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11 November, 2005

Sweeping up streetwalkers

Thanks to Gulf News whose lawyers have presumably approved the disclosure, we can now let non-Dubaians in on the badly-kept secret that Dubai is full of hookers:

Dubai: Despite the unrelenting efforts of authorities to fight the strange scenario of streetwalkers plying their illegal trade on the streets of Dubai, these women continue to pose a serious health risk since they do not have to undergo medical checks, doctors and health officials warn.

As the UAE grows rapidly into a modern state, economically and socially, experts say, it is natural to expect the appearance of various types of businesses such as the illegal flesh trade the oldest profession in the world.

Surprise surprise, they don't even necessarily bother with safe sex:

Veronica, 28, a Bulgarian, said she too came to the UAE on a visit visa.

Asked if she opts for safe sex, she said: "At times. It all depends on what the clients prefer."

Caveat emptor. But as we already knew, plenty of men are stupid enough not to care about protecting themselves or the wives and girlfriends they later transmit nasties to.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

You missed the point of the Gulf News article: While there is much less of this kind of thing here than in other countries (especially the permissive Western ones) the authorities are still very concerned, even though the occurance of this activity is almost non-existant by world standards.

The article wants to make it clear that the authorites are taking the strongest possible actions to ensure that this unIslamic practice is completely eliminated.

Just as the authorities have completely eliminated the sale of pirated DVDs.

11 November, 2005 17:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

....and plenty of Women are stupid enough to not insist on using protection when plying their trade and placing even those men who do insist on using protection at (an admittedly lower) risk.

Strikes me that [i]both[/i] sexes should accept responsibility on this one, so singling out the "Stupid men" seems a little harsh

11 November, 2005 17:48  
Blogger Neha said...

Re: Mr. Teflon (heh)

If, as the article states, "it all depends on what the clients prefer" then aren't the clients in more an influential position than the prostititutes?

Assuming that the women are in it for the money and not for the giggles, does it not become a case of supply fitting to the demand?

I believe that in when it comes to sex, anyone would be stupid to venture without a cover. However, the fact that this is a cash transaction, services being exchanged for monetary gain makes the seeker of the service responsible for his actions. And saying the prostitutes should have their share of blame doesn't make the burden any less on the men. HIV doesn't listen to "oh, but she was putting it all out for me, how could I NOT have gone for it?".

Also, if there was no demand for prostitution there would hardly be a need for the, that's a whole other comment :-)

11 November, 2005 19:12  
Blogger BrainSyke said...

Certainly there is a demand for prostitution. Demand for anything can be created. Toothpicks, nail polish, toilette paper???

You are right, the responsibility is certainly shared between both parties who willfully and knowingly engaged in such trade.

However, I do pray that prostitution gets eliminated out of Dubai. It will not effect tourism;reduce crime rate, and keep HIV out of the UAE population.

11 November, 2005 20:22  
Blogger samuraisam said...

Just as the authorities have completely eliminated the sale of pirated DVDs.
yes but there are still many legal establishments in dubai making money out of pirate content.

i think the amount of prostitutes for a country so small is just exponential

11 November, 2005 20:54  
Blogger samuraisam said...

It will not effect tourism

it would affect tourism greatly.

11 November, 2005 20:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

always use a raincoat when it rains because when it rains, there is a chance that it could pour.

11 November, 2005 20:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone here is missing the point big time. Let's rid the country of this unIslamic the heck are these women getting into the country anyway? By seeking out legitimate jobs - whatever! Don't disillusion yourself that these gals are raking in the cash and putting the poor Johns at risk based on whether or not they choose protection. Their sponsor (or pimp) whatever you want to call them is the one profiting from all of this. Put the cuffs on that aspect of the equation and all of a sudden it just gets much smaller. But let's not kid ourselves, the 'permissive West' has struggled with prostitution forever - the morality of it all. But basically as it is the oldest profession, do you really think it is going anywhere in Dubai? There will always be a demand. The key is to accept it as human nature and then police and control it. It's hypocritical to bury your head in the sand and say it is against the laws and customs of the place. Get to the root of the matter i.e. the ones really profiting from it and then it can be tackled. I guess it is just easier to blame the women.

11 November, 2005 22:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'tolerated' prostitution business is one factor that Dubai can attract a lot of visitors. i seriously doubt it if they'll ever eradicate this pre-islamic and pre-christianity practice. cops will crack down this month, come DSF, the hookers are back in business.

11 November, 2005 22:49  
Blogger BrainSyke said...

when I wrote that, I was sure someone would object to it. I too was a little hesitant in stating that.

Most tourist are not attracted to Dubai for its whores. Besides, only the whores could confirm what percentage of their clients are actually tourists.

It would definately change the spending habbits of tourists. Legalizing prostitution in any way would pave the way to a small town "sin city" on the outskirts of Dubai or on a boat.

11 November, 2005 23:01  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Strikes me that both sexes should accept responsibility on this one, so singling out the "Stupid men" seems a little harsh

But how many wives know what their husband is up to behind their backs? How many wives can force their husbands to use condoms, or get regular HIV checks?

We have all seen the problems in Africa where wives get it from their husbands. In this region I know of a Saudi businesswoman whose husband contracted HIV from prostitutes - very luckily he did not manage to pass it on to her or their children, and they are now divorced.

But if you have no proof, maybe not even a suspicion, that your husband is "playing away" - how can you insist on condom use? Especially if you are trying to have children.

11 November, 2005 23:44  
Blogger BrainSyke said...


12 November, 2005 01:27  
Blogger Tim Newman said...

While there is much less of this kind of thing here than in other countries (especially the permissive Western ones)

The red light district of Amsterdam aside, I have never seen anything like the number of hookers per head of population in any other city as I have in Dubai.

12 November, 2005 09:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a few comments

tim newman: Ditto. In residential areas, in car parks , in malls, in clubs, bars, discotheques . you see them in all these places. I don't know if you guys realise, but almost all the discotheques in Dubai city proper are now 'pick up' joints. Earlier we had recourse to the hotels on Jumeirah because it was a commute for the ...err... entrepeneurs to ply their wares there.. NO MORE.. its all around.

brainsyke : 'tourism will not suffer'
you gotta be joking. do you guys even know whats the biggest earner during GITEX? its not information technology. All the 'delegates' from the middle eastern states flock here for one thing and one thing only... no no.. not the latest Digital or IT products although its a word that rhymes with GITEX.
this is one of the main reasons why tourists ( male, all ages, business, pleasure) choose Dubai. LETS NOT KID OURSELVES.

to anon @ 17.44 " just as authorities ... pirated DVDs"

neha: Some of the women are in it for the money becaue its easy, some are in it because they are forced to, some are so poor that because of no other skills they are forced to do it to feed themselves. I know of doctors, physiotherapists etc who do it, because they just can't get jobs back in their own coutries.

12 November, 2005 09:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes all of the above. And within a 2 km radius of the Ramada after 7 pm, it would be wise to stay alert, lest one inadvertently "bumps" into the merchandise...thus risking a demand for payment.

As for Neha, how astutely graphic:

"...a case of supply fitting to the demand..."

12 November, 2005 12:23  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

is there enough of secretdubai to go round? thats shortage for you. or even a luxury good - i have not yet been able to sample, or even window shop.

12 November, 2005 12:28  
Blogger luckyfatima said...

yes, i'm w/ Tim Newman.

Prostitution doesn't comply with Islamic or Christian or Jewish or Hindu or Buddhist moral values, and is certainly frowned upon by religious people of all faiths. Even atheists or agnostics or whoever can be against prostitution because of its degredation of women, health risks etc. (Though some may argue that sex work is legitimate due to poverty, by the prostitutes choice, blah blah, I don't agree).

Anywayz, the first anonymous poster and whoever else is pointing fingers at "the permissive West" is full of crap.

Prostitution is an ill of all societies, including Muslim societies. Though it doesn't comply with Islam (or Christianity. etc). Muslims as people don't always represent Islamic values and neither do their countries. However, because of ignorant attitudes like the one expressed by the first commenter, many governments are in total denial and don't acknowledge prostitution or HIV.
I have personally seen or at least heard of prostitution in all of the Muslim countries I have travelled to and lived in including the UAE, Oman, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. To say this is more of a problem of the permissive West is just ignorance. Gimme a frikkin break. Actually, in many Muslim countries there is an ancient culture of prostitution associated with dancing, singing, etc. and famous neighborhoods/ethnic groups in which these prostitutes can be found. Where is the Western influence in that? Um, ever heard of Umrao Jaan? (if u don't speak Hindi or Urdu, you probably haven't, but anywayz...)

How about instead of pointing fingers at the West, countries should try to stamp out the ills of society that lead women to becoming prostitutes. I.e. Dire poverty, lack of other economic options, the ability to make zillions more money on the back than one would at a menial job available since one lacks skills, education...that is where the problem lies.

12 November, 2005 14:34  
Blogger kingfisher said...

As I've stated on another blogg before...

Prostitution is good for Dubai Inc.
Sailors, tourists, locals, expats, all partake.

Most of the prostitution I have seen before has been 'underground' as the country I am from has laws against solicitation... however, hookers flourish, controlled by gangs, mostly bikers, in the country I come from.

Here in Dubai I see it in a different light... I think it is pragmatic to realize that the problem will never go away. (It is better for all concerned that it be open. Safety is paramount. No party!)

The women here do not seem to be under obvious control of thugs. Although there are drugs in Dubai, the girls and women I have seen and come across (pun not intended!) seem to be fairly lucid and sober... I don't see too many pimps, though there are a few.

I believe the hookers and their 'johns' (as their are so named in my country) should be SAFE, as HIV and its conclusion, AIDS are terrible diseases.

If I had one wish for the whole situation it would be that the working girls were confined to an area of the city, rather like Amsterdam, so that they weren't in all the city bars, hotels, malls, as they are now.

12 November, 2005 15:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

kingfisher said "If I had one wish for the whole situation it would be that the working girls were confined to an area of the city, rather like Amsterdam, so that they weren't in all the city bars, hotels, malls, as they are now. "

ahhhh but that would mean , the authorities know about it and are enforcing limits as to where these...err.. entrepeneurs display their...err... wares. Which again means public recognition of the problem. which of course will not happen because as we all know ( said with raised eyebrow and condescendingly) " THERE IS NO SUCH PROBLEM HERE AND IF THERE IS..THERE IS'NT SUPPOSED TO BE ONE ".

12 November, 2005 15:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

luckyfatima: i think the profession u are referring to is that of the very (in)famous "nautch girls" of Persia and India

12 November, 2005 19:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

kid not ourselves....Dubai's prostitution rings are tightly controlled by organised and cruel masters....Russian, Chinese and Indian...

The Police know everything about them but have decided to do nothing. Any action will be fruitless because they bounce back pretty fast...moreover they are formidable adversaries..

13 November, 2005 09:56  
Blogger Tim Newman said...

kid not ourselves....Dubai's prostitution rings are tightly controlled by organised and cruel masters....Russian, Chinese and Indian...

Not all of them. A lot of the Russian or Central Asian "bosses" are quite benevolent.

13 November, 2005 11:14  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


someone admits it openly that this DOES happen!

Come on lets not blame everything bad on "foreign influence" and everything good on you know who..

The fact that this problem is happening here is because someone chooses to look the other way, if this police state has so much control who comes in and does what, im sure it takes no genious to kick all the ho's out (although the real issue is arresting the johns that go for the services). Another easy way is targeting the clubs that these jills and johns hang out in.

And please enough of the "oh but its less than western countries". Is the US western enough? I have seen tighter prostitution control (no pun intended) than here - guys are shit scared to call a hooker with the LA cops randomly doing sting ops.

Can someone admit the real reason for tolerating hos:
Tourism, especially from our brethren countries

13 November, 2005 17:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

also it was amusing to see the hos come out in their full glory on the first day of eid...

13 November, 2005 17:24  
Blogger _sublime_ said...

I really don't know what the big deal is about the hos. Moralizing about it has changed things about, what, 0% over the millenia.

If someone wants to go ho, let them (I've never had to pay to play and never will). The upside IMHO is that the beloved hos of Dubai (theoretically) leave less frustrated sickos around to bother the nicer girls as well as relieveing some of the negative sexual tension (and the 20 to 1 male/female ratios of yore) from the atmosphere in general.

Perhaps somebody should hook Barry up now.

14 November, 2005 00:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

most of whores buildings protected by sheikh so police can't search them in those buildings.
She is bitch, this is Dubai slogan.

14 November, 2005 07:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We've got endless 'Cities' in Dubai and Knowledge Village so how about one more - Knocking Village? Problem solved.

16 November, 2005 08:55  
Blogger The scribe said...

Maybe I have been living on another planet - just attend various bars in Bur Dubai and the odd nightclub and the extent of the 'hostess'industry is apparent. I have yet to see streetwalkers milling around on the roads nd have been here for quite some time! I must be blind!!!!!

20 November, 2005 17:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well anyone who can say that there is much less of this kind of thing here in Dubai (Prostitution) compared with "Permissive Western Ones" frankly must be an idiot. I come from the UK and It is not as easy to find a Prostitute there as it is in Dubai. Here you can choose at your leasure.

The authorities if they want to really stop prostitution mearly have to stop issuing visa's so your point that they are taking the "strongest possible actions" is also full of BS.

Lastely with regards to pirated DVD's sales being completely eliminated, I think, that along with your other statements you have never been to Dubai.

29 November, 2005 21:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Deira in Dubai has more prostitutes than I have personally seen in the Red Light District of Amsterdam!

15 January, 2007 09:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


06 March, 2007 23:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I must say that the culture I come from if some one has to pay for sex, IT IS IN MOST CASES A MAJOR LOSA, as we say in NYC. However, I do understand if someone has a serious problem and MUST pay for sex (deformed, or can not perform etc., in my world that is why one pays for sex BECASUE THEY HAVE TOO). I am from the West (NYC) however, having roots in the Gulf; my Western ways have never been so saturated with the issue of hookers!!! I think since sex and anything to do with sex is taboo in the Middle East we start to have these types of conversations and conditions. I grew up with both genders, playing sports, attending classes, and so forth. Therefore, I have been able to develop authentic relationships with the opposite sex. I am VERY ashamed of the fact that the Middle East has SUCH a negative reputation when it comes to issues that concern sex, SO MANY of the strip clubs know to market themselves to the men of the Middle East! Also, I KNOW FOR A FACT that escorts and hookers are in poor taste in the corporate world in NYC - BUT I have been to dinners in Dubai where a well-known businessman will bring a hooker on a "date" and display her like some prize at a formal dinner. Come ON, there a million HOT WOMEN IN DUBAI that exist in good faith, not all are hookers BUT THAT IS another problem, Dubai becomes unsafe for the women that are there are doctors, or teachers b/c they are now being sexually harassed by some stupid man with a developing world attitude. Why would young professional families want to move there if the mother of the family that happens to be hot and a doctor be harassed as if she is a hooker? I am used to women that are VERY SEXY, smart, and have huge earning potentials by using their brains, they look like super models and are doctors, lawyers, and hold Black AMEX cards in they’re OWN names! NOT by lying on their backs with their legs spread. In addition, I am also used to men THAT LOVE, respect, and honor themselves and the women in their lives. MEN that are not so insecure or battle with themselves and their sexual impotence by hiring hookers, or even need to be in the same space of another human being that has no self respect or self LOVE and have to pay for sex, HOW LAME!!! It seems SO STRANGE to even have this conversation; this would NOT even be an item of discussion in any Blue State in the US. Remember, it is also illegal to go topless in most states in the US, so hookers are just what the word suggests a hook that leads you to the ER! Good luck with this battle. And please leave the Blue states of the US out of the “western world” conversation.

Thanks for reading!

20 March, 2007 20:51  
Blogger Unknown said...

Gentlemen, and ladies-
I will admit, now, that I didn't even read all the comments posted. I got about halfway through before realizing that there are so many misconceptions (at least, to my point of view) that they need to be addressed forthright.

Firstly, I want to point something out...someone referred to the practice of prostitution as "Un-Islamic", and for whatever reason that stuck in my mind. Make no mistake, Islam is one of the most moral religions in the world. But likewise, all, it is a PRACTICAL religion, and in such a case there are certain instances where prostitution is acceptable (i.e., "temporary" marriages; the Arabic term for it escapes me now but you will find it is common in quite a few Islamic countries). Someone else referred to prostitution as "the oldest profession". I think this is what we need to keep in mind. Is it distasteful to us? Most of us, surely. But, in the end, it is a fact of life. It is one of those few industries (for lack of a better term) which caters to man's weakness, and for that reason alone it will remain in every society, and in every CULTURE in the world. The thing is, anyone wishing to control prostitution, to control the spread of STDS, any government wishing such is OBLIGATED to regulate the industry. Eliminating it is not really feasible, nor is it probable...but regulating it is. Distasteful?...again, sure it is. But these are the facts- This is the nature of man, and lust, and desire. Dubai is not an exception, Dubai is just in the unfortunate position of joining "the norm". Don't hold Dubai accountable, and don't hold it's "ladies of the night" accountable. Hold unrealistic governments and their unrealistic expectations accountable, as well as irresponsible johns or clients or whatever they are called who insist on unprotected sex. This is just my two cents, of course, but I sincerely hope that at least a couple of people agree with me. There is a reason it is referred to as "the world's oldest profession", people. Regulate it, and all will be ok. Try to eliminate it, and it will spread like wildfire.
Thanks for reading my post!

03 August, 2007 10:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

N' Ma mann, Just so that we are clear, I donno where you got that from, "Temp marraige crap" from, The Islamic protocol, "The Qur'an", discourages second marraiges as well, which leaves Temporary marraiges way out it all... I believe that in the end each individual is responsible for his/her acts good or bad, and keep in mind that every rolling stone hits a wall....

30 December, 2007 19:43  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being a PHD in Islamic studies, I can very strongly say that I have never come across anything et al in the Quran that permits Temporary marraiges, or, anything in Islamic (NOT mid-eastern or persian) history that even gives prostitution a word of a glance... I have been to Dubai and I know that if you go looking for BS you'll definitely find loads of it, but then...that is also the case everywhere else in the world...Commercially Dubai is one hell of a place...(In the good sense), Onlytime will tell whether the U.A.E Govt wakes up to this GRIM situation.

30 December, 2007 19:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PEOPLE: Dragunov'z real name is Aurangazeb and we call him ZEB (Say hi to ZEB), friend I agree with you..........

30 December, 2007 19:59  
Blogger EnglishLady said...

Prostitution is the oldest trade in the book....and was by no means discovered in the western world.
Today there are obviously several types but it all boils down to one ting...SEX.

Im a female, and i dont exactly agree with it but i dont disagree either, alot of women have hate for working women because they may be insecure of there own relationship and may feel they could not trust there husbands around such women. The men who visit them do not all have impotence or deformed problems (as someone above suggested)....think about it logially, a man could look like david beckham....have a wife but may want some fun on the side without all of the complications that come with he visits a working lady.....there are so many reasons for these such visits.

It keeps alot of frustrated men off the streets...may stop alot of attacks and rape on women.

Aslong as it is not blatently in our faces i dont see the problem with it, protection is a must, and i think all working ladies should be tested every 3 months by law for HIV and other STD's a smart women will insist on using protection as no matter how much a man is paying for these services it is not ur life he is paying for.
vica versa for the men.

I tink the reality of human trafficing etc and these pimps forcing these poor women into hell will only be controlled if the source of the problem is attacked, but facing reality there is always a will and way in the world we live realistically it will never happen.

As for independant escorts...high class...self respecting...clean and smart ladies out there, they abviously keep alot of smiles on a lot of faces...these people do not bother me in the slightest.....after all the world would be a very sad and boring place i if we were all 9 to 5

03 February, 2009 23:34  
Anonymous Gonzo said...

i'm just trying to get my nut

21 April, 2009 11:34  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been to Dubai a few times and all around the world. My brother lives there. There is more prostitution in this city than any western city I know. It is outdone only by the likes of Bangkok, Manilla, and other Asian cities (which are not western). Don't kid yourselves muslims. Your capitalist mecca is dirtier than anything in the west. Quit the holier than thou BS and see the real world.

09 May, 2009 04:16  

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