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British tourist sentenced to three months in Dubai jail for ‘insulting’ airport staff

The incident happened at Dubai airport in February 2022  (Getty Images)
The incident happened at Dubai airport in February 2022 (Getty Images)

A UK citizen has been sentenced to three months in jail in Dubai after “insulting” airport staff who were slow to bring his mother a wheelchair.

The unnamed man was originally issued a Dh 10,000 (£2,150) fine, but his appeal against this failed and his punishment was extended to a jail term on 6 November.

The Court of Appeal heard that the man began to insult staff at Dubai International Airport after they told him that they couldn’t immediately bring his mother a wheelchair, reports the Daily Mail. The incident happened in February 2022.

An airport employee told the court that the man swore at her after she had explained the airport’s wheelchair policy to him, telling him that “a wheelchair would be made available before boarding the bus”.

“I saw the traveller repeatedly asking an airport desk employee about the wheelchair and expected that he might have not understood her explanation,” she said, reports The National.

“When I tried to explain it to him, he insulted me using very bad language. I told the traveller that using such offensive language is not allowed at Dubai airport but he responded that he didn’t care.”

The employee then called the police, and a case was filed against the man in Dubai’s Criminal Court. Following an appeal, which he lost, the fine was escalated into a jail sentence, followed by immediate deportation.

The Independent has contacted the Dubai court system for comment.

The Emirate is known for its strict laws over what it deems offensive behaviour. In October, an American student briefly faced a year in prison after being accused of assaulting staff during an altercation. In 2017, a British tourist was also sentenced to a brief jail term after making “rude gestures” and touching a man’s hip in a bar.