British tourist charged for accidentally touching man's hip in Dubai bar

People sit at a cafe in Boxpark, one of Dubai's newest retail districts along Dubai's Al Wasl Road, UAE April 2, 2016. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah - GF10000369376
Photo credit: Reuters

A British tourist has been arrested after accidentally touching a man's hip in Dubai.

Jamie Harron, from central Scotland, is facing a three-year jail sentence after being charged with public indecency. 

Mr Harron's representatives say he was walking through a bar when he reached out his hand to stop himself from spilling his drink - and accidentally "touched a man on his hip to avoid impact". 

The 27-year-old electrician has since lost his job, and spent more than £30,000 (NZ$55,312) in expenses and legal fees.

Mr Harron has also been stuck in the country for three months. 

Chief executive of campaign group Detained in Dubai, Radha Stirling, says it's "outrageous" Mr Harron's been held in the country for so long.

"This is another example of how vulnerable tourists are to arrest and detention in Dubai, and how drawn out and disorganised legal proceedings are," she said. 

Police arrived at the bar around half-an-hour after the incident and arrested Mr Harron, who was seated at a table with his friend, unaware of what he'd done wrong. 

Mr Harron was reportedly locked up in Al Barsha prison for five days before his passport was confiscated and he was released on bail. 

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman has said: "We have been in contact with a British man following his arrest in Dubai in July. We are providing consular assistance."