their partner to DXB/ ADH for vacation every year - no problem at all.

You might not book a double room for 2 adult men - and you wont' kiss/ hug your partner in public to maintain Arabian customs (but note that technically not even unmarried men/ women are allowed to show affection).

There are hundreds (if not thousands) gay people in Dubai and I've never heard of any problems - and many of them work as cabin crew for EK.

Daniel
Duck1981 is offline  
Old Nov 19, 17, 9:26 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 16
Originally Posted by FlyingMonsieur View Post
I was wondering if LGBT people who look a bit flamboyant are safe and accepted in Dubai.
Also do women have to wear a headscarf?
I'm talking about potential tourists of European descent not the locals.
Well, Dubai after all is still an Arab and Muslim city, LGBT are not accepted in Islam anyhow, So you would better not to expose that in public places and you then will be safe, I meant no need to hold hands, kissing, hugging and so on in public.
For sure you do not have to wear any veils or headscarfs, no need at all, just in case you intend to go inside a mosque just like Jumierah mosque of Dubai and Zayed mosque of Abu Dhabi, you then will have to wear a headsacrf according to the dress code to be followed.
MarcoKingsly is offline  
Old Nov 23, 17, 5:19 am
  #11  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Watchlisted by the prejudiced, en route to purgatory
Programs: Just Say No to Fleecing and Blacklisting
Posts: 88,278
Originally Posted by Duck1981 View Post
Hi

Not being gay myself but lived a year in Dubai and have several gay friends who come with their partner to DXB/ ADH for vacation every year - no problem at all.

You might not book a double room for 2 adult men - and you wont' kiss/ hug your partner in public to maintain Arabian customs (but note that technically not even unmarried men/ women are allowed to show affection).

There are hundreds (if not thousands) gay people in Dubai and I've never heard of any problems - and many of them work as cabin crew for EK.

Daniel
Open displays of sexuality — extramarital, heterosexual displays included — can be legally problematic in the area. Private indications of sexuality most commonly are not legally problematic in the area, unless and until the issue arises of their being evidence/witnesses against the person suspected of violating the local laws in one or more ways; and that is when legal problems happen even in relation to otherwise private sexual activity.
GUWonder is offline  
Old Nov 25, 17, 3:27 am
  #12  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: London
Programs: Hilton IHG LH BA TK
Posts: 12,118
Blanket reassurances based on anecdotal evidence are comforting, but fail to take account of the capricious application of laws in Dubai and elsewhere in the Gulf. I have any number of UAE-based friends and colleagues who cohabit with partners. They are pretty blasé about their situation, but they do know that unexpected events - pregnancy, denunciation - could leave them vulnerable to deportation, or worse. They know because their employer's HR department tells them so.

The recent case of the hapless Scottish lad who faced jail after another fellow claimed he'd been touched inappropriately by the young man in a bar highlights the risk to gay visitors. The "victim" withdrew his complaint when he understood the serious implications of his actions, but the authorities went along with a prosecution until interrupted by an edict from on high.

So I guess the answer is enjoy yourself, but don't get lulled into a sense of false security. Be circumspect in your behaviour, gay or straight.
IAN-UK is online now  
Old Nov 25, 17, 6:36 am
  #13  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Watchlisted by the prejudiced, en route to purgatory
Programs: Just Say No to Fleecing and Blacklisting
Posts: 88,278
Originally Posted by IAN-UK View Post
Blanket reassurances based on anecdotal evidence are comforting, but fail to take account of the capricious application of laws in Dubai and elsewhere in the Gulf. I have any number of UAE-based friends and colleagues who cohabit with partners. They are pretty blasé about their situation, but they do know that unexpected events - pregnancy, denunciation - could leave them vulnerable to deportation, or worse. They know because their employer's HR department tells them so.

The recent case of the hapless Scottish lad who faced jail after another fellow claimed he'd been touched inappropriately by the young man in a bar highlights the risk to gay visitors. The "victim" withdrew his complaint when he understood the serious implications of his actions, but the authorities went along with a prosecution until interrupted by an edict from on high.

So I guess the answer is enjoy yourself, but don't get lulled into a sense of false security. Be circumspect in your behaviour, gay or straight.
I had already factored in the incident you mentioned and various others like if.

Capricious applications of the law can take place in the EU and US too; but then an edict from on high doesn’t achieve as much as easily as in Dubai.
GUWonder is offline  
Old Nov 25, 17, 6:54 am
  #14  
Moderator: Hyatt Gold Passport & Star Alliance
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: London, UK
Programs: UA-1K 3MM/AA-Plat/HY-Globalist/BA-CCR/GGL/Gold for Life
Posts: 10,595
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3csvpvk#play
This may offer some insights in to the treatment of LGBT people in the UAE. Parts of the interview are fairly harrowing, although it focuses primarily on the accusation of fraud.
Markie is offline  
Old Nov 25, 17, 9:46 am
  #15  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Watchlisted by the prejudiced, en route to purgatory
Programs: Just Say No to Fleecing and Blacklisting
Posts: 88,278
I would also say that how bad it gets for people who end up in legal trouble in the UAE varies a lot and comes down often to the person's nationality (or even perceived ethnicity or religion) and how much their home country's government is able to make an issue of it and matters to the UAE's rulers.
GUWonder is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread