The 21-year-old man's name was not released, The Independent reported. He was tried and convicted in Abu Dhabi with a 19-year-old Syrian who received the same sentence.
News media in the UAE reported that the mother of the Syrian comforted the British man's mother after the sentence was handed down. The pair allegedly sold $400 worth of marijuana to a police officer posing as a buyer.
Pauline Crowe of Prisoners Abroad, a charity based in London, suggested an appeal has a good chance of success.
"If the sentence has just been passed, the dust will settle. Then if there is an appeal process; it is likely that the Government will support that," she told the Independent.
Crowe said the case is a reminder that travelers need to be aware of local laws, which can be far harsher outside of Europe.
At the moment, a British national is under a death sentence in Indonesia after being convicted of trying to smuggle cocaine into Bali.