Dubai discovered itself entangled within the intercourse abuse case towards American R&B singer R. Kelly on Thursday after the performer requested a U.S. decide to permit him to come back to the Arabian Peninsula sheikhdom to carry out exhibits and “meet with the royal household.”

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Officers in Dubai and the broader United Arab Emirates didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark from The Related Press relating to the singer’s request, which an Illinois decide might think about at a courtroom listening to on Friday.

Nonetheless, Kelly’s request highlighted the shut political and safety ties between the U.S. and the UAE, a federation of seven sheikhdoms. It additionally comes as celebrities and even world leaders on the run have chosen Dubai as a protected haven.

Kelly was charged on Feb. 22 with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse for allegedly assaulting three underage women and one grownup girl, coming after the discharge of a documentary “Surviving R. Kelly.” He has denied ever abusing anybody.

In a courtroom submitting Wednesday, Kelly’s lawyer Steven A. Greenberg stated the singer wanted to lift cash as “he has struggled of late to pay his baby assist and different baby associated bills.”

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“Earlier than he was arrested Mr. Kelly had signed a contract to carry out between 3-5 exhibits in Dubai, UAE, in April 2019,” the courtroom submitting learn. “He requests permission to journey to Dubai for the exhibits. Whereas there he’s supposed to satisfy with the royal household.”

The submitting doesn’t elaborate on the place Kelly is meant to carry out. There was no instantly publicized occasion for which Kelly was identified to be a performer, nor did anybody within the leisure business hear about one.

Nonetheless, Dubai’s luxurious nightclubs usually host hip hop and different artists for days at a time to carry out and be seen among the many millionaires of this skyscraper-studded metropolis that’s residence to the world’s tallest constructing. Wealthy households additionally pay for celebrities at their events.

Additionally it is unclear what is supposed by “royal household.” The UAE’s seven emirates are overseen by hereditary rulers who maintain absolute energy. Dubai’s ruler is Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, 69. His 36-year-old son, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, serves as Dubai’s crown prince and is subsequent in line to be ruler.

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The state-linked Abu Dhabi newspaper The Nationwide, which has written a number of instances concerning the case towards Kelly, reported Thursday on the singer’s request to come back to Dubai, with out mentioning his declare of seeing its rulers.

The R. Kelly submitting comes as some in Dubai questioned the choice to host a Michael Jackson tribute present there later this month, after one other documentary aired allegations the late pop star sexually abused kids. Dubai Opera, which can host that occasion, instructed the AP the present would nonetheless be carried out and that the venue will “haven’t any additional remark.”

Dubai, residence to the world’s largest artifical archipelago the Palm Jumeriah and an indoor ski slope in its desert climes, has lengthy drawn celebrities craving each luxurious and seclusion. Will Smith is a repeated customer. Lindsay Lohan lives on and off within the sheikhdom. David Beckham, Shah Rukh Khan and others are believed to personal property in Dubai.

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But it additionally has drawn world leaders in search of to flee their very own international locations. Pakistani Gen. Pervez Musharraf, going through legal expenses again residence, fled to Dubai in 2016. Former Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra got here to Dubai to keep away from a legal conviction in 2017, following within the footsteps of her brother, the ousted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

The U.S. doesn’t have an extradition treaty with the UAE. Nonetheless, the U.S. stations some 5,000 troops within the nation and Dubai’s Jebel Ali port is the largest port of name for the U.S. Navy outdoors of America.

Kelly’s lawyer acknowledged that in his submitting.

“America and the UAE have nice relations and so they (UAE) are usually not going to (jeopardize) that relationship to harbor R. Kelly,” the submitting stated.

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