A 36-year-old Arab pilot was charged with rape after forcing a 34-year-old woman back to his apartment in Sharjah where he sexually assaulted her, Khaleej Times reported on Sunday. 

The two met at a night club in Dubai, where the man offered to drop the woman back to her place in the city. Instead, he had his friend - who was driving the car - take the woman back to his place.

As soon as they arrived, the man snatched the woman's phone and said he would only give it back once they got inside.

She followed him inside, where he slapped her before sexually assaulting her.

The Sharjah Criminal Court has started trying the pilot, who has also been charged with assault and for the consumption of alcohol.

The man has denied the charges, saying the woman had willingly come up to his apartment.  

He also said the woman's rape accusations come on the backdrop of him refusing to settle an amount of money agreed between the two. 

However, the forensic report revealed bruises on the woman's body. It also confirmed the presence of the man's DNA on the victim's clothes and body. 

One witness, a Sharjah policeman, said he saw the victim in a state of "extreme shock." 

The second witness is the friend of the accused, who drove the car that night. The witness said that the man had told him to drive the car to Sharjah instead of dropping the woman back to her place in Dubai. He did so, and drove off soon after.

According to Khaleej Times, the man has been in jail for days and is "devastated" after losing his job with the airline he's working with. 

Sexual harassment in the UAE

In 2010, more than half of Emirati women questioned in a survey said they would not report sexual assault or rape to police.

This is probably due to the fact that there exists no special legislation in the country protecting individuals from sexual harassment. 

However, the country's Penal Code does incriminate any "scandalous and disgraceful act."

Articles 358 and 359 of the penal code provide clear-cut laws when it comes to certain incidents.

Article 358: "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." 

Article 359: "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."