Freelance fashion photographer Muhammad Fadli Bin Abdul Rahman, 26, and his friend, Nur Qistina Fitriah Ibrahim, 37, a transgender Singaporean who has not undergone a sex-change operation, were arrested in Abu Dhabi for wearing women's clothes.
Mr Fadli and Nur had visited Abu Dhabi on 8 August but were arrested a day later at a shopping mall the next day. A court document accused the duo of wearing women's clothes in public and for behaving indecently.
Crossdressing, homosexuality and transgenderism are illegal in the UAE.
This is not the first time the Singaporeans have traveled to Abu Dhabi, which is why family members were left shocked by the arrests.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan has been in contact with the family of the arrested men and is providing consular support to the jailed SIngaporeans.
Local activist, Vanessa Ho, who lived with Mr Fadli in the same apartment, says she is trying to get a lawyer in Abu Dhabi to represent the 2 men.