Dubai: Police have caught 40 cross-dressing tourists in shopping malls and other public places and they will be deported soon, a senior officer said on Wednesday.

The visitors were arrested after police launched a campaign against transvestites last May. Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamim, Dubai Police Chief, had said then that transvestites were frequently being spotted in public places. "This is against the UAE's traditions and social values," he had warned.

Any man or woman who dresses up and behaves like the opposite gender in public will be questioned and legal action will be taken against him or her, the police chief had said.

The 40 transvestites were referred to the Public Prosecution, which issued an administrative deportation order against them. All of those arrested were visitors and tourists and not residents, the police official said.