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

Travel Warnings

United States: Department of State International Travel Information

Latest advice,

Last Update: Reissued with updates to health information.

Reconsider travel to the United Arab Emirates due to the threat of missile or drone attacks.

Country Summary: The possibility of attacks affecting U.S. citizens and interests in the Gulf and Arabian Peninsula remains an ongoing, serious concern.  Rebel groups operating in Yemen have stated an intent to attack neighboring countries, including the UAE, using missiles and drones. Recent missile and drone attacks 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 Airmen (NOTAM) and/or a Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR). For more information U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.

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

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has determined the United Arab Emirates has a high level of COVID-19.  Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.

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: 26 September 2022
Last Reviewed: 9 September 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
Terrorism

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
Crime

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

Before you travel, check the ‘Entry requirements’ section for the UAE’s current entry restrictions and requirements. These may change with little warning. Monitor this advice for the latest updates and stay in contact with your travel provider.

If you plan to pass through another country to return to the UK, check the travel advice for the country you’re transiting.

A number of missiles and unmanned aerial systems (drones) were launched into the UAE from Yemen in early 2022, targeting infrastructure and high profile locations, some of which were in populated areas. The vast majority of these missiles and drones were intercepted and destroyed but there were a small number of casualties. On 17 January 2022, the UAE authorities confirmed a Houthi attack on civilian facilities in Abu Dhabi, which caused the death of three civilians. On 24 January 2022, the UAE authorities announced that their air defence forces had intercepted and destroyed two Houthi ballistic missiles targeting the UAE and that there were no casualties. On 31 January 2022, the UAE authorities announced their air defence forces had intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile targeting the UAE and that there were no casualties.

Further attacks are likely. In the event of any incidents, you should monitor local media reports and follow the advice of the local authorities. See Safety and Security and Terrorism.

There is a possibility of an increased threat against Western interests, including against UK citizens. You should remain vigilant and keep up to date with the latest developments, including via the media and this travel advice.

It is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover. See the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO)’s guidance on foreign travel insurance.

Around 1.5 million British nationals visit the UAE every year. Most visits are trouble-free.

Terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in the UAE. See Terrorism

If you’re planning to travel with prescribed or over the counter medicines for personal use, you’ll need to meet the UAE’s specific requirements for your medicine to be allowed into the country. See Medication

The UAE is a Muslim country. Laws and customs are very different to those in the UK. You should respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times. There may be serious penalties for doing something that might not be illegal in the UK. See Local laws and customs

You can contact the emergency services by calling 999 (police), 997 (fire) or 998 (ambulance).

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.