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not going to dubai

i’ve never thought much about going to dubai. it seems to me like las vegas in the desert, except that it costs much more to go there, and you can’t gamble. there’s shopping, but if i want to go high-end shopping, which i don’t, i have a whole nyc full of exclusive shops. there’s, i suppose, seeing the desert.

you get the drift.

anyway, after reading this article in today’s ny times, i’m quite sure i will never go. from the article:

Alexandre Robert, a French 15-year-old, was having a fine summer in this tourist paradise on the Persian Gulf. It was Bastille Day and he and a classmate had escaped the July heat at the beach for an air-conditioned arcade.

Just after sunset, Alex says he was rushing to meet his father for dinner when he bumped into an acquaintance, a 17-year-old native-born student at the American school, who said he and his cousin could drop Alex off at home.

There were, in fact, three Emirati men in the car, including a pair of former convicts ages 35 and 18, according to Alex. He says they drove him past his house and into a dark patch of desert, between a row of new villas and a power plant, took away his cellphone, threatened him with a knife and a club, and told him they would kill his family if he ever reported them.

Then they stripped off his pants and one by one sodomized him in the back seat of the car. They dumped Alex across from one of Dubai’s luxury hotel towers.

Alex and his family were about to learn that despite Dubai’s status as the Arab world’s paragon of modernity and wealth, and its well-earned reputation for protecting foreign investors, its criminal legal system remains a perilous gantlet when it comes to homosexuality and protection of foreigners.

The authorities not only discouraged Alex from pressing charges, he, his family and French diplomats say; they raised the possibility of charging him with criminal homosexual activity, and neglected for weeks to inform him or his parents that one of his attackers had tested H.I.V. positive while in prison four years earlier.

nothing like institutionalized homophobic ignorance to attract tourists to your desert paradise, right? any glbt person who goes to dubai has lost their frigging mind.

correction: anyone at all who goes to dubai has lost their frigging mind.