Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) Flag Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates)

Travel Warnings

United States: Department of State International Travel Information

Latest advice,

Reissued with obsolete COVID-19 page links removed.

Exercise increased caution in the United Arab Emirates due to the threat of missile or drone attacks and terrorism.

Country Summary: The possibility of attacks affecting U.S. citizens and interests in the Gulf and Arabian Peninsula remains an ongoing, serious concern.  Militant groups operating in Yemen have stated an intent to attack neighboring countries, including the UAE, using missiles and drones.  Missile and drone attacks in early 2022 targeted populated areas and civilian infrastructure.

Due to risks to civil aviation operating within the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman region, including the United Arab Emirates, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued an advisory Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM). For more information U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.

While residents and visitors generally find a safe and secure environment in the UAE, the country continues to face the threat of terrorism.  Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets, shopping malls, and local government facilities.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to the United Arab Emirates.

If you decide to travel to the United Arab Emirates:

Australia: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Travel Advice

Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade does not issue travel warnings for specific countries, but issues travel advice for every country. The information below is excerpted from its summary assessments of United Arab Emirates

Current as of: 12 December 2022
Last Reviewed: 8 December 2022
Latest Advice: Exercise a high degree of caution in the United Arab Emirates.
Civil unrest and political tension

The security situation in the region remains unpredictable and could deteriorate with little or no warning. Conflicts in the Gulf region could affect the UAE.

Rebel groups in Yemen have threatened to target neighbouring countries with unmanned aerial systems such as drones and missiles. This includes the UAE.

On 17 January 2022, a device hit three fuel tankers in an industrial area of Abu Dhabi, resulting in explosions which killed three people and injured several others. 

On 24 and 31 January 2022, UAE air defence forces intercepted and destroyed three ballistic missiles launched from Yemen, with no casualties.

Further attacks are possible.

Be alert and monitor local and international media. In the event of a security incident, follow the advice of local authorities.

Demonstrations and protests

Demonstrations in the UAE are rare. They must be authorised by the government.

To protect yourself in periods of unrest:

  • avoid all rallies and protests
  • monitor the media for news of possible action
  • be prepared to change your travel plans

More information:

  • Demonstrations and civil unrest

UAE authorities have arrested several alleged terrorists for possibly planning attacks.

Several terrorist attacks have happened in the wider Gulf region in recent years. More attacks could occur.

Terrorism is a threat worldwide.

Attacks could occur at any time and could target:

  • places of worship
  • military sites
  • hotels
  • transport hubs
  • other locations Westerners visit

More information:

  • Terrorist threats

The UAE has a low crime rate.

Pickpocketing and bag snatching occurs but is rare.

Incidents of drink spiking are reported.

Physical and verbal harassment and sexual assaults occur. Avoid walking alone after dark in isolated places, including pedestrian underpasses.

Sexual assault

If you're a victim of sexual assault, find out about support services as quickly as possible from the:

  • Australian Embassy and Consulate-General in the UAE
  • Consular Emergency Centre in Canberra

See Local contacts

Consular officers can't provide legal or medical advice. However, they can provide lists of English-speaking service providers who may be able to help.

UAE law places a high burden of proof on the victim. Victims of sexual assault will need to demonstrate that the sexual relations were not consensual, especially when the victim had consumed alcohol or where the alleged attacker was known to the victim. If the sexual relations are determined to have been consensual, either party may still face prosecution for the offence of sex outside marriage in certain circumstances. 

Swimming safety

At the beach, be aware of strong currents and obey warning signs.

Tours and adventure activities

Transport and tour operators don't always follow safety and maintenance standards. This includes adventure activities.

If you plan to do a tour or adventure activity:

  • check if your travel insurance policy covers it
  • ask about and insist on minimum safety requirements
  • always use available safety gear, such as life jackets or seatbelts

If proper safety equipment isn't available, use another provider.

Climate and natural disasters
Hot summers

The UAE experiences extremely high temperatures. The hottest months of the year are June to September. The temperature can exceed 50°C.

In extreme heat, stay out of the sun and drink water to avoid dehydration.

Sandstorms and dust storms often happen.

Foggy winters

In winter months, morning fog can significantly reduce visibility. This can cause flight delays and road hazards.

Take extra care if you're driving. Plan your travel in advance.

Severe weather

Although they're rare, the UAE can experience severe thunderstorms, strong winds and heavy rain, particularly during spring and autumn.

Flash flooding can cause dangerous driving conditions.

Flash flooding in river canyons (wadis) has caused some deaths in recent years.

In severe weather, stay indoors and avoid driving if possible.

Monitor the media and local government websites, such as:

  • the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority 
  • the National Center for Meteorology and Seismology

The NCEMA Facebook page (Arabic) and NCEMA website will be updated during a crisis.

Natural disasters

Earth tremors occur in the UAE, particularly following a major earthquake elsewhere in the region.

Access more information about natural disasters from the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System.

If a natural disaster happens, follow the advice of local authorities.

United Kingdom: Foreign and Commonwealth Office Foreign Travel Advice