LONDON – Emirates has today confirmed to the media that drinking alcohol onboard their flights is “not prohibited” after a wave of reports from British media questioned the legality of serving alcohol on board.

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One report unveiled that British citizens have been thrown in Emirati prisons due to having alcohol found in their blood when tested by officials.

Ellie Holman, a British-based dentist, had a brush with the Emirati law due to her drinking a glass of wine on board an Emirates flight.

PHOTO: Emirates.

However, in this case, it was revealed she attempted to enter the UAE on an expired visa and used her phone to record discussions with immigration employees.

With the visa element put aside, this has caused British consular officials to encourage people to abstain from drinking alcohol on planes inbound to Dubai or Abu Dhabi.

They also said, according to the UK in the UAE Facebook page, that a special license is needed to legally consume alcohol in the UAE due to it being illegal.

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“If you hold a residence permit it is illegal to purchase or consume alcohol without a liquor license. Carry it with you at all times. A license is only valid in the Emirate that issued it,” said the post.

“If caught carrying or drinking alcohol without a license or with alcohol in your blood, you can be arrested. It is a punishable offense to be under the influence of alcohol in public, including when transiting through the UAE.”

“However, you should be aware that it is a punishable offense under UAE law to drink or be under the influence of alcohol in public.

British nationals have been arrested and charged under this law, often in cases where they have come to the attention of the police for a related offense or matter, such as disorderly or offensive behavior.

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This issue has caused questions to Emirates directly. When asked by a passenger on Twitter, the carrier said the following:

“Alcohol consumption is not prohibited on our flights.
Furthermore, alcohol is also served in the lounge in Dubai airport and available for purchase at the Duty-Free.”

PHOTO: Emirates.

This has become quite a sticky issue, especially with two different parties saying completely different things from the perspective of advice.

For those that are in the UK and are traveling to Dubai or Abu Dhabi, it may be advisable to follow the consular advice to avoid any troubles entering the country.

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The Emirati government itself has not issued any statement regarding this issue and have been very quiet about this issue.