Home is Not Abroad. Abroad is Not Home

Foreign Countries are Foreign. To Stay Out of Jail – Do Not Assume Otherwise

Let me give just one example – In England, whilst there are certain exceptions, the general rule still is that in a public place, anyone may take a photo of anyone.

The result can go up to the Net, onto a blog or Facebook or other social media.
If you are passing by a television news reporter and camera film crew, you might see yourself on TV that night – and you cannot complain that this is a breach of your privacy [even if your Boss thought you were somewhere else!].

There are copyright laws in photographs, but in UK, generally speaking the copyright belongs to the Photographer, not the person photographed.

But be very careful, if you assume that the laws of England apply abroad.

In UAE in particular there are very strict laws about photography. You might legally visit a night club, and of course many are licensed to sell alcohol to non-Muslims. But do not take a photo of your friends with your drinks and post it on Facebook. Do not tag your friends.Not if you don’t have their permission IN WRITING.

You might go to Dubai and take a photo of your partner posing at the harbour in front of the sea and a skyscraper beyond. Big mistake if there is a Diplomatic mission working in that Building.

You might lean out of your car to take a photo of the view from the Khalifa Bridge.

Or on a long boat trip, what about posting onto Instagram a 15 second video of your friend asleep.

Each of those last four examples have resulted in arrest and imprisonment in the police cells pending trial.

This blog is about photos in one Country, but the principal extends in all directions and all countries – Abroad is Not Home. No-one should assume that things we may take for granted here are permitted in a foreign land, from photos, to having a small drink before driving, to holding hands in public with your partner.

How much more different from our own rules therefore, will be the property ownership, inheritance and tax laws abroad.

If you are entering into dealings with any Foreign Country you need advice. I have a wide network of contacts all around the World – Start with me – contact me at http://www.atkinsonnotary.com +44 (0)113 816 0116