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  • Detained in Dubai

British FCO confirms it is illegal for tourists to drink alcohol in the UAE and even in flight


Following widespread confusion regarding the alcohol laws in the UAE, the UK government has advised citizens that it is wholly illegal for tourists to drink alcohol in the country or even onboard flights destined to or through Dubai. Detained in Dubai will be contacting relevant airlines to discuss their policies.

Ellie Holman was recently charged with invading the privacy of an official at Dubai International Airport and consuming a glass of wine provided to her by Emirates Airlines highlighting alcohol laws in the gulf state. She was jailed with her 4 year old daughter for 3 days and kept in the country to face prosecution. The British consular office has responded by clarifying alcohol laws for citizens and undoubtedly, shocking many tourists and expats who believed alcohol consumption was, in fact, legal:

Sparking international concern, members of the public contacted Emirates customer service about their rules on alcohol. The airline confirmed that they would happily serve as much alcohol as a passenger requests so long as they do not become unruly, even though serving alcohol criminalises the passenger, leaving them potentially open to litigation for breaching their duty of care.