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Prostitution in Dubai

by Drima on September 15, 2007

PBS has an excellent report about prostitution in Dubai. It comes together with a 12 minute video clip which is very revealing and unique. It’s worth your time.

What caught my attention in this short documentary is that some women in Dubai aren’t forced into prostitution but that they actually voluntarily get involved in it. Apparently the money is too good to resist. Some of them make as much as 7,000 American dollars a month. It was a little shocking to me.

Click on the picture below. I LOVE the sexy designs on her arms. It’s a very clever strategy of standing out and kicking the competition’s ass.

A Moroccan prostitute displays the henna patterns on her arms. Muslim prostitutes are paid the highest in Dubai. [Drima: Actually, according to some naughty guys I know who live in Dubai, Arab prostitutes are the most expensive].


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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Amjad 09.15.07 at 2:42 pm

yuck.. Brown henna turns me off big time, lol. Black henna rocks.

2 ratedrsuperstar 09.15.07 at 3:02 pm

How long do you think it will be before self proclaimed’morality police’ start showing up in Dubai to crack down on such women?

3 Danial 09.15.07 at 7:55 pm

ratedrsuperstar, they can always be bribed.

4 ratedrsuperstar 09.16.07 at 2:34 am

bribed?? but these are men of virtue.Prostitution, bribery why I thought only the Kafurs committed such vice.

5 Danial 09.16.07 at 2:59 am

“bribed?? but these are men of virtue.Prostitution, bribery why I thought only the Kafurs committed such vice.”

I’ll ignore the sarcasm and respond in a serious manner.

Only the kaffirs? Right, that is why Muslim countries are endemic with corruption and seeing a wannabe mullah try to run from the scene in a burka as evident in Islamabad in July.

6 D.B. Shobrawy 09.16.07 at 5:25 am

ur not gonna get any mortality police like in Saudi Arabia because the Dubai authority intentionally turns a blind eye to prostitution. As far as they are concerned it adds to the playground atmosphere of Dubai and they think it helps to control sex crimes. I dont know if its true but we’ve known for a long time that sexual repression in Arab countries has driven sex crimes.

7 ratedrsuperstar 09.16.07 at 5:30 am

I agree. If you know me well you’ll know I never miss an opportunity to mock this notion among many islamists that the west is decadent.Believe me daniel you and I are on the same page in that respect. For the record and this is just my opinion, I believe prostitution should be legal as long as the woman is at a legal age of consent(ie 18).
ps hope you are well drima–seems like you are

8 Comin' in from the cold 09.16.07 at 2:29 pm

so what? this is old as history
dont make a big deal out of it

9 Dalu 09.16.07 at 2:54 pm

As long as they are doing it voluntarily, though I wonder if they are being safe. Not just in terms of STDs/AIDS, but I mean how do the men treat them? Even first class hookers get smacked around and degraded a bit. It’s odd, but prostitution is one of those services that people will go pretty far to get their money’s worth.

Is 7,000 a month a good rate? Is that per person or collectively. Cuz I’d get pissed if I had just “serviced” ten people I’d rather not for only 7,000.

also, I absolutely love some of the Henna designs. Totally rippin’ off some of that stuff for my tattoos.

Not to cramp her style or anything.

10 Howie 09.16.07 at 8:29 pm

Prostitution should be legal…This is one of the those sometimes “grey” areas subjects that I see VERY black and white.

Can there be abuses? Of course there can be abuses. But I believe that when it is illegal there are even MORE abuses. You at least can more easily take the abusive pimp middleman out of the picture for the most part, you can require health exams, licensing, codes of conduct etc.

People need sex. And when people, especially young men and especially young men who have not freely CHOSEN celebacy, don’t get sex, they can get pretty trippy.

I have spent over 30 years working around offenders and victims and this would NOT make everything all better. It would not cure the real screwballs, but would help many.

I know a guy with severe quadrapeligia. He is 30 and has never had sex. He is horny to the point of insanity and has NO prospects for a girlfriend or marriage. I think it is INHUMAN that he cannot just go to a prostitute, lay down his money, get a squirt and go home.

It is not a lovely picture…but it sure is a reality.

11 Dalu 09.17.07 at 1:56 am

Don’t know why I have issue with the term “prostitute.” Hmph. I know the “moral” issues surrounding this field. But I find that I have more qualms with ethical issues when it comes to this… like the mistreatment of women in the field, women being forced into prostitution either by the sex trade or because they just hit some really hard times. Than whether or not it’s “moral” to be a “prostitute.”

But what about women who just get up one morning and go, why I’d like to be a professional sex worker. I think I prefer this term more, “sex worker.” Because seriously, sometimes I think if people would just have more sex, they’d be less war. I kid, I kid…

My feminist views tend to be pro sex, but then I have this anti pornography views. But at the same time, I think it’s possible for some women to have complete agency over their sexuality when it comes to even pornography. Just that most of the time, they are just feeding into sexist/demeaning roles. So it’s like this warped thing that I still can’t work out without hurting my brain.

This was not adding or taking away from the intellectual debate going on here. But I figured I’d offer my two cents anyway.

12 Nomad 09.17.07 at 9:17 am

If I recall hystroy, in the roman empire prostitution was legal ; prostitutes were part of a working class, but apart,they had not the right to marry

13 Peter 09.17.07 at 1:19 pm

Obviously prostitution is not going away, but it should not be idolized either. Prostitution is humiliating and degrading. “The happy hooker” is a myth. In Sweden paying for sexual services is illegal and will be punished. Here in Denmark we have a more “soft” policy trying to give prostitutes alternatives.
Btw it turns out many prostitutes have a history of abuse in childhood.

14 aaron 09.17.07 at 7:09 pm

I like how sex has been so twisted in our society that no one says anything of the way that living this lifestyle is going to fuck someone up emotionally and spiritually.

Yeah sex is just for entertainment!

15 Howie 09.17.07 at 7:52 pm

I think I disagree with everybody here on several points…

If this is a way somebody wants to make a living…then so be it. Heck, I could argue running a casino or liquor store are also degrading and bad for society etc.

I don’t buy the “feminist” argument. Unless it is slavery, this is not exploitation of women, it is more exploitation of men. Prostitutes prey on men’s fantasies, sexual frustrations etc. I know retarded guys that have been robbed by hookers. Let’s not belittle women by presenting them as powerless and stupid and lacking the ability to judge their own behavior. Women, aside from slaves, go into prostitution for lot of reasons. The molestation thing? In many ways..a big frekin cop-out.

So once again…I think prostitution should be regulated, licensed and attempts should be made to keep the middle-man or WOMAN out of it or at least there should be strict controls.

Let men live out their little fantasies or just get laid now and again. If women choose to make a dirty little living servicing them…then so be it.

Let’s let the vice cops go after crack dealers, molesters, theives and violent criminals.

16 aaron 09.17.07 at 8:43 pm

Dalu –

“But what about women who just get up one morning and go, why I’d like to be a professional sex worker. ”

I’m not sure what planet you live on but I highly doubt this happens here on Earth.

17 Dalu 09.18.07 at 1:38 am

It does happen, Aaron :’P

You’d be surprised. I don’t have friends directly who do this. But I threw this example out there because I have been in situations…where…these women who will own to this personally or would refer to friends of their who are strippers, porno stars, or sex workers (not prostitutes as they put it) who have complete agency of their bodies and sexuality and know that they are not being exploited (beaten, raped, not being paid enough..etc) because they complete control over their “trade” or whatever you want to call it.

So these women don’t work for pimps, they are not in hard economical situations, didn’t come from broken homes and supposedly were never abused themselves, not to mention are relatively educated. They just tend to “own” their sexuality over the top, I suppose, while saying a big screw you to the idea that women are supposed to adhere to certain moral sexual laws.

My first reaction was to be like pffft and dismiss it, but then who am I to speak up for these women. I’ll speak up for those who are thrown into these demeaning and sometimes abusive situations through no control of their own (sold or forced into it for whatever reason), but those who make such “empowering” statements and act like they definitely know what they are doing…I really can’t knock them down.

I personally tend to be largely anti pornography and the sex trade because I see it as being a demeaning practice, that operates within largely sexist societies… where these women are seen as immoral sex objects (with no humanity…they are just “prostitutes.”) So I believe that you can never turn such actions into vices for empowerment.

Some feminists are totally pro-sex/pornography. Don’t know how this works out, because I’m on the anti pornography end of the spectrum. But some give some reasons that makes you think differently sometimes.

So in the end, I’ll keep my skepticism to myself and focus on the down trotten (that s word?) instead of trying to push down those women who have it “all figured out” in terms of how to escape a system where no matter what you think of yourself, what the larger society thinks in the end is what’s going to matter the most and define you.

Unless you manage to somehow shatter the structure as a whole and rebuild it.

I didn’t spell check or make sure I responded coherently, oh well.

18 Aaron 09.18.07 at 6:25 am

Thanks for such a great response Dalu! Very appreciated. :)

19 sall 10.12.07 at 6:52 pm

black henna makes u ill

20 david 02.05.08 at 12:02 am

voila un vrai film de la prostitution arabe en camera cache
et certainement le vrai sujet de ce film pornographie est comme la prostitution chez les arabes .
telecharger le Film dans ce lien:
Réflexions qui ne visent pas seulement les arabes mais aussi les musulman « à faire vrai ».

21 Dubai hotel guide 02.07.08 at 3:42 pm

Well, most hotels in Dubai – ok let’s say 80% – are really whorehouses, with working girls in the bars downstairs and rooms to rent per hour..
I think it’s a State industry

22 sosaveurbreath 11.08.09 at 6:23 pm

I think we as a world have become sooo screwed up that we are finding ways to justify immoral acts such as prostitution!! whats next? pedophilia, are u gonna argue the little 4 yr old boy or girl looked sooo cute so it invites men to prey on them!??
are u screwed in the head or what?
are men such punks nowadays that they cant commit and be real men and marry? instead of these “flings” with 6 girls and breaking each of their hearts. Having kids out of wedlock and the spread of diseases!
how disgusting!!!
what seperates humans from animals is modesty….ummm its chipping away nowadays.
soooo a woman treats her body like a car and she should have respect? u dont respect urself, who will respect u??? nobody!
LOOK AT DIAMONDS…true beautiful diamonds are rare and preccious and beautiful and hard to find..leaves are everywhere, JUST LIKE THE WOMAN
every beautiful thing is hidden..pearls,diamonds,even a rose has thorns!
u wanna parade women and define us by our bodies? using ur perverted mind to justify that its ok to be prostitutes!!
Im a woman and im shocked! u have no morals or no class!!!

everyone who supports this i hope ur daughters turn to prostitutes and get a disease..and we will see how pro prostitution u are.
whats next? defend serial killers?
immoral women and men have no place in society.
the moral laws are laws set by God! God created u and he knows best!

23 AKF 08.26.10 at 10:27 pm

The debate here is quite interesting. People forget the more intense issues and indulge in these not so important topics. Why if a girl or a boy gets married at the right age(and to me it is not more than 21) there won’t be problems at all. And please don’t gimme the crap that a guy or a girl is not getting married because there is no one who is actually willing to marry them. In Islam, a man is given the liberty to marry 4 womens and the recent studies show that women have low libido and craving to have sex compared to men. Also, the male to female ratio is increasing. And in Islam, marriage is a contract between two peaople that they will live a happy life and at any point even if one of them is dissatisfied with the relation, it can be terminated and they can simply move on and marry someone else. If everyone in Islam accepts this fact, there wont be sins like sex before marriage and sex out of wedlock.

24 AKF 08.26.10 at 10:30 pm

Sorry, I said male to female ratio, it actually is female to male ratio which is going up

25 Andrew Brehm 08.27.10 at 2:05 pm


If even a few men marry more than one woman, wouldn’t the result be decreased availability of women to other men? How can everyone get married, let alone get married before age of 21, if there are no women available?

Also, if marriage is a contract that can be cancelled if one of the parties is dissatisfied with the relation, how could we stop people from forming such contracts whenever they want and with whomever they want just to have sex?

26 Katalyst 03.17.11 at 4:48 pm

You can freely buy or sell a car, but is it enough to make you sell and buy your car twice in a week, of course not, so if you don’t sell your car until it creates problems for you, why would you change your spouse just for sex. The fact that the concept of marriage is there since stone age to information age, this itself implies that this is something in our nature. For short span of time, society deviates from the nature, but consequences of these deviation become visible, societies takes a U-turn.

On prostitution:
At one side, logic says that we all sell our skills, both natural and developed skills. A models, whether male or female sales his/her appearance, should we say they sell their body. So why when somebody who pay to show her body we consider it OK but when pay to touch her body we say that’s not okay. That’s all our cultural conditioning, our culture tells us that what’s okay and what’s not okay, otherwise there ain’t a sound logic behind.

We cant say something for sure, social topics are the most complex. But personally I think that too many laws weaken the application of law. The laws should be strict when it comes to civil rights, my neighbor should not be allowed to boom my house with his home studio but when it comes to personal life, the laws should be flexible, depending on the implication on the society. But that’s all seems crap when the world has a lot bigger problems. The poverty, imperialism, and violence. How would you stop a mother from renting her body when her children are dying of starvation. Deal with the major issues, the minor issues are nothing but the symptoms of the major issues, so they will die thereselves.

27 Omar 09.08.11 at 12:49 pm

That’s right, we have to deal with the major issues like war , starvation, etc. as much as moral issues like sex deviation this one is really complex cause its motivated by lots of issues, althuogh the common sense dictates even for the prostitutes them self such sex life is certainly a human-degrading diviation, but religion weather it’s (bad and good) and culture also (bad and good) have the most impact on our life and what we think is what is right wrong. and this is just the start of a big topic

28 haabib 12.11.12 at 3:55 pm

you know why government agencies dont shut this down? its because high-level government figures are also taking a taste of the underground world of prostitution. the so-called sheikhs who run the country and who have founded it (yes, the ones where their faces are plastered on big posters all over the place there) have all had orgies in their palaces with all of these sluts while their wives went on shopping sprees in private jets around the world.

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