A group of people were arrested in Dubai on Saturday over widely-shared images that showed women posing naked on a high-rise balcony in the city, police said.
Photographs and videos circulated on social media on Saturday night depicting more than a dozen naked women who were lined up on the waterfront balcony of a residential building while being filmed in the upscale Dubai Marina neighborhood in broad daylight. State-linked newspaper The National reported that the display was "an apparent publicity stunt," without elaborating.
The Dubai Police Force later announced that a group of people who appeared in the "indecent" footage were arrested on charges of public debauchery and referred to the Dubai Public Prosecution. The identities of the individuals were not released.
"Dubai Police warns against such unacceptable behaviors which do not reflect the values and ethics of Emirati society," the agency said in a statement late Saturday.
Although the United Arab Emirates is seen as one of the more socially liberal countries in the Middle East, the images still came as a shock in a Muslim-majority nation where kissing in public have landed people behind bars.
Violations of the public decency law in the United Arab Emirates, which is based on Islamic law or Sharia, are punishable with a prison sentence of up to six months and a fine of up to 5,000 dirham ($1,360). The sharing of pornographic material can also result in prison time and a fine of up to 500,000 ($136,128).