October 20, 2008 / 2:05 PM / 11 years ago

Couple to appeal Dubai beach sex jail sentence

Vince Acors, found guilty of engaging in sexual activity on a Dubai beach with a British woman, walks out of a Dubai court, September 2, 2008.REUTERS/Mosab Omar

DUBAI (Reuters) - Two Britons found guilty of engaging in sexual activity on a Dubai beach are appealing against their sentence, with the first hearing scheduled for November 18, the court said on Monday.

Last Thursday, Vince Acors and Michelle Palmer were sentenced to three months in jail followed by deportation after being convicted on two charges of engaging in sexual activity, and for doing so in public.

They had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The judge also fined the pair 1,000 dirhams (158 pounds) each for an alcohol-related offence they had admitted.

As the tourism hub of the Gulf, home to man-made palm-shaped islands and the world’s tallest building, Dubai seeks a delicate balance between maintaining its Muslim identity and catering for a vibrant tourism industry.

Expatriates comprise more than 90 percent of its population, attracted by tax-free earnings and year-round sunshine. There are frequent reports of foreigners falling foul of local laws in the United Arab Emirates that strictly control drinking and ban homosexuality and public displays of affection.

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