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Foreign Office warns UAE visitors of social media laws
Posted on 02/09/2016

PoliticalUnited Arab Emirates

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Visitors to the United Arab Emirates have been warned to be careful about what they post on social media whilst in the country.

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has released new advice for visitors to the United Arab Emirates, asking them to take care when posting material on social media.

Different laws

Different laws
Nopporn Suntornpasert / 123RF

Updating its advice on its website, the FCO said that travellers to Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the rest of the UAE should be 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 winter sun destination for many Brits, as well as being a stopover point for flights to Asia, the Indian Ocean, Australia ad New Zealand.

"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," reads the FCO website.

In the past, several individuals have been detained, prosecuted and even convicted of posting offensive material online.

An incident earlier this month highlighted another area in which visitors should proceed with caution, when the country's General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) warned that posting about air accidents on social media would not be tolerated.

The warning followed the crash landing of an Emirates flight at Dubai airport, images of which were widely circulated on social media.

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