In a mildly hilarious video, the British Embassy in the United Arab Emirates is warning British Expats to respect local law. But not everyone is amused.
The five-minute video is surprisingly well done, using stop-motion animation with LEGO figures. Titled, A Consular Christmas Carol, it piggybacks off Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol storyline, staring the fictional character Edward Beaver-Rouge.
Here’s the video:
Edward is spending his first Christmas in the UAE and visitors from Christmas Past, Present, and Future remind him off the consequences of acting out in the UAE.
His scene from Christmas Past features him drinking excessively at a pub, being slapped a by a woman he propositions, then stumbling along the sidewalk and eventually sleeping on the street. Not a pretty picture..and not tolerated in the UAE.
Remember, public displays off affection, the use of foul language, public drunkenness (and any alcohol in public), and even the use of the middle finger emoji is against the law.
The moral of the story is that Edward must behave himself the UAE, as should all Expats living there.
Not Everyone Amused
David Haigh, a human rights lawyer and spokesman for Detained in Dubai decried the video:
Rather than spending time and energy painting UK visitors as drunken louts, the British Embassy’s efforts might be better spent on helping people who have been wrongly accused of criminal behaviour in Dubai. It is completely insulting to Britons who have been jailed – and even tortured – in Dubai, and who have found themselves without adequate support from embassy staff.
But Philip Parham, British Ambassador to the UAE defended the video, stating:
There is likely to be a significant number planning to enjoy Christmas and the New Year in the UAE. It has become a tradition for the embassy to find a fun and festive way to remind everyone that it is important to familiarise ourselves with the different laws and customs.
I think the video is harmless, but do not dismiss Haigh’s commentary. In any case, when you are a guest in a foreign nation, it behooves you to respect local customs.