Authorities in Dubai claim they have detained a group of people on charges of public debauchery in connection with a widely circulated video of naked women posing on a balcony in the area.
Violations of the UAE's public decency rule, which includes nudity and other "lewd conduct," will result in a six-month prison sentence and a 5000 dirham ($A1800) fine.
Under the country's rules, which are based on Islamic law, or Sharia, distributing obscene content is also punishable by jail time and hefty fines.
Videos and photographs of more than a dozen nude women lined up on a balcony while being filmed in broad daylight in Dubai's upscale Marina neighborhood went viral late Saturday.
It came as a shock in the federation of seven Arab sheikhdoms, where even minor infractions like kissing in public or consuming alcohol without a license have resulted in people being imprisoned.
The National, a state-owned publication, claimed that it appeared to be a "publicity stunt," but did not elaborate.
The public prosecution has been referred to those arrested in connection with the "indecent" video, according to Dubai police.
According to the police statement, "such inappropriate behaviors do not represent the values and ethics of Emirati society."
Although the UAE is liberal in many ways relative to its Middle Eastern neighbors, it has strict speech rules. People have been detained as a result of their online comments and videos.
Large pornographic websites are blocked by the country's majority state-owned telecom firms.