Christmas is a merry time of year, and, if you are following the UK Embassy in Qatar on Twitter, then you’d be forgiven that all of us Brits are enjoying ourselves much more than is safe during December.
In the run up to Christmas on the 24th/25th of December, the UK Embassy began tweeting its annual countdown using the lyrics of the traditional song ‘the 12 Days of Christmas’. The Embassy has decided to remind British nationals in Qatar of their behaviours, with a specific focus on alcohol and its side effects.
While there’s not been a backlash as much as bemusement around the campaign (see below for reactions), the reasons for this messaging seems to be the need to stress good behaviour among British nationals in Qatar and the wider Gulf. A British Embassy spokesman told the Doha News that debate around its campaign was welcome.
“We are glad our 12 days of Christmas tweets have sparked a debate amongst Doha’s Twitter community. Whether you love them or hate them, we hope that they make people stop and think about the best way to enjoy a safe and happy festive season.
Christmas is a special time for many of us in Doha but it can be a time when people become carried away with the festivities and forget that the culture and laws in Qatar are different to that of the UK.”
The following Tweets from the Embassy have focused less specifically on alcohol, and whilst some of the responses to the account, which is followed by over 9,000, have been positive and thankful for the reminders, others have been less than impressed. Let’s hope the embassy focuses on positive messaging next year.