The 24-hour weekend shopping initiative in Dubai has been a hit among residents and visitors.
However, a man in his underwear is not what early morning visitors at The Dubai Mall on the second day of Eid Al Adha on Saturday had bargained for.
Shocked at the sight, some called the police. However, the 20-year-old Emirati did not cringe when the police arrived promptly and detained him.
He said he was acting responsibly, and that his friends were also doing the same, but the police found out that his friends were in the traditional dress with T-shirts and jackets tied around their waists.
The police took him away and referred him to the Public Prosecution on the charges of public indecency.
Embarrassed at the slipup, Brigadier Khalil Ibrahim Al Mansouri, Director of the General Department of Criminal Investigation, expressed his regret to the mall visitors.
He said the youth’s behaviour was against the UAE’s tradition and civilised customs.
In August 2010, a British woman wearing a low-cut top was stopped and criticised by an Arab woman at The Dubai Mall. As their arguments flared up, the British woman stripped to her bikini and the mall security personnel called the police, who then escorted her to the police station for questioning.
Her act triggered debates on social media sites and international newspapers picked up the story.
Local residents who joined the debates insisted that foreigners must respect the UAE tradition and customs in public places, especially in a popular venue like The Dubai Mall visited by thousands to shop and see the water fall, fountain, Souq Al Bahar and Burj Khalifa.