British travellers urged to respect Ramadan rules during Dubai holidays
The Association of British Travel Agents is asking its members to notify travellers taking Dubai holidays during the Holy month that they could face a ban on eating and drinking in public places during daylight in order to show respect to Ramadan rules.
Travellers are being warned by members of the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) to respect the rules of Ramadan if they take Dubai holidays this month. They have been told to be especially cautious with eating and drinking in public places during daylight hours.
The travel trade body is also appealing to Dubai authorities to behave “sensitively” towards British travellers on Dubai holidays who breach the cultural laws during the Holy month.
The Association of British Travel Agents said: “We would strongly recommend that the Dubai authorities practice these enforcement measures with a degree of sensitivity and discretion so as to avoid causing unwarranted distress to foreign visitors and the risk of significant damage to their tourist industry.”
In recent years, Dubai has been featured in the British press following a number of arrests of British tourists who have been behaving inappropriately in Dubai. This rise in crime could be linked to the poor understanding that the British have of the local Dubai laws, such as dressing inappropriately in public places and drinking alcohol without a licence.
According to the British Embassy, in 2009, British travellers were more likely to be arrested in the United Arab Emirates than any other country in the world. Last month, a British expatriate insulted Ramadan on Facebook and was fined AED3, 000 by the Dubai Court of Misdemeanours.
Many Dubai hotels such as the Jumeirah Group and Hilton Hotels and Resorts recently announced that they had provided guests with etiquette guidelines to take into consideration during luxury holidays in Dubai throughout Ramadan.
Dubai’s tourism agency, DTCM, believes that tourists should take responsibility for respecting cultural laws and should be aware of the rules before entering the country.
Executive Director of Business Tourism at DTCM, Hamad Mohammed Bin Mejren, said: “It needs a joint effort. It is important for visitors to respect our culture.”
Bin Mejren added that the tourism industry in Dubai is expected to generate approximately 19 per cent of the emirate’s GDP, and the number of guests staying at hotels in Dubai increased by 13.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2011.
Dubai is one of the seven United Arab Emirates and is a hub for leisure and business travellers. The city boasts unique architecture, enormous shopping malls, water parks, luxurious hotels, and beautiful sandy beaches.
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