Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 July 2019

UK advice on alcohol consumption in UAE has not changed, embassy confirms

UK in the UAE clarifies following a string of stories in the British media, which claimed the government had issued a "shock new warning"

The British Embassy in Abu Dhabi. Christopher Pike / The National 
The British Embassy in Abu Dhabi. Christopher Pike / The National 

The UK has not changed the advice it gives British nationals on drinking alcohol in the UAE, it has confirmed, following a string of stories in the UK media.

On Friday a number of UK news sites reported that British consular officials had issued a “shock new warning” to tourists not to drink on the plane to the UAE following the arrest of Ellie Holman, a British-based dentist in Dubai in July.

Friday's stories were prompted by a post on the UK Government's UK in the UAE Facebook page on Thursday, which included a reminder to British nationals that they require a special licence to legally consume alcohol in the Emirates.

“If you hold a residence permit it is illegal to purchase or consume alcohol without a liquor licence. Carry it with you at all times, NB a licence is only valid in the Emirate that issued it,” said the post.

Some British media sites seized on the advice, saying it was the first time that the British Consul had issued such advice. It was not, according to consular officials.

“For clarity, there has been no change to the UK Government’s advice to British nationals on consuming alcohol in the UAE,” wrote the UK in the UAE in a new post on Saturday.


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Updated: September 8, 2018 01:58 PM