British tourists visiting the United Arab Emirates should be wary of the increased threat of terrorist attacks, according to the latest advice from the Foreign Office (FCDO).
Travel advice for the popular Gulf destination, which welcomes around 1.5 million Brits per year and includes the emirates of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, was amended on Sunday 29 October. It added an “updated assessment that the risk of terrorist attacks happening in the UAE is very likely”.
Further FCDO advice states that “attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners.
“Terrorists continue to issue statements threatening to carry out attacks in the Gulf region. These include references to attacks on western interests. You should maintain a high level of security awareness, particularly in public places and at public events.”
The Israel-Hamas conflict is not mentioned in the new advice. The FCDO provides background information that in January 2022, “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.
“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. If an incident does occur, you should monitor local media reports and follow the advice of the local authorities.”
The FCDO adds that “is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover,” while anyone visiting should also keep checking the entry requirements and restrictions, as they “may change with little warning”. There are currently no warnings in place against travel to any part of the UAE.