By March 9, 2011 0 Comments Read More →

New booklet for expats in UAE

British expats have so much trouble adapting to life in the United Arab Emirates that officials have created a book with tips about how to avoid problems.

According to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Britons are most likely to be arrested in Thailand and with the UAE coming in a close second. The Emirates is also third highest in terms of drug related arrests. It’s not that expats necessarily misbehave, but they have a lack of understanding about how seriously rules are taken in the UAE and get  into trouble as a result.

The embassy campaign is aimed at educating children and adults about the laws over kissing in public, dress code, respect for religion, alcohol and drugs and also issues like finance. It is illegal, for example, to bounce a check  in the UAE.

The booklet reminds people that alcohol consumption is allowed only by non Muslims in licensed restaurants, pubs, clubs, private venues and at home for residents who have acquired an alcohol license. Drugs are strictly forbidden and sexual relationships outside of marriage are illegal, irrespective of any relationship you may have with your partner in the UK. Cohabiting, including in hotels, is also illegal.

The UAE has a zero tolerance policy towards drinking and driving. Dancing is only allowed in the privacy of your home or at licensed clubs.

Sexual harassment or randomly addressing women in public or taking their photos without permission is not allowed.

Offensive language, spitting and aggressive behaviour, including hand gestures, are viewed very seriously and can result in imprisonment and deportation.

Holding hands for married couples is tolerated but kissing and hugging are considered offences against public decency. Smoking is forbidden in government areas, offices and shopping malls. Working without the proper visa is illegal. You cannot partake in any kind of paid employment without first obtaining a work visa. More information can be found on the Foreign Office’s website.

It’s estimated that 100,000 Britons live in the UAE and approximately a million visit every year. The booklet is helpful to anyone who is preparing for a move to the UAE.

Posted in: Behavior, Culture

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