For a time, the authorities even patrolled the plethora of Dubai malls, searching for “obvious” signs of homosexuality.
When unsuspecting gay men are entrapped, the consequences of their sexuality are dependent on their nationality.
Inside, the place is packed to the rafters with a United Nations of men: butch Lebanese and their Asian playthings mingle with trendily dressed Europeans and a smatterings of Australians, Americans, Canadians, alongside Indians and Pakistanis.
All gyrating together creating a sea of bulging biceps and tank tops.
Despite this, Dubai is host to a thriving underground gay scene, with men flocking to unofficial LGBT clubs with little fear of the consequences, according to Detained in Dubai.
Despite being conservative by Western standards, this is where alcohol and sex-starved Arabs flock to in droves to get their fix — and that includes the gays.
After all, given that the bulk of Dubai’s population is comprised of expats (figures suggest roughly 90-plus per cent) many of whom are young and single, it stands to reason that a decent amount of coupling will take place.
According to Paul, while the UAE employs strict censors to prevent access to pornography or dating websites, an easily downloadable program bypasses censors to allow access to dating and hook-up sites, such as Grindr and Tinder Indeed, with a melting pot of party-loving Aussies and Brits, lubricated with large quantities of booze, no matter if you’re gay OR straight, bedhopping is a cert.
From the get go, I’m under no illusions about Dubai’s official attitude to homosexuality.
Soon after arriving in order to secure a working visa I’m tested for HIV (any expat with the disease is immediately repatriated, alongside anyone found to have tuberculosis).