Dubai police have announced that they have arrested between 17 and 40 foreign men for being gay and wearing women’s clothing.

There are conflicting reports around the exact number with police stating that 17 men were arrested while Dubai’s Gulf News reports that “40 cross-dressing tourists” were detained.

Police said that the men were either visiting or working in the Muslim emirate at the time of their arrests which has been described as being part of a campaign against “transvestites.”

Earlier this month police officials announced that the force had created an undercover unit which would focus on tackling gay and “indecent activities” on local beaches.

Homosexuality is illegal in Dubai, and can result in up to 10 years imprisonment.

In 2005, 12 men were arrested for homosexuality during a police raid on a private party and received jail sentences of five years.

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