Briton arrested for wearing bikini in Dubai mall

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The Independent Online

A British woman was arrested and charged with indecency after walking through a Dubai shopping mall wearing a bikini, it was reported today.

The Foreign Office confirmed the woman was arrested and charged, but the charges have since been dropped.

The holidaymaker is believed to have been arrested after a complaint that she was dressed indecently in the Dubai Mall.

The mall is the world's largest shopping centre, with more than 1,200 stores, and is part of the 20 billion US dollar (£12.5 billion) Burj Khalifa complex.

It is believed the woman walked through the mall wearing a revealing top, attracting the complaint from a local woman. She then apparently stripped down to a bikini, prompting her arrest, the Daily Mail reported.

A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office confirmed the woman had been arrested and charged with indecency at the mall.

She said: "We are aware of the case. We have offered consular assistance."

But she said they understand the charges have since been dropped.

This is not the first time a Briton has fallen foul of Dubai's strict laws.

Businessman Vince Acors and publishing executive Michelle Palmer received three-month jail terms after being convicted of having sex on a beach in July 2008.

Charlotte Adams, 26, and Ayman Najafi, 24, were jailed for a month earlier this year for kissing in a restaurant.

Advice on the Foreign Office website reminds tourists visiting the United Arab Emirates that local laws reflect the fact it is an Islamic country.

It says: "You should respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times and be aware of your actions to ensure that they do not offend other cultures or religious beliefs.

"Women should dress modestly when in public areas, such as shopping malls. Clothes should cover the tops of the arms and legs, and underwear should not be visible.

"Public displays of affection are frowned upon, and there have been several arrests for kissing in public."