Tourists travelling to Dubai warned over drinking alcohol on flight

Alcohol licences are required for residents in Dubai while tourists are restricted to consuming alcohol in a hotel or a licensed premises. Picture: Wikimedia Commons
Alcohol licences are required for residents in Dubai while tourists are restricted to consuming alcohol in a hotel or a licensed premises. Picture: Wikimedia Commons
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Travellers heading to Dubai or Abu Dhabi have been warned they could face arrest if they consume alcoholic drinks on the flight to the Middle East.

The British Embassy in the United Arab Emirates posted the message about drinking in the federation on its Facebook page, weeks after a mother was detained in Dubai after drinking a complimentary glass of wine on a flight from London.

Alcohol licences are required for residents while tourists are restricted to consuming alcohol in a hotel or a licensed premises.

It said: “If caught carrying or drinking alcohol without a licence or with alcohol in your blood, you can be arrested.

“It is a punishable offence to be under the influence of alcohol in public - including when transiting through the UAE.

“It can result in custodial sentences and/or a fine.”

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The post appeared to be part of a series on the “UK in UAE” page about consular matters.

Swedish dentist Ellie Holman, who lives in Sevenoaks in Kent with her English partner Gary and their three children, was detained on July 13 having drunk one glass of wine on her eight-hour Emirates Airline flight to Dubai from London.

The charges were later dropped.

Radha Stirling, chief executive of human rights group Detained in Dubai, said: “In light of the FCO’s announcement, we will be contacting all airlines who transit to or through the UAE to clarify their position on serving alcohol to passengers.

“Either the UAE will need to reform their laws urgently, or the airlines will need to update their policy to ensure the safety of customers.”