British Embassy advises travellers on safe Christmas celebrations

British Embassy advises travellers on safe Christmas celebrations
British Embassy advises travellers on safe Christmas celebrations

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - An online Christmas countdown by the British Embassy is delivering important travel advice for visitors to the UAE over the festive period.

is a popular destination for many UK visitors over Christmas, as travellers look to escape the gloom of a wet British winter.

With many in a party mood, government officials have issued advice and guidelines to ensure celebrations continue safely and within the boundaries of UAE law.

A six-day consular awareness campaign is counting down towards Christmas Day on Wednesday, with messages posted daily on the @UKinUAE Twitter page.

Advice is accompanied by hashtags reminding visitors to ‘travel aware’ and ‘enjoy the season respectfully’.

“We are running a Christmas themed awareness campaign for the large number of British visitors to the UAE over the Christmas period,” said a British Embassy spokesman.

“There are around 102,000 British Citizens living in the UAE and a further 1.5 million British visitors to the UAE each year.

“Christmas is a particularly busy time as people visit their families in the UAE or travel here for some winter sun.”

Specific guidance refers to warnings about kissing under the mistletoe, as public displays of affection are considered offensive in the UAE.

Visitors are reminded a licence is required to purchase and consume alcohol and that drinking while driving is illegal.

Since July, tourists have been able to obtain a temporary alcohol licence when visiting Dubai in a move that closed a long-standing legal loophole.

Applicants can present their passport to registered alcohol retailers and sign a form stating they are not a UAE resident and they will abide by the country’s alcohol rules.

Another message advises those splashing out on Christmas gifts to buy within their budget, as bouncing cheques or defaulting on loans are also criminal offences.

A link has been shared directing visitors to more detailed information on UAE laws and customs that can trip-up tourists.

Visitors are reminded that importing products and substances legal in other countries, such as herbal highs, skincare products and e-cigarette refills containing cannabidiol (CBD), could attract police action.

Updated: December 23, 2019 02:25 PM

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