Richard Stabler looked as though he is having the time of his life as an expatriate in Dubai but the high-flying British executive is about to be forced to swap the yacht for a prison cell – after falling foul of the country’s strict Islamic laws. Company director Stabler, 33, has been sentenced to seven months in a Dubai jail and deportation thanks to an alcohol-fuelled argument that saw him streak naked through his apartment block.
The businessman had polished off eight glasses of rum during a pre-Christmas knees-up at the five-star Le Meridien Mina Seyahi hotel when he started to fight with some of his friends.
The row continued when the group got back to his upmarket beachside apartment on the Palm Jumeirah – a manmade island shaped like a palm tree – and Stabler stripped off in what a court was later told was a ‘naked protest’.
A security guard from his building, who gave evidence at Dubai’s Court of Misdemeanours, said: ‘He was making noise and arguing with the other security guards
The guard claimed that Stabler – nicknamed ‘The Stabiliser’ by his friends – went on to walk through the apartment’s reception area wearing only his underwear.
When the guard tried to calm him down, Stabler pushed him to one side and ran up the stairs, where he proceeded to ‘cause chaos’.
According to witnesses. Stabler – who has been running recruitment agency Binding Partnerships with fellow Briton James Binding for four years – was then said to have tried to hide behind a gate.
While he managed to avoid the maximum penalty of three years in jail, the judge decided to sentence him to six months in jail for indecency and one month for drinking – a warning to British expatriates to observe the United Arab Emirates’ Islamic laws. Drinking alcohol carries a maximum jail term of up to six months, although judges recently have opted to issue fines.
He will be deported as soon as he has completed his sentence.