10 September 2015
The United Arab Emirates is a dynamic and ultra-modern country that attracts millions of tourists annually. Most visits are generally safe but still travellers are strongly advised to be aware of possible risks and be careful. Visit the UK Government Travel Aware website and read the following overview of safety and security in the UAE.
The crime rate in the UAE is very low but, of course, common safety precautions should be exercised. Use reputable taxi companies only and do not accept lifts from strangers. Drink spiking may occur, so do not accept drinks from people you don’t know and don’t leave your drinks unattended. Petty crimes such as bag snatching and pickpocketing sometimes occur. Lock car doors and don’t leave anything valuable in your car. Always make sure your travel documents, gadgets and other important possessions are secure.
If you bring need to take medication with you, find out in advance whether it is permitted in the UAE. Common western painkillers like codeine are considered illegal narcotics in the UAE. Do not take them with you, or if you must, ensure you take your prescription. Alternatively, ask your doctor for an equivalent substitution, if your usual medication is illegal. Breaking this law could result in imprisonment.
The United Arab Emirates forbid all LGBT activities. If you are witnessed showing any signs of homosexuality in public, the punishment may include fines, prison sentence, whipping, forced psychological treatment or even capital punishment.
The United Arab Emirates have much to offer. Read as much as you can about the local traditions, plan your trip well and take out travel insurance to leave with peace of mind.