Dubai reassures trade after holidaymaker’s death

Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing has reassured the trade and consumers that the destination is safe to visit following claims a holidaymaker has been beaten to death in his prison cell.

Reports surfaced today in the media about Lee Bradley Brown, who was on holiday at the Burj al Arab hotel in Dubai. It is alleged the holidaymaker was beaten up by police officers in his cell after being arrested for assault, intimidating behaviour and using abusive language on April 6. He died in custody.

The claims are now being investigated by the British embassy in Dubai.

DTCM director UK and Ireland Ian Scott would not comment specifically on the case but said: “Dubai is one of the safest destinations in the world. Stories like this will create a sense of unease about the destination and it’s important we reassure agents and customers that this type of incident is very isolated.”

The tourist board has already collaborated with the Foreign Commonwealth Office to produce an online guide, due to go live on its website next week, with advice on how to behave in the islamic country. Travel agents will be able to download and print off the advice for clients, while some tour operators plan to distribute the guide to staff.

Scott added: “It’s an islamic country and the laws are different. We want to make sure people don’t find themselves on the wrong side of the law in the first place.

“You can have a great time in Dubai and if you behave modestly and respect people you will be fine. There are 800,000 Brits who go to Dubai every year and 99% of them are not affected by this type of incident.”

Scott said the case was unlikely to affect tourism figures but could mean the trade has to answer more questions from holidaymakers over the next 24 hours. “It just creates unnecessary worry about travelling to Dubai,” he said.