The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation continues to call on the UAE citizens, who plan to travel abroad during the summer, to heed advice and guidance to ensure their personal safety while abroad.
Assistant Under-Secretary for Consular Affairs at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ahmed Elham Al Dhaheri, urged the citizens to adhere to the travel tips and guidance. He added that they should view travel warnings on the website of the Ministry and the citizens' affairs page, which includes all information and customised services that suit the needs of the citizens traveling abroad, be they tourists or scholars, or those seeking treatment or students, or expatriate residents.
He added that such information and advice would facilitate all consular transactions and ensure safety and security of travelers abroad so as to spend their holidays without any problems or obstacles.
The UAE official called on those wishing to travel to European countries, including those which exempt citizens of the state from the Schengen visa requirements, on the need to take caution, while abroad due to the security developments in some European countries, triggered by the unfolding unrest in the Middle East region, and their fallout, especially the refugee crisis.
He urged the citizens to avoid carrying large sums of money during their travel, noting that they can instead use the credit cards, to avoid potential exposure to a theft or assault incidents that could put their security and personal safety at risk..
Al Dhaheri also urged citizens to exercise extreme caution during their visit or presence in popular tourist destinations in some European countries, to avoid exposure to incidents of assault with fraud and theft intentions, which are of common occurrence in such places frequented by large numbers of people and tourists during the summer period. He referred to the importance of choosing accommodation in safe areas.
He also recommended to the citizens to abide by the ban of burqa (the veil) applied in some European countries and cities, which prohibit the wearing of the veil (burqa) in public institutions and places, to avoid legal repercussions or fines arising from the violation of this law.
The UAE official noted that European states that ban the wearing of veil are France, Belgium and the Netherlands, as well as some European cities such as Barcelona in Spain, which banned the wearing of any clothing covering the face since 2010, and the Hesse State in Germany and a number of Italian cities. The Danish courts also banned the veil.
He called on the citizens who plan to travel to Switzerland to abide by the burqa ban in Thiessen Canton, located southeast of Switzerland, where the ban of the veil started in public places as of the first of July 2016, pointing out that the fine for violating the ban starts from 100 Swiss Francs up to 1,000 Francs, or a violator faces deportation from the canton, and the fine can increase if the violator insists on wearing the veil.
Al Dhaheri called on the citizens to respect the laws of a host country, in order to honourably represent the UAE abroad, stressing the need for cooperation with the official authorities upon arrival at the airport of the destination country through declaring some important personal information if asked, such as length of stay, residence and travel ticket and the date of return, and cash amount they hold during their presence in the host country.
It is incumbent upon passengers arriving or departing from European Union countries, with 10, 000 euros or more in cash, to disclose the amount to the customs officer.
He stressed that the citizens should avoid travelling to security trouble spots and follow-up travel warnings before they decide a destination.
The UAE official advised the citizens to travel by air to avoid any traffic accidents. In case of travelling by land, they should follow the traffic rules and regulations, and instructions related to safety while driving.
Al Dhaheri also urged the travellers to choose the proper accommodation with the security and safety requirements, and avoid places that lack such requirements. He added that they should not leave the doors of apartments or rooms open. There is also the need to confirm the identity of person before opening the doors, while children should not be left alone outside. The citizens should avoid going out individually, especially late at night.
In the event of non-citizen escorts, he said, the citizens must follow normal procedures for the issuance of entry visa and a written pledge from the sponsor to bear all the expenses of visa. He also called for keeping passports in safe places at the residence, and not to carry them at markets and public places. He also stressed the need to ensure the validity of passports, as the period sufficient to leave and return should not be less than six months.
Al Dhaheri stressed that the UAE citizens traveling abroad and who accompany their children should look after them carefully, especially those with special needs, particularly at public place.
He referred to the need of having an international driving licence, as some countries deemed it an essential condition to allow foreign visitors to drive cars on its territory.
He advised the citizens in the event of medical treatment abroad, especially those who go on their own expenses, that they should contact the health authorities in the state, and the state mission in a host country, to get first-hand information about the accredited institutions that offer better treatment so as not to fall victim of medical neglect or ill-treatment or fraud.
The UAE official called on the citizens wishing to travel to register in "my twajudi service", by registering their family members, the elderly and children, at the official Ministry's website www.mofa.gov.ae
or smart application "UAEMOFA" a service managed by the ministry and missions abroad to communicate with the travellers in cases of emergency and crisis while abroad to get assistance.
He called for keeping the emergency numbers to communicate with the ministry or the state's mission or the number of countries in which there is no diplomatic representation of the UAE to be used in the event of any emergency: " 00971 600599991, wishing a happy and safe holiday for all to return home safely.