Beach club in Dubai issues apology after vulgar video goes viral
Many expressed outrage on social media.
A beach club in Dubai has issued an apology after a video showing a man committing a vulgar act in a pool went viral on social media. Zero Gravity took to Instagram on Monday to assure patrons about the hygiene conditions maintained in its pools after several Netizens expressed disgust over the act.
The incident took place on December 15. It was not immediately clear if a police case has been registered.
The club described the act as an "unacceptable incident". "The wellbeing of our guests is our priority and we have zero tolerance for any inappropriate conduct. We insist on the highest standards of behaviour at all times and we have immediately taken action to strengthen the implementation of our rules of conduct," the post said.
"Our guests can be assured that all water hygiene controls were in place at the time of the incident, including hourly water quality checks, and we have carried out a number of hygiene tests and activities since the incident to continue to protect the wellbeing of everyone who enjoys Zero Gravity."
The club said the individual has been banned from its premises.
"The conduct of this individual, who was immediately removed, and banned, from Zero Gravity, fell well below that which can be expected by our guests and we sincerely apologise for any distress or anxiety caused. Thank you for all your messages of support."
A lawyer told Khaleej Times that such lewd acts are considered a penal offence in the UAE.
Ashish Mehta, founder and managing partner of Ashish Mehta and Associates, said: "An act of this nature carries legal consequences. The UAE has a zero tolerance policy for an offence like this, and offenders can face imprisonment."
He warned that sharing the video also is a punishable offence in the UAE. "Recording of a vulgar act for the sake of digital distribution, that is, over social media is also punishable by the law," he said.
Several Netizens expressed outrage at the incident, with several memes doing the rounds on social media.
An Instagram user, who goes by the name spurs1o1, said: "Change that water pronto! You cooperate with the authorities, I suggest you cooperate with your clients, too, who spend a fortune. Don't just treat that filthy water with chemicals."
Another user, who goes by the name zazoo_mini, said: "This is partly your fault, @zerogravitydubai! Not the first time you got issues ... This country is not yours (or mine), you should respect the culture."
"Our guests can be assured that all water hygiene controls were in place at the time of the incident, including hourly water quality checks."
"The UAE has a zero tolerance policy for an offence like this, and offenders can face imprisonment."
Ashish Mehta, founder and managing partner of Ashish Mehta and Associates
What the law says
The lewd act which took place at the beachside bar Zero Gravity is considered a penal offence.
> According to article 358 of the federal law number 3 of 1987 in the penal code, any person committing a lewd act shall be sentenced to detention for a minimum period of six months.
> If the judge is convinced that another article needs to be invoked, the offence could result in longer punishment or jail term. For example, if women were present on site, and they have complained, it results in multiple charges being filed. However, the offence remains the same.
> Public nudity falls under the same penal code, and the federal law is applicable all over the UAE.
Punishment for sharing obscene videos
> Recording of a vulgar act for the sake of digital distribution, that is, over social media, is also punishable by the law.
> The fact that someone else has to record a private act without permissions opens another chapter and it is a criminal offence.
> The punishment for distribution is up to the prosecutor. If the prosecution is convinced that the video has been shot in the national interest and to uphold the security of the country and is shared only with prosecution and police officials, the act of recording the video is not publishable by law.