Dubai's Criminal Investigation Department says police have detained 79 people, mostly foreigners, over the past two weeks for indecent behavior on several public beaches.
Zuhair Haroun, a police spokesman, says they were picked up by police for "disturbing families enjoying the beach" with their behavior. Haroun did not elaborate on the nature of the acts in question.
Thousands of European and Asian expatriates live and work in Dubai, one of seven semi-independent states that form the United Arab Emirates, a conservative Muslim country.
Foreigners hugely outnumber native Arab citizens in Dubai, the region's business hub and an increasingly popular destination for Western tourists.
According to the census conducted by the Statistics Center of Dubai, the population of the emirate was 1,422,000 as of 2006, which included 1,073,000 males and 349,000 females. As of 1998, 17% of the population of the emirate was made up of UAE nationals. Approximately 85% of the expatriate population (and 71% of the emirate's total population) was Asian, chiefly Indian (51%), Pakistani (16%), Bangladeshi (9%) and Filipino (3%). About 3% of the total population of Dubai was categorized as "Western". A quarter of the population however reportedly traces their origins to neighboring Iran. In addition, 16% of the population (or 288,000 persons) lived in collective labour accommodation were not identified by ethnicity or nationality, but were thought to be primarily Asian. The median age in the emirate was about 27 years. The crude birth rate, as of 2005, was 13.6%, while the crude death rate was about 1%.
Although Arabic is the official language of Dubai, English, Hindi, Malayalam, Bengali, Persian, Urdu, Tagalog and others are widely spoken.
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