The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has advised its citizens to avoid certain «dangerous areas» in central London. The UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has released a map highlighting areas they deem to be crime hotspots. Most of the areas are around London’s prestigious shopping area in the West End, the upmarket street Piccadilly, and the entertainment district Soho. A statement on the ministry’s website urged citizens to avoid areas, «where pickpocketing, fraud and theft are frequent and where it is not advisable to live». The warning follows several attacks on Emiratis in London earlier this year. One incident saw three sisters attacked in their hotel room by a hammer-wielding burglar.
London’s Metropolitan Police insisted that no part of London was considered a «no-go» area. A spokesman said: «There is absolutely nowhere in London which should be avoided.» Police believe Emiratis are targeted by criminal gangs because they wear expensive clothes and have bags and accessories worth thousands of dollars. London’s police said the city’s crime rate was a lot lower than many world cities and that the UAE should educate its citizens on how to not attract the attention of criminals. A statement said: «The UAE should put together its own preventive measures to educate UAE nationals visiting, studying or doing business not only in London, but the rest of Europe and all over the world.»