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  1. Dubai’s dirty secret 30,000 hookers openly working in Islamic city By THE DUBAI DIGGER 27th January 2015, 11:15 am Updated: 5th April 2016, 4:30 am MIDNIGHT in a crowded bar and prostitutes in short skirts and skyscraper heels are blatantly touting for trade – they do not have to wait long. Some British tourists approach a couple of the girls, hand over £500 for an hour of their “company” and head off to a room in a nearby hotel. There is no doubt the people here are buying and selling sex. But this sleazy transaction is not taking place in some brothel in Eastern Europe — this is DUBAI, where the strict Islamic religion forbids holding hands in public, where homosexuality is illegal and sharing a bedroom outside marriage will get you banged up. Shockingly, there are 30,000 prostitutes working in Dubai, the largest city in the United Arab Emirates. Local women outside may be hidden from public view in burkhas, but inside the late-night venues are scantily clad call girls of every shape, size, nationality and ethnicity. Dubai’s paid-for sex trade is accepted by expats and locals as the norm. Even the police seemingly turn a blind-eye to the sordid behaviour going on all around them, despite prostitution being illegal and the strict laws banning women from dressing “provocatively” in the street. The oldest profession in the world is actively encouraged in the hotels and bars. 6 Some provide a free buffet and drinks vouchers for the working girls and others rent them regular rooms because of the big-spending clientele they bring in. It is not just the hotels making a fortune from the lucrative sex trade. Zara, 28, earns thousands of pounds from willing punters. She says: “I go to Dubai a couple of times a year to work in the big hotels. “Every bar is full of working girls — it’s the hidden culture out there. “My main clients are businessmen from all parts of the world and local Arabs. That shocks some people when I tell them. “The businessmen pay £500 an hour and are just after straight sex. “Arabs are slightly different because they have an obsession with cleanliness, so I spend most of the hour in the shower, which I find odd. “With locals, the sex normally doesn’t last longer than ten minutes.” She adds: “Businessmen automatically take you for a prostitute in Dubai if you are a woman alone in a bar and they’ll come and chat. “I’ve been bought gifts of upwards of £5,000 on some shopping sprees. “Any money I make I wire back to Britain because you can only take so much out of the country by law.” Dubai gives the impression of being a safe holiday hot spot with its plush hotels, sandy beaches and — thanks to its strict Islamic religion — very little crime, alcohol or sex. But behind the windowless bars and clubs, prostitutes are busy plying their trade. They come from all over — Nigeria, Philippines, China, Thailand, Europe and Russia. 6 Work often brings video producer Lloyd Ludgrove, 28, from Welwyn Garden City, Herts, out here and he has seen Dubai’s dark underbelly. He says: “The adult industry is booming, which seems mad considering the religious restrictions. “Most Arabs choose to book very pale skinned, blonde escorts and they will take them shopping for whatever they desire. “They walk around the shops with bodyguards and expensive shopping bags. You can see escorts of all nationalities working here. It is so blatant, every hotel you go to you will see girls sitting at the bars alone, dressed like a million dollars. “Some of the girls offer massage services and others are more open with their advances. “One thing is for sure, they’re not afraid to tout for business. “I have stayed away from paid-for sex, I have more respect for women than that. But whatever floats your boat can be found in Dubai and sex for cash is widely available. “You can earn thousands in one night in the right circles.” Working girls usually meet up with their wealthy clients in hotels. One receptionist, who works in a well-known chain, says: “Most of the escorts advertise their services through Tinder and they don’t try to mask what they do. “But you can just meet one in a bar if you prefer the old-fashioned way. There are plenty of ‘clubs’ about if you’re a guy looking for cheaper women, too. “In Dubai, it’s all about hooking a rich guy and, generally, sex doesn’t come for free.” Laura, 30, spent a summer escorting there after a friend mentioned how much money she could make. She says: “After a month escorting full-time I returned home with thousands of pounds and some lovely gifts. “While a few punters asked me to meet them in their hotel lobbies, most hosted lavish private parties and treated me as a VIP. “When I did go to hotels, the staff turned a blind eye to what was going on. “It’s crazy when you think you’re not allowed to drink or hold hands in public, but it’s all about money and power over there. “The more high-class escorts the hotels get in, the more rich men will follow to spend their cash. “I was never turned away from a hotel, even though I’m pretty sure they knew what I was doing there.” Stefani even prepares a free buffet for the prostitutes who keep the punters spending in the hotel sports bar where she works. 6 She says: “All the girls are for sale in this place. Working girls are part of the culture, even though it is officially illegal. “We provide them with a drinks voucher so they can hang out until they get a client. Some girls see four or five men on an evening.” As the night goes on, most men move on to clubs inside the hotels and shopping malls. In Dubai, “Ladies Night” is a code name for the many prostitutes on offer. The sheikhs tend to sit apart from the women, but keep a watchful eye over the financial exchanges. Dubai’s sleazy side is something tourist Simon gradually became aware of on his holidays here. The 21-year-old, from Chelmsford, Essex, says: “Although I come for the sun and parties, there are lots of seedy places here and prostitution is rife. In some hotels there are around five girls to every guy. “My company often send English workers over on short business trips and they can’t wait to get themselves an escort for a few days — even if they’re married. “Dubai has really developed a reputation as a provider of easy and open sex, despite all their rules and regulations. You have to assume that every girl here is an escort, because the vast majority of them are.” They flout the law and risk prison because there is so much to be made from selling sex. Simon adds: “There’s a really huge amount of wealth here which makes people think they are invincible. “As long as there are women available on tap, men will keep spending their cash on sex. “One of my mates told me about a time when a hooker was banging on his hotel room door offering him whatever he wanted. “At some point they will have to crack down on it, before it pushes holidaymakers and families away for good.” GETTY IMAGE