x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 July 2017

British newcomers taught how to behave

The YouTube videos are each several minutes long and feature interviews with three or four British expatriates.

DUBAI // The British Embassy has released a series of video clips in which long-term residents give their "top tips" on surviving expatriate life.

It is hoped the advice, which includes familiar mantras such as "don't drink too much" and "dress modestly", will reduce the number of Brits facing legal problems in the Emirates.

The YouTube videos are each several minutes long and feature interviews with three or four British expatriates.

They are an extension of a campaign in which embassy officials have visited schools and workplaces across the country warning Britons about cultural expectations.

"This is a new way of reaching people," said Ruzina Hasan, a spokeswoman for the British Embassy.

"Due to the sheer numbers of British nationals either resident or visiting the UAE, it's important to get these messages out.

"Actually, we've been getting such messages out for a long time now through various means. This is just a modern and fresh way of doing it.

"We felt if we got the community to give some top tips on how to live here, it could be food for thought for people. If people heed that advice, it should reduce the number of consular cases that we end up dealing with."

It has been a slow start. The first video has been online for three weeks and has attracted 255 views and only one "like". Two more have been released since.

Ms Hasan said the expatriates featured included leaders in the British community and embassy employees. None were paid or told what to say.

One warns the UAE is "not Ibiza, or Ayia Napa, or a playground area".

Another says expatriates should refuse to hand over their passport if requested to do so by their employer.

"It is against the law," he warns.

mcroucher@thenational.ae