Reporter: Ross Coulthart
Producer: Ali Russell
With Dubai emerging as a major stopover point for long haul journeys, five hundred flights a month will deliver over one million of us to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the next year.
Dubai is being promoted as a luxury high-class paradise in the desert, but the reality is brutally different, as Australian Alicia Gali discovered. Gali took a job in the UAE with one of the world’s biggest hotel chains, Starwood. What happened next makes this story a must-watch for every Australian planning on travelling through the region.
Gali was using her laptop in the hotel’s staff bar when her drink was spiked. She awoke to a nightmare beyond belief: she had been savagely raped by three of her colleagues. Alone and frightened, she took herself to hospital. What Alicia didn’t know is that under the UAE’s strict sharia laws, if the perpetrator does not confess, a rapist cannot be convicted without four adult Muslim male witnesses. She was charged with having illicit sex outside marriage, and thrown in a filthy jail cell for eight months.
Why Jailing Gang Rape victims is OK in Islamic countries
A list of banned substances in the UAE, including codeine
For more information on human rights in the UAE, go to Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International.