x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Dubai Police deny British Embassy date rape drug claim

Police say a warning by the British Embassy that tourists should beware of spiked drinks in Dubai clubs is erroneous.

DUBAI // Police have denied there is any truth in a statement issued by the British Ministry of Foreign Affairs warning its citizens about a rash of spiked drinks in Dubai.

In the July newsletter circulated by the British Embassy in Abu Dhabi to Britons across the country, a travel warning stated: "Consular staff have noted an increase of drink spiking in nightclubs in Dubai, resulting in sexual assaults on both men and women."

A senior Dubai Police criminal investigations officer said the department had dealt with no such reports.

"We have not received any reports of British nationals, men or women, getting sexually assaulted or raped after having their drinks spiked at Dubai nightclubs," the official said.

A spokeswoman for the British Embassy said yesterday: "We received information from reliable sources about drinks being spiked in certain Dubai clubs and bars."

She said she did not want to reveal sources or say how many incidents involving British citizens had taken place.

The UK Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on its website: "Each year, our Consular staff in the UAE help a number of British nationals who were the victim of a serious sexual offence. Personal attacks, including sexual assaults and rape, are rare but do happen.

"Drink spiking, known to be used in date rape, can also happen. Do not accept drinks from strangers or leave drinks unattended, including non-alcoholic drinks. When in pubs and clubs, stay with your friends and avoid getting separated in the crowd. Do not leave with a stranger."

More than one million British visitors travel to the UAE every year, and more than 100,000 Britons are UAE residents, according to the embassy.

amustafa@thenational.ae

nhanif@thenational.ae