Dubai sells itself as a holiday destination. It sounds amazing, lots of fantastic beaches, water sports, glorious sunshine, air-conditioned modern shopping malls, trips into the desert, etc … What more could any tourist want?
Well, how about being allowed to eat or drink without the fear of being arrested for doing so.
The UK’s Guardian reports today that …
The Foreign Office has warned Britons holidaying in Dubai this summer that eating, drinking or smoking in public during Ramadan could land them in prison.
In new guidance, published to coincide with the Islamic month of fasting that starts today, it says “failure to comply” with local laws “could result in arrest” and that “discretion should be exercised” even in the case of young children, pregnant women and nursing mothers. Dubai police have said that non-Muslims will receive one warning before arrest.
You can read that article by clicking here.
I’m also intrigued to note that the Dubai web site pushing tourism there mentions none of this. (I wonder why). Call me a tad picky if you like, but when I go on vacation, I tend to expect that I’ll be permitted to eat and drink while there.
Sean Tipton, from the Association of British Travel Agents, recommended that holidaymakers study the Foreign Office advice.
My recommendation is that you simply wish Dubai the best of luck with all this, and vote with your feet by booking your vacation to some other destination when the locals have not gone certifiably insane enough to attempt to impose their delusional beliefs upon tourists and arresting any who fail to comply.