Dubai laws: Making this innocent mistake in the UAE could see Britons fined more than £600

Dubai is a hit with sun-seekers from the UK, particularly those wishing to escape a chilly springtime. Yet Britons are best advised to clue up on rules and regulations in the holiday hotspot, as well as the wider United Arab Emirates, so as to avoid getting caught out. Flaunting rules in the area – either knowingly or unknowingly – can see travellers faced with anything ranging from a fine to a substantial jail sentence. With one particular stipulation, British travellers may not initially be aware they have committed an offence at all.

They should double check when hiring a car from a rental property, or when driving their own vehicle into the country, that it is of a clean condition.

Dirty vehicles are deemed to “disfigure” the city according to traditional law, and could result in a hefty fine.

This could prove particularly tricky in a region prone to sandstorms but travellers must adhere.

Those travelling in the car or car owners could face a fine of Dhs 3,000, or £631.

A municipality official told “This violation affects the environment as the dirty water breeds diseases and fouls the area.

“It also sullies the aesthetic look of the city and makes the place messy.”

They added: “”Vehicle owners travelling abroad must park their cars in the private parking lots, which are authorised to maintain the cleanliness of the vehicle until the arrival of its owner.”

Meanwhile, the UK Foreign Office warns Britons to make themselves aware of the sheer difference in customs and traditions, which also include not swearing on Whatsapp messages or consuming a poppy seed bagel.

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It states: “The UAE is a Muslim country.

“Laws and customs are very different to those in the UK.

“You should respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times.

“There may be serious penalties for doing something that might not be illegal in the UK.”

It added: “Be aware of your actions to ensure that they don’t offend, especially during the holy month of Ramadan or if you intend to visit religious areas.

In 2019, the holy month of Ramadan is expected to start on 5 May and finish on 4 June.

“You are strongly advised to familiarise yourself with, and respect local laws and customs.”


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