I was once invited to attend an event in Dubai, but after I read stories of people going to prison there for stupid reasons (like a man from Britain who received a four year prison sentence when customs officers found a microscopic speck of cannabis stuck to the bottom of his shoe, and a another man who went to prison for "possession of three poppy seeds left over from a bread roll he ate at Heathrow Airport") I bowed out. (You can also be imprisoned for having sex if you aren't married.)
Here's another reason never to set foot in Dubai: You can be imprisoned for complaining about being ripped off. Yaseen Killick, 29, was working as an estate agent in Dubai and bought a used VW Golf for £6,000. It broke down the same day he bought it, and then he learned that the car had been a write-off. So he sent a Whatsapp message to the dealer that said: "How do you sleep at night knowing you are ripping people off?" He was arrested and imprisoned for three weeks.
From The Sun:
Yaseen, who had moved to the Gulf state with his wife Robyn, 31, was arrested after the man complained to cops.
He spent three weeks behind bars — and was then kicked out of the country.
Yaseen said: "It was a nightmare. The prison conditions were horrific. I was treated appallingly — all for sending a WhatsApp message."
Image: Smog on Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai by Mahaodeh/Wikipedia. Public Domain