A Kiss,but Only on the Cheek, Says Dubai Jail Threat Briton

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Byline: Stephanie Condron

A BRITISH businessman facing jail in Dubai after he was accused of kissing a woman in public has vowed to fight the charges and clear his name.

Marketing executive Ayman Najafi, 24, and British tourist Charlotte Lewis, 25, were accused of kissing on the lips and drinking alcohol after a fellow diner reported them to the authorities.

The pair pleaded guilty to drinking alcohol - and were fined [pounds sterling]180 - but said they only kissed on the cheek and are appealing against breaking the country's morality laws.

Mr Najafi told The Mail on Sunday yesterday: 'I am just focusing on my appeal. I am going to clear my name. I respect the culture and laws out here and have never been in trouble with the law either in Dubai or the UK.' Mr Najafi has been in Dubai for the past 18 months working for marketing firm Hay Group.

Both he and Ms Lewis were sentenced to a month in jail and deportation but the sentence has been put on hold pending an appeal court hearing due to be held in the next few days.

Speaking from the family's [pounds sterling]425,000 home in Palmers Green, North London, Mr Najafi's mother, Maida, said her son did not like public displays of affection and understood the laws in Dubai.

She added: 'This is a very stressful time for the family. I only found out this morning about the court case as Ayman did not want us to know. He wanted to protect us.

'He knows the rules in Dubai. He respects the culture in Dubai. He would not even do something like this in public in the UK. …