His appalled parents have urged other tourists to avoid the city.

But the furious complaint of the other man was enough for Harron to join the long list of travellers who have fallen foul of the laws and customs of a city that – for all its glitzy cosmopolitanism – is a fairly conservative, Muslim state.

Although out of jail, Harron has not been allowed to leave Dubai and has run up hefty legal bills.

In 2007, a Japanese engineer suffered the indignity of being arrested at Dubai airport after customs officials found 77 pornographic DVDs in his luggage.

The same year, DJ Raymond Bingham – aka Grooverider – was sentenced to four years in prison for having a few forgotten grams of cannabis in a pair of trousers.

Shopping malls will often broadcast announcements reminding people of the dress code, which is heavily enforced.

Swimwear is acceptable only on beaches and at hotel pools, and topless sunbathing is forbidden – 79 people were arrested for it during a 2008 crackdown on the country’s beaches.“Although one should never have to hide who they are, it’s the only way to travel safely in the UAE if you are gay,” it says.Kissing and holding hands in public is considered to be “inappropriate behaviour”, according to guidelines published by the government (which also warned against playing loud music and dancing).By law, only married couples are allowed to have sex, or even share a bed, in Dubai.In practice, hotels do not ask for proof of your relationship when you check in with your partner.Men should also watch their wardrobe: in 2008 police arrested 40 “cross-dressing tourists”, according to the Gulf News.