View of part of the Fujairah Corniche and the Hajar Mountains in the Background

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Easing Travel Anxiety about Visiting UAE, Hong Kong, Portugal, Timbuktu

UAE is Different
The highly publicized stories about the British couple having sex on a Dubai beach, men having their jewelry confiscated in Sharjah and Aussies getting arrested for cheques that bounced, have raised the anxiety level about touring the Emirates.

The British Foreign Office has been issuing travel advisories about UAE customs and reminding tourists to check out the customs before they leave the country.

International Holiday Guidebook, an online travel agent, said it had seen an ‘influx of inquiries’ from worried holidaymakers about the rules and regulations of their chosen destination. In order to reassure people and keep them travelling it has issued a guide for holidaymakers which contains all sort of rules and regulations.

When In Rome
In addition to advising tourists not to show affection to a non-marital partner in public or walk around the malls in swimwear in Dubai, here are some further examples from their manual:

In Milan it is a legal requirement to smile at all times, except during funerals or hospital visits.

In Massachusetts, taxi drivers are prohibited from making love in the front seat of the car during their shifts.

In Denmark, people are legally obliged to honk the horn and check for small children underneath the car.

In Thailand, it is illegal for anyone to leave a building without wearing their pants.

In Michigan, anyone planning on bathing in public must have their swim suit inspected by a police officer.

In Florida, any unmarried woman who parachutes on a Sunday could be jailed. Singing while wearing a swimming costume is also prohibited.

In Portugal it is unlawful to urinate in the sea.

In Hong Kong the wife of a husband who commits adultery is legally entitled to kill the mistress in any manner desired, and the husband with just her bare hands.

In Switzerland flushing the lavatory after 10pm is illegal.

In Canada if you are arrested and then released from prison, it is a legal requirement that the felon is given a handgun with bullets and a horse, so they can ride safely out of the town.

Most of these look far-fetched and if they are still on the books, how many prosecutions are being made?

Read the entire article
Ben Leach, Guide to Holidaymakers: Don’t Sing in Your Swimming Costume, Telegraph, 30 July 2009.

Check out Fines Before You Spit, Litter, Urinate or Abandon Items on UAE Streets, ETE, 15 July 2009.
Men, Leave Your Jewellery at Home when you Visit the Emirates, ETE, 22 July 2009.
‘Sex on the Beach’ Case is Tarnishing UAE as Holiday Destination, ETE, 9 September 2008.
What to Wear in the UAE? ETE, 24 November 2007.
Etiquette in the Emirates, ETE, 21 February 2008.
Drug Laws in the UAE: Travellers Beware! ETE, 4 March 2008.
The UAE and the Law, ETE, 30 December 2007.
UAE Information: Essential Guide for New Residents to the Emirates, ETE, 1 January 2008.
Dubai Malls Join Anti-Indecency Campaign, Gulf News, 7 August 2009.

Check it Out
Check out the new site America’s Cup in the UAE.

Dr Geoff Pound

Geoff can be contacted by email at geoffpound(at) on Facebook and Twitter.