15 February 2011

British Embassy in UAE urges Britons to respect local culture

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The British Embassy in Dubai has urged Britons to respect Emirati culture to prevent problems with the law while in the UAE.

British Embassy

The British Embassy in the UAE has advised Britons to respect the customs of the country.

There are currently 100,000 British citizens living in the Emirates with another one million visiting on holiday every year. The consumption of alcohol continues to prove a major cause of problems, but Britons are advised to beware that inappropriate clothing, drink driving, offensive language and hand gestures, bouncing cheques, affection in public, drugs and solvent abuse are seen differently in the UAE.

Britons are more likely to be arrested in the UAE than anywhere else in the world except Thailand, Consul-General Guy Warrington said at a gathering at the British Embassy  in Dubai.
Consul Mandy Smith said Dubai Police have announced plans to crack down on “milkmen” — bootleggers who target Westerners with cheap and potentially unsafe alcohol.

Ms Smith said the cost of hiring a lawyer for any legal case would be steep and some expats had ended up homeless after having their passports confiscated by police.

However, Ms Smith said Dubai is not a dangerous place to live and that the vast majority of Britons enjoyed their time in the UAE without incident.

“Dubai has gone through a massive transformation, although the traditions, the values and the culture have remained the same. We’re invited here as guests and we must follow the rules. What doesn’t offend us may offend some other people – this is advice for everyone,” Ms Smith said.

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