Travel News > May 2010 > British Embassy warning to tourists in Dubai

British Embassy warning to tourists in Dubai

11/05/2010

The British Embassy has issued a list of dos and don'ts for tourists visiting Dubai after several Britons were jailed under the Arab Emirate's strict laws.

Tourists are reminded that, as a Muslim country, the United Arab Emirates (of which Dubai is part) has a zero tolerance policy towards alcohol and drugs and visitors are required to adhere to its strict laws regarding behaviour in public.

Although Dubai welcomes western visitors and does allow them to drink alcohol in certain licensed venues, it occasionally clamps down on what it sees as inappropriate behaviour by some British tourists.

Drunken behaviour in the street, including dancing, is considered offensive as is wearing revealing clothing including skimpy swimwear on the beach.

In Dubai, visitors are often given a false sense of security in western-style hotels and at organised beach parties where the authorities turn a blind eye to raucous behaviour, but they are reminded that elsewhere in the Emirate such conduct might lead to arrest.

Even holding hands in public could land a couple in jail if they aren't married and kissing and hugging is considered an offence against public decency.

Earlier this year, an unmarried British couple were jailed for kissing in public and in 2008 another British couple were jailed for having unmarried sex on a Dubai beach.

Three British women have also been jailed in Dubai for allegedly committing adultery or for having sex outside marriage.

More than one million Britons visited Dubai last year, of which 294 were arrested.

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