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Abu Dhabi reminds tourists, expats of how not to end up on the wrong side of the law

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The UAE government has released the top crimes that foreigners commit when working or visiting Abu Dhabi in the hopes of keeping tourists out of jail cells.

The article, published in the UAE Ministry of Interior's monthly magazine 999 says that drink driving is the most common crime committed by non-locals in the conservative Islamic country, although wearing disrespectful clothing, being affectionate in public or sunbathing in "skimpy" garments can also land you in hot water.

As business is performed on an international level and expats often find themselves in cultures very different from their own, cases where something trivial in the West result in jail time across the sea often hit the headlines. A Canadian executive for UAE telecommunications provider Etisalat was jailed for a month in November for swearing at a colleague, and international outrage caused Dubai officials to pardon a Norwegian woman sentenced because she claimed she had been raped.

However, others believe ignorance of the law is no defence. The magazine's editor in chief Awadh Saleh Al Kindi commented:

"There is no valid reason for tourists and visitors to not find out more about their destination country's customs and laws before or even after arriving here.

There are enough learning resources -- and our cover story will make for a very good starting point for anyone considering visiting the UAE for work or play."

Via: Skift

Image credit: Flickr

— By on December 12, 2013, 6:28 AM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure