Report identifies UAE as plagued by misbehaving Brits

Published:  21 Jul at 6 PM
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The annual British Behaviour Abroad report brings bad news for British tourists and expats working in the UAE, as the number of those arrested for bad behaviour has soared since 2012.

Attempt to blame the results of the report solely on British tourists in the region are likely to fail due to a strong decline in temporary visitors to the desert emirates. Comparative numbers tell the tale, with tourism declining during the last two years by 25 percent, and the number of UK expats working in the region staying steady at around 100,000 for the last four years.

The UAE is now amongst the top five world regions in which UK citizens demand consular assistance, causing the UK Consular Affairs Minister to urge holidaymakers to respect local laws. Conversely, long-term expats working in the UAE are insisting that awareness amongst short-term visitors of specific UAE laws has been on the increase during the last decade.

Local media outlets define abusive behaviour, drunkenness, road rage, extra-martial sex and bad language as the main causes of arrests of UK citizens. Long- term expat residents concerned about the possible effects of a rise in British bad behaviour suggest it’s a matter of correct personal conduct, adding that the aggressive attitudes tolerated in the UK are taken far more seriously in the UAE and often lead to arrests.

According to the Detained in Dubai legal aid group, a recently-released government White Paper defines drunkenness as a major cause of expat arrestable behaviour, but also mentions aggressive or insulting posting on social media, including Twitter. Whether by visitors or expat workers, social norms in the country must, it adds, be observed in order to avoid unpleasant consequences.
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