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British Tourist Banged Up in Dubai Jail After Insulting Airport Staff Over Wheelchair Assistance For Mother

British Tourist Banged Up in Dubai Jail After Insulting Airport Staff Over Wheelchair Assistance For Mother

airplanes on a runway

A British tourist who was initially fined 10,000 Dirham (more than £2,000) after he was found guilty of abusing an airport worker at Dubai International Airport earlier this year has had his punishment increased to a three-month prison sentence after he tried to appeal his case.

The unnamed tourist had allegedly gotten into an altercation with the airport worker as he tried to arrange wheelchair assistance for his mobility-impaired mother but after he was slapped with a hefty fine, the man went back to court to appeal the sentence.

At the conclusion of the hearing, the Dubai Court of Appeal ruled not only was the man still guilty of abusing the worker but that the original sentence was unduly lenient and instead sentenced him to time behind bars.

During the trial, the court heard how the man and his mother had flown to Dubai on a flight that arrived at Terminal 2 and were due to connect to another flight which was departing Terminal 3.

The only way to get from Terminal 2 and Terminal 3 is via a shuttle bus and the man requested wheelchair assistance for his mother during this journey. A worker explained that a wheelchair would be arranged prior to the shuttle bus leaving but that they should just wait for the bus without assistance being present.

The man, however, noticed that another passenger waiting for the shuttle bus already had a wheelchair, so returned to the assistance desk.

“When I tried to explain it to him (the wheelchair policy), he insulted me using very bad language,” the victim reportedly told the court.

The victim told the suspect not to swear at her, but he allegedly said that he didn’t care, prompting the police to be called.

According to the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), more than 1.5 million Britons visit the United Arab Emirates, and while the vast majority of visits are trouble-free, tourists are warned of common pitfalls that could land them in big trouble.

The FCO warns that “swearing and making rude gestures are considered obscene acts and offenders can be jailed or deported”. Britons are also warned to “take particular care when dealing with the police and other officials.”

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