Decency rule is no joke
A funnyman from the Philippines has warned ignoring UAE decency laws is no joke after claiming he spent five hours in police custody because of what he was wearing.
Stand-up comedian Jonathan Garcia, known by his stage name Chokoleit, is used to making people chuckle, but he said his choice of denim shorts was no laughing matter when he was stopped by officers in Bur Dubai.
He said: “My advice to visitors to the UAE is that ignorance of the law is no excuse for anyone. I was on the way to do some shopping before my flight home when my legs were sighted by the police.”
Garcia had been performing in Dubai on April 1 and was about to catch a plane to The Philippines on April 2 when he says he was stopped
After several hours of questioning he claims he was released, but not before he missed his flight.
He said it was scary being questioned by police. The Filipino star, who has more than 150,000 followers on social networking site Twitter, was besieged by a barrage of messages from worried fans as news of the incident swept the internet.
But Garcia, who tours the world with his act and is a favourite on the Las Vegas cabaret circuit, was quick to reassure them.
The performer said he had learnt a lesson from his experience in Dubai after he was released without charge.
COMIC LEARNS HIS LESSON
He wrote: “Points taken. Lesson learned. Unscathed and scot-free. The Lord made sure I’m good. Back n safe
Foreign embassies, travel guides, Dubai Tourism and Commerce Department (DTCM) and UAE malls issue advice on the “do’s and don’ts” for visitors to the Emirates, warning that modest dress is a must when in public. And Philippines Consul General of Dubai, Benito Valeriano, said visitors must make sure they do not cross the cultural line.
He told 7DAYS: “I always tell people to obey the laws and the regulations in this country and to be conscious of the cultural differences so that these kinds of incidents don’t happen. There is enough information available for people to know what the laws are here and if they are conscious of them when they visit, these kinds of misunderstandings that cause inconvenience for both the individual and the police would not happen.”
Dubai Police were unavailable for comment yesterday.