United Arab Emirates – A Woman’s No Fly Zone

When women travel, one of our most serious concerns is avoiding being assaulted.  It happens though and when a woman is traveling, it’s made far worse by wondering if the police and court system will help?  The answer in UAE is clear – they won’t help you and in fact, they will make your situation far worse.  As a case in point, consider the Norwegian woman who called the police to report being raped by a colleague while on a business trip in Dubai.  She spent days in a jail cell before being allowed to use the phone.  She was charged with unlawful sex outside of marriage (UAE uses Shari’a law), which meant she was sentenced to sixteen months in jail.She wasn’t the first woman traveler to have this problem, a British woman encountered the same treatment a few years earlier.  We are sure we don’t know all of the cases since few make international headlines.  Most recently, the UAE distinguished themselves as a place where many female domestic servants are sexually assaulted and then sent to prison for it.

It’s not just UAE, though, other countries also employ Shari’a law to the detriment of women who are sexually assaulted.  The other countries include Morocco, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, and Oman.

Really, some countries are so unspeakably bad to women that no matter what else they have to offer travelers, they’re not worth the risk.  UAE has joined that list and is now officially in the running for the 2016 Worst Countries for Women to Travel.  If you are forced to travel to UAE and suffer any kind of crime, best to talk to your embassy and leave quickly.

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