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Dubai kissing couple face jail as appeal fails

  • Couple face a month in jail, deportation; $300 fine for drinking alcohol
  • British pair accused of kissing, touching each other intimately in public
  • Emirati woman with her family reported their behavior to police
  • Couple can make a second appeal within 30 days

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN -- A Dubai appeals court judge has upheld the verdict against a British couple caught kissing in public.

Unless the couple makes a second appeal within 30 days, the court's decision Sunday means authorities will jail the couple for a month and then deport them. They will also be fined $300 for drinking alcohol.

Ayman Najafi and Charlotte Adams were arrested in November, accused of kissing and touching each other intimately in public -- violations of law against public indecency -- and consuming alcohol.

Najafi is a British man who lives and works in Dubai; Charlotte Adams is a British female tourist who was visiting the city-state at the time.

The couple was dining with friends at Bob's Easy Diner, one of a stretch of cafes on a popular strip behind the city's Jumeirah Beach. An Emirati woman with her family reported their behavior to police.

The foreign population has soared in Dubai in recent years as expatriates, courted by the country, flock to the booming emirate to work.

Now, expatriates outnumber locals by more than eight to one in the port city -- one of seven emirates that make up the oil-rich Gulf nation.

But the population changes and the breakneck modernization of the sheikdom has also often caused friction with the deeply conservative social and religious identity of the locals.

In 2008, a British couple were sentenced to three-month jail terms for unmarried sex and public indecency, but those were suspended on appeal.

The two were arrested on a public beach shortly after midnight. Both denied they had intercourse.

CNN's Yousef Rafayah contributed to this report.