Two Singaporean [assigned at birth] males who were sentenced to a year in prison each by an Abu Dhabi court, for dressing in feminine attire, had their sentences reduced to a fine and deportation on Sunday, The Sun Daily reported.
Fashion photographer Muhammad Fadli Bin Abdul Rahman, 26, was in the city for work with his friend Nur Qistina Fitriah Ibrahim, 37, known to friends and family as "Fifi".
The two friends were arrested at a mall for "wearing women's clothes in public and for behaving indecently."
According to her sister, Ibrahim is a transgender woman who has not performed gender reassignment surgery. She has legally changed her name but her documents still identify her as male.
It is unclear whether Bin Abdul Rahman is transgender as well.
Before their sentences were quashed, the Singaporean embassy in the UAE had predicted that both defendants would only face being fined and deported, if they apologized.
Singaporean rights activists closely followed the case
Last week, Bin Abdul Rahman's brother said his family hoped that he would be deported back to Singapore.
Speaking to The New Paper, Saiful Rahman said:
"My parents were crying and worried about him over there. We just want him back. We want him back safely. They can even deport him."
According to The Sun Daily, rights activists in Singapore raised over $ 18,000 (Sg$25,000) for the duo's legal fees last week.
The amount was sent to a law firm in Abu Dhabi.
In her statement on the matter, Radha Stirling, CEO of Detained in Dubai said that "the UAE has many similar contradictions that can render tourists and expats highly confused and vulnerable to arrest."
Stirling also noted that the group had previously helped a British man accused of cross-dressing get a reduced sentence consisting of a 5,000-dirham ($1361) fine along with deportation.