Dubai: In its annual Christmas campaign to help British expatriates and UK visitors in the UAE have a smooth, trouble-free Christmas, the British Embassy is posting daily reminders on its social media accounts to stay safe and to observe local customs and laws this holiday season.
The embassy announced on Monday that Consular Elf Carol Hollybuttons will be front and centre of this year’s festive theme with daily advice issued on the embassy’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
Several posts have already gone up on the embassy’s social media with pictures of the tiny Consular elf and a short message on how to stay safe, according to British government’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) travel advice for the UAE.
In a press release, the embassy said: “Elf Carol Hollybuttons has appeared at Burj Khalifa, Ski Dubai, La Mer beach in Dubai and Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi and offered advice on local laws, checking passport validity and obtaining valid travel insurance.”
British Ambassador to the UAE, Patrick Moody, said: “These consular Christmas campaigns have become a bit of a tradition in the embassy. While we give the message a festive and fun feel to encourage people to engage with it, the message is a serious one: for example, failing to get valid travel insurance or be informed of local laws can have serious consequences.
“We are expecting tens of thousands of British people to be in the UAE this festive season. We are there if they need us, but we want them to have an enjoyable and trouble-free time,” said Moody.
Former holiday campaigns by the embassy boosted awareness with a stop motion Lego movie called A Consular Christmas Carol and a Christmas mannequin desert challenge.
On the UK government’s website, the FCO said: “If you’re planning to travel with prescribed or over the counter medicines for personal use, you’ll need to meet the UAE’s specific requirements for your medicine to be allowed into the country. The UAE is a Muslim country. Laws and customs are very different to those in the UK. You should respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times. There may be serious penalties for doing something that might not be illegal in the UK.”
The UK travel advice was updated December 17.