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British Embassy Issues Warning on Alcohol for Flights to UAE

Sept. 10, 2018
2 min read
British Embassy Issues Warning on Alcohol for Flights to UAE
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After a UK woman was jailed in July for drinking a glass of wine on an Emirates flight from London to Dubai and possessing incorrect documentation, the British Embassy in the United Arab Emirates is warning UK citizens of the consequences of drinking alcohol when flying to the UAE.

In a message posted on Facebook, the British Embassy reminded its citizens that in the UAE "it is a punishable offence to be under the influence of alcohol in public — including when transiting through the UAE." The post also noted that the punishment for alcohol consumption include "custodial sentences and/or a fine."

Tourists in the UAE can only drink alcohol in hotels or other similar-licensed areas. "If caught carrying or drinking alcohol without a licence or with alcohol in your blood, you can be arrested," the embassy's warning continued.

Emirates Airline tweeted over the weekend that it will still serve alcohol both in its lounges at Dubai's airport and on its flights.

On July 13, 44-year-old Ellie Holman, who is originally from Sweden, was arrested at Dubai International Airport (DXB) by immigration officers because she drank one glass of red wine with her meal on board her flight and her documentation was incorrect. Upon arrival at DXB, Holman says an immigration officer told her to immediately purchase a ticket back to London because her visa had expired. Then, the immigration officer asked if she had been drinking, adding that it was a crime to consume or possess alcohol in the United Arab Emirates.

“I told him I had a glass of wine on the flight. It was given to me free by Emirates Airlines staff,” Holman told the Daily Mail.

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After three days, Holman was released on bail. The charges against her were eventually dropped by the Attorney General of Dubai, who maintained the charges were for profanity and photographing a government official in a restricted area.

H/T: The Telegraph