Women and photographer deported from Dubai after nude photoshoot
The decision to deport the tourists is considered to be unusual.
Authorities in Dubai have arrested 11 women and one man on charges of public debauchery and spreading pornography, following a nude photoshoot.
Images and videos of the women posing on a balcony in the city's Marina were circulated on social media. Some reports have suggested that the photoshoot was part of a publicity stunt.
Dubai's famously strict laws prohibit public nudity. Acts of lewd behaviour are punishable by up to six months in prison, and a fine of 5,000 dirhams, or €1,145.
Moreover, the country blocks access to pornography websites. The distribution of porn is also punishable with prison time.
Issam Issa al Humaidan - Dubai's attorney general - told the press that authorities investigated the photoshoot. He confirmed that the women, who are Ukrainian, and the Russian man will be deported to their home countries.
According to reports, other women were involved in the nude photoshoot. However, their nationalities are not yet known.
Dubai's police authorities commented on the situation, saying: "Such unacceptable behaviours do not reflect the values and ethics of Emirati society."
Sky News described the move to deport the participants as "very unusual". Typically, the United Arab Emirates send these cases to trial.
Tourists are not exempt from UAE's laws. In 2017, UAE authorities sentenced a British woman to one year in prison for having consensual sex with a man she was not married to. This came to light when she reported him to police for sending her threatening messages.
Throughout the past year, Dubai has remained popular with tourists as a "pandemic friendly destination". In a bid to attract Western tourists, the UAE began allowing unmarried couples to share hotel rooms. The country also relaxed the licence requirements for drinking alcohol.
However, the country's justice system and its penalties remain largely unchanged.