Dubai to deport group of women who posed naked on balcony

Liam James
·2 min read
Footage was taken on a balcony in Dubai’s Marina district (Getty/iStock)
Footage was taken on a balcony in Dubai’s Marina district (Getty/iStock)

A group of young women arrested in Dubai for taking part in a nude photoshoot will be deported, authorities said.

The group, thought to include around up to 14 women, were arrested for falling foul of the Emirate's strict decency laws after footage of them posing naked on a balcony in the Dubai Marina area were posted online.

All could have faced fines and prison sentences of up to six months for breaching the UAE's public decency law but Dubai's attorney general on Tuesday said they would instead be deported.

Eleven of the women involved are Ukrainian citizens, the country's ministry of foreign affairs confirmed. Oleg Nikolenko, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian ministry, said the women were detained "due to violation of the norms of public morality".

Neither Ukraine or the UAE have confirmed any of the women’s identities.

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The swift deportation is rare for the legal system in Dubai, such cases typically go to trial or are otherwise adjudicated before deportation.

A Russian man was also arrested in connection, though it remains unclear if he was the photographer or someone who captured footage from a nearby balcony and shared it online.

Many of the models had previously travelled together for a Playboy Ukraine photoshoot, according to The Times.

Vlad Ivanenkoe, the magazine's editor-in-chief, said he did not know anything about the Dubai shoot.

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Dubai police said the group had been arrested over "indecent video" that contravened Article 361 of the Federal Penal Code in the UAE.

Announcing the arrests on Saturday, police warned against "such unacceptable behaviours which do not reflect the values and ethics of Emirati society".

The city is a hugely popular destination for social media influencers and models who share pictures from some of the world's most glamorous hotels.

But foreigners have previously been sent to prison for breaching the UAE's strict rules on public behaviour and expression, which are based on Islamic, or Shariah, law.

Last November, the Emirates loosened laws covering alcohol, divorce and cohabitation for unmarried couples, in an attempt to make the country more attractive to foreign investment and tourism.

But laws covering public debauchery remain in the Federal Penal Code. The possession and sharing of pornographic material is also punishable with prison time and large fines.

Additional reporting by agencies