And while the UAE employs strict censors to prevent access to pornography or dating websites, an easily downloadable program bypasses censors to allow access to dating and hook-up sites, such as Grindr and Tinder.
Though I had a boyfriend (an English expat) for the bulk of my time in the city, my gay friends played the field extensively and I know from their respective tales that there was no shortage of action.
According to the International Lesbian and Gay Association, consensual gay sex in Dubai is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
My friends back home in London joked about my forthcoming years of celibacy and, though I laughed along with them at the time, as the plane touched down on the tarmac of Dubai’s airport my bravado faltered.
ON the surface, being gay in Dubai sounds like a dangerous prospect.
Indeed, should you be unlucky enough to be caught engaging in homosexual activity in the region, reports claim that punishment can range from 10 years in prison, fines, deportation and even the death penalty.
But what makes this unusual is that I’m not in the relatively liberal West; I’m in Dubai.
A province of the United Arab Emirates governed by a dictatorial royal family and a tourism hotspot attracting the gaze of the world thanks to its constant sunshine and headline-grabbing world’s “biggest” and “tallest” buildings, shopping malls and man-made islands.