Court told he wanted pas­sen­ger to ‘re­lax’ af­ter flight

7 Days in Dubai - - NEWS - @alial­shouk ali.shouk@7days.ae

Travel firm Airbnb is to work with the Depart­ment of Tourism and Com­merce Mar­ket­ing of Dubai to help peo­ple rent out their homes to hol­i­day­mak­ers. Un­der a Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing, the or­gan­i­sa­tions will en­sure that those who let premises abide by the reg­u­la­tions, as well as work to­gether on mar­ket­ing and pro­mo­tional ac­tiv­i­ties. Na­tional news agency WAM said the agree­ment fol­lows the in­tro­duc­tion of new reg­u­la­tions last month that aim to make ob­tain­ing a ‘hol­i­day home’ li­cence sim­pler for in­di­vid­ual ten­ants and home­own­ers. Founded in 2008, San Fran­cisco-based Airbnb is an on­line mar­ket­place where peo­ple can list their homes as hol­i­day rentals around the world. Olivier Gremil­lon, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of Airbnb in EMEA, said: “Airbnb is good news for Dubai. It helps grow and di­ver­sify tourism, in­crease con­sumer choice and will at­tract new guests to this ex­cit­ing des­ti­na­tion.” He added: “This is just the start of our part­ner­ship.” A limou­sine driver has gone on trial ac­cused of mo­lest­ing a fe­male tourist af­ter pick­ing her up from Dubai In­ter­na­tional Air­port.

Dubai Court of First In­stance was told that the 36-year-old Bangladeshi touched the Amer­i­can’s woman’s arms then of­fered to mas­sage her shoul­ders, telling her she should re­lax af­ter a long flight from the United States.

Prose­cu­tors said the in­ci­dent took place on March 2.

The woman had taken the car from the air­port and was head­ing for a ho­tel in the Naif area of By Ali Al Shouk Deira. She sat on the front seat of the car and it was shortly af­ter get­ting in that she was al­legedly mo­lested by the driver.

A 53-year-old po­lice of­fi­cer said that he was called to the ho­tel.

The of­fi­cer tes­ti­fied: “She was in the ho­tel and claimed that she was abused by the driver.

“She said that he touched her left arm and at­tempted to touch her thigh when she stopped him.” The woman said that the driver told her that he has a girl­friend also from the US and showed her a pic­ture of a woman on his phone.

Dubai Po­lice con­tacted the driver, ask­ing him to re­turn to the ho­tel, and then ques­tioned him.

The of­fi­cer con­tin­ued: “He said that he asked her to sit in the pas­sen­ger front seat and then he touched her left arm, as he wanted to help her to re­lax.

“He said that he of­fered her a mas­sage to help her re­lax af­ter the long flight but she re­fused.”

The woman iden­ti­fied the ac­cused in line-up. Dur­ing ques­tion­ing, po­lice said he con­fessed to a mo­lesta­tion charge, but in court he de­nied the charge.

“I didn’t touched her” he told pre­sid­ing Judge Fa­had Al Shamsi.

He ad­journed the case un­til next month.

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