A man was recently accused of raping an American tourist in her hotel room in Dubai after meeting each other briefly on board a flight to the UAE. After conversing on the plane, the 24-year-old woman invited the 29-year-old Moroccan man to her hotel for a drink, alongside his cousin.
The three of them hung out in the woman's hotel room in Dubai Marina, where the man had forced himself onto the woman.
"We drank liquor all night and then he asked me for a phone charger. When I took him to the bedroom to give him the charger, he punched me and I lost consciousness," the woman said, according to Gulf News.
"When I woke up in the morning, I noticed that I had been undressed and raped. There were traces of semen on my thigh," she added.
She also noticed that her passport, earrings, and 5,500 dirhams ($1,497) were stolen from her room.
The woman immediately reported the incident - which took place in December - to the police.
Prosecutors charged the 29-year-old with raping the tourist. However, on Wednesday, the man pleaded not guilty before the Dubai Court of First Instance.
"No, sir … I didn't rape her," the man told the presiding judge on the case.
All three were accused of consuming alcohol. The trial is set to continue before a verdict on the case is reached.
Similar cases have surfaced in recent months
In March, Russian model Ekaterina Stetsyuk jumped from the sixth floor of a Dubai hotel to escape a rape attempt, News AU reported earlier this year.
According to the publication, a businessman abused the model and physically assaulted her after she refused to have sex with him. He then attempted to rape her, so she jumped from the sixth floor of the hotel in a bid to escape the horrific attack.
Stetsyuk miraculously survived the fall but suffered a major spinal injury.
Sexual harassment in the UAE
In the UAE, there exists no special legislation protecting individuals from sexual harassment. However, the country's Penal Code does incriminate any "scandalous and disgraceful act".
In fact, Articles 358 and 359 of the penal code provide clear-cut laws when it comes to certain incidents.
"Whoever openly commits an indecent and disgraceful act shall be punished by detention for a period of at least six months. Whoever commits a disgraceful act with a girl or boy who has not completed fifteen years of age even if it is not committed openly, shall be punished by detention for at least a period of one year."
"Whoever attempts to disgrace a female by words or by deeds in a public street or frequented place, shall be punished by detention for a period not exceeding one year and by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dirhams or by either of these two penalties. The same penalty shall apply to any man who disguises himself in a woman's clothing and enters a place the entry into which is reserved for women. If a man in such a case commits a crime, it shall be considered an aggravating circumstance."