Poem helps Brits to know UAE laws

UK embassy reimagines Christmas classic for online awareness campaign.

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ABU DHABI // The British embassy in the UAE has launched its own version of 'Twas The Night Before Christmas to help spread a serious message about Emirati laws and customs.

In the classic poem, written in the 1800s by American Clement Clarke Moore, a father narrates the magical arrival of St Nicholas and his flying reindeer on Christmas Eve to deliver toys to the children.

But in the embassy's version, called 'Twas The Night Before Flying, the new poem tells the story of Stu Nicholas, a Brit who is moving to the UAE with his wife and runs into several problems in the lead-up to Christmas owing to improper planning and lack of knowledge.

"'Twas the night before flying, at Stu Nicholas's house; Off to the Emirates, along with his spouse. The cases were full, but packed with ill care; Banned medication inside – a customs nightmare!; He forgot to check FCO travel advice; For that he might pay an almighty price," the re-imagined poem begins.

Written collectively by embassy staff, the poem will be released in sections online at Facebook.com/UKinUAE and twitter.com/UKinUAE each day through next Tuesday.

The social-media campaign is meant to encourage British nationals to become accustomed with UAE laws and to respect local traditions to enjoy a trouble-free festive season.

“The UAE is the home for more than 100,000 British nationals and is visited by approximately one million British tourists every year,” said Edward Hobart, consul general in Dubai and the Northern Emirates.

“Christmas and the New Year in the UAE can be a lot of fun, but to avoid dampening the festivities, for ourselves and others, it’s important to familiarise oneself with the UAE’s laws and customs.”