UK gov’t warns of ‘anti-Western sentiment’ in UAE

Foreign Office tells citizens that possible military action in Syria could increase anti-Western sentiment in Gulf state

The British government has warned expats and travellers to the UAE that they could face increased anti-Western sentiment in light of possible military intervention in Syria.

In an update to its travel advice, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said in a statement: “There may be an increased risk of anti-western sentiment linked to the possibility of military action in Syria. Keep up to date with developments, be vigilant and avoid any protests or demonstrations.”

According to the FCO, about 1m British nationals visit the Gulf state each year, with most being trouble free.  There are also currently about 100,000 Britons who are residents in the UAE.

Last week, the UK’s House of Commons voted against military intervention in Syria’s two-year long civil war, which has killed more than 100,000 people so far. British Prime Minister David Cameron failed to convince lawmakers that there was enough evidence to justify a strike on Syria following a suspected chemical weapons attack by the Syrian government that killed 1,429 people.

US president Barack Obama on Saturday delayed any imminent strike against Syria as he seeks approval from US Congress, in a move that will postpone military intervention for at least ten days.

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