Foreign Office issues new social media advice for visitors to Dubai, Abu Dhabi and elsewhere in the United Arab Emirates.
Visitors are being warned to take care when posting material on social media.
The Foreign Office has updated its travel advice to make visitors aware that it is an offence to publically criticise companies or individuals or to appear to abuse or ridicule the country or its authorities.
Dubai is a popular business and leisure destination as well as a stopover for those flying onwards to Asia, the Indian Ocean, Australia and New Zealand, but the Foreign Office said visitors needed to be aware that UAE laws are very different to those in the UK. “Posting material (including videos and photographs) online that are critical of companies or individuals, or related to incidents in the UAE, or appearing to abuse/ridicule the country or its authorities may be considered a crime punishable under UAE law,” it said.
There have been cases of individuals being detained, prosecuted and/or convicted for posting this type of material.
Earlier this month, the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) warned against posting aviation accidents on social media after images and videos of Emirates flight EK521, which crash-landed in Dubai airport, were widely circulated.
“Sharing such images and videos is considered to be irresponsible and disrespectful to the victims, and is punishable under UAE law,” the GCAA said.
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