TV ‘Reality’ Star Faces Years in Dubai Prison After Being Arrested at Abu Dhabi Airport on Flight to Thailand After She Was Filmed Snorting White Powder on Dubai Visit in 2020
Love Island finalist Kaz Crossley has been arrested in the United Arab Emirates on suspicion of drug-related offenses and jailed in Dubai – likely for at least three months, it emerged today.
The 27-year-old reality star was arrested at the airport while transferring to Abu Dhabi a flight to Thailand, where she claims she went to volunteer.
In 2020 She was filmed appearing to snort rows of suspicious white powder in Dubai when hordes of Influencers flocked there to escape the UK’s Covid-19 restrictions, claiming they were there for work.
Kaz was arrested on Monday and a Insiders claimed “her name obviously raised a red flag” when her passport was checked in the UAE’s capital, Abu Dhabi. She has since been transferred to a prison in Dubai, where she was reportedly denied a phone call to her family but was allowed to send a single email.
A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are in contact with local authorities following the arrest of a British national in the United Arab Emirates.”
Dubai recently liberalized its drug laws First offenders face a minimum of three months imprisonment and a fine of between £4,559 and £22,799. Drug use used to be punishable by at least four years’ imprisonment. Suspects are then deported to their home country – in Kaz’s case, the UK – and are not allowed to return to the UAE.
Kaz was one of many influencers who traveled to Dubai for “work purposes” when travel was banned for UK citizens during the height of lockdown in 2020.
Kaz’s case is a stark warning for expats. Last month, experts told MailOnline that a record number of Britons could find themselves in a Dubai jail as a result of a decision to cut alcohol costs to attract more tourists, who are also being courted by Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Human rights groups predict a culture clash in the Muslim Gulf. Jailed in Dubai believes thousands of Britons have been arrested and hundreds imprisoned in recent years due to the UAE’s strict and “highly contradictory” laws.
Authorities in Dubai have not confirmed why Kaz was arrested.
But around two years ago, the influencer was spotted in an orange mini dress holding one nostril as she sniffed white powder during a party in the super strict UAE city.
It is likely that her name has been revealed as UAE authorities are still investigating the old video.
A source told The Sun: “She was looking forward to returning to Thailand where she was volunteering and suddenly she’s languishing in a Dubai jail.
“Everyone knows how strict they are with drugs over there. She must be afraid. She had only stopped in Abu Dhabi to catch a connecting flight, but her name has apparently been flying a red flag.
“She was only allowed to send an email and not even make a phone call.”
Her last Instagram post was when she took a short trip to Dublin four days ago.
Kaz was one of many influencers who traveled to Dubai for “work purposes” when travel was banned for British citizens during the height of lockdown.
Just days before video of her puffing out white powder emerged, Kaz revealed she’d bought her second property as she shared snaps from her new home in Manchester.
An army of British influencers and reality TV stars have been recruited to lure more people from Britain to holiday in the UAE city, where the 30 per cent alcohol tax on New Year’s Eve has been scrapped.
Love Island’s Millie Court and Chloe Burrows were seen in Dubai in 2023, while promoting their bars, restaurants and shops, sharing numerous videos on Instagram of them taking downshots, dancing in clubs and sunning themselves by pools when the tax changes hit.
If the 30% tax cut is passed on, the price of drinking would fall from around £12 a pint to around £8. A glass of wine would cost around £6 and a cocktail around £10 – and would be even cheaper during happy hour, which is so common in Dubai hotels. Wine and spirits prices are already falling in licensed stores.
Dubai is relaxing its liquor laws as it competes with other Muslim states like Saudi Arabia and Qatar for holidaymakers, big businesses and Western expats.
Despite vehement denials, the ultra-conservative Saudi regime is said to be considering allowing drinking for the first time – and is also trying to move away from oil by organizing events such as major music festivals, including one marred last year by claims that women were routinely sexually harassed.
Dubai is the financial, commercial and tourism hub of the United Arab Emirates, a major oil exporter that has gradually loosened the shackles of drinking while using global stars and influencers to promote its image as the party capital of the Gulf.
The hospitality industry has already praised the tax cut on Instagram, which is already teeming with posts of models, often scantily clad, sipping champagne or cocktails by a pool or skyscraper balcony.
The state has a population of 3.3 million and expats outnumber locals by at least nine to one and the tax cut is likely to please many of them, including the large group of Britons there.
More than 12 million international visitors came in the first 11 months of 2022 – twice as many as in 2021 – but despite ravings about the weather and luxury accommodation, there are often complaints about the price of alcoholic beverages.