British holidaymakers to the United Arab Emirates have been told not to have sex outside marriage or kiss in public in strong government warnings
over how to behave in Muslim countries.
The advice, which goes further than the traditional admonition for women to dress modestly, follows allegations of drunken sex romps. The British Foreign Office is worried that increasing numbers of tourists will get into trouble abroad as they travel to less traditional holiday destinations and fall foul of local laws and customs.
The number of Britons going to Egypt this year increased by 38% and to Turkey by 32% and similar rises are expected in 2009 as more Britons look outside the eurozone to make their holiday money go further. Warnings about modesty are also given to those planning to visit the Kenya coast and rural areas of Malaysia.
A British couple had been found guilty in October of having sex on the beach in Dubai, which adheres to certain strict Islamic rules and bans sex out of wedlock.
The government says embassies regularly deal with Britons who have failed to take enough money, telling holidaymakers to ensure they have back-up emergency funds and sufficient insurance.
The Foreign Office supports 75,000 Britons in difficulties abroad each year. Julian Braithwaite, director of consular services, said: “What’s normal in resorts in Spain or Greece are not necessarily acceptable in Turkey or Egypt.”