Did you know that e-cigarettes are banned across the United Arab Emirates and that you could be fined for taking them into the country?
For thousands of ex-smokers electronic cigarettes are an essential tool in the fight against giving up smoking.
But be warned, you shouldn’t take them on holiday to the United Arab Emirates as they are illegal – and if the police catch you with them you could be fined and have them confiscated.
That’s the latest advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) who are urging British travellers to research local laws and customs before arriving in their holiday destinations.
The news comes after Dubai, which is part of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), was voted the seventh most popular long-haul destination in a recent survey of Staysure holiday makers.
The Foreign Office says on its website that e-cigarettes are “likely to be confiscated at the border.”
The advice reads: “UAE laws and customs are very different to those in the UK. Be aware of your actions to ensure that they don’t offend, especially during the holy month of Ramadan or if you intend to visit religious areas. There may be serious penalties for doing something that might not be illegal in the UK. You are strongly advised to familiarise yourself with, and respect local laws and customs.”
Other advice from the FCO about holidays in the UAE include:
- There is zero tolerance for drugs-related offences. The penalties for trafficking, smuggling and possession of drugs are severe. Sentences for drug trafficking can include the death penalty and possession of even the smallest amount of illegal drugs can lead to a minimum four-year jail sentence. The Emirati authorities also count the presence of drugs in the blood stream as possession.
- Alcoholic drinks are served in licensed hotels and clubs, but it is a punishable offence to drink, or to be under the influence of alcohol in public.
- Swearing and making rude gestures (including in online activity) are considered obscene acts and offenders can be jailed or deported. Take particular care when dealing with the police and other officials.
- Public displays of affection are frowned upon, and there have been several arrests for kissing in public.
- Cross-dressing is illegal.