An Arab man in Dubai accused of slapping a Filipina cleaner on the bottom has claimed he thought the woman was his secretary.

The incident, which happened on March 27 at around 3am, has ended with the man having to defend his action in the Criminal Court this week.

The 39-year-old man, who is a company engineer, walked behind a Filipina cleaner, 32, and gave her an offensive slap on her behind, Gulf Today reported.

The Filipina was refilling a water container when the man came up behind her and slapped her bottom loudly with his left hand. The cleaner shouted at the man and asked him why he did that.

The man allegedly replied “Nothing” and refused to apologize.

A Filipina civil engineer, 34, who works in the same office, confronted the man about his alleged act of sexual harassment. She told the court the man insisted that he thought the cleaner was the secretary.

The woman said she found the cleaner in the kitchen crying and was asked by her to contact the Bur Dubai Police Station.

A 30-year-old Filipina workmate of the victim also saw the incident.

According to the engineer, the man’s secretary, identified as J, said the man sometimes slapped her from behind.

The court is due to hand down its ruling on June 28.