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United Arab Emirates Traveler View

Travel health notices, vaccines and medicines, non-vaccine-preventable diseases, stay healthy and safe.

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After Your Trip

Map - United Arab Emirates

Be aware of current health issues in the United Arab Emirates. Learn how to protect yourself.

Level 1 Practice Usual Precautions

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Check the vaccines and medicines list and visit your doctor at least a month before your trip to get vaccines or medicines you may need. If you or your doctor need help finding a location that provides certain vaccines or medicines, visit the Find a Clinic page.

Routine vaccines


Make sure you are up-to-date on all routine vaccines before every trip. Some of these vaccines include

  • Chickenpox (Varicella)
  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis
  • Flu (influenza)
  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR)

Immunization schedules

All eligible travelers should be up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines. Please see  Your COVID-19 Vaccination  for more information. 

COVID-19 vaccine

Hepatitis A

Recommended for unvaccinated travelers one year old or older going to the United Arab Emirates.

Infants 6 to 11 months old should also be vaccinated against Hepatitis A. The dose does not count toward the routine 2-dose series.

Travelers allergic to a vaccine component or who are younger than 6 months should receive a single dose of immune globulin, which provides effective protection for up to 2 months depending on dosage given.

Unvaccinated travelers who are over 40 years old, immunocompromised, or have chronic medical conditions planning to depart to a risk area in less than 2 weeks should get the initial dose of vaccine and at the same appointment receive immune globulin.

Hepatitis A - CDC Yellow Book

Dosing info - Hep A

Hepatitis B

Recommended for unvaccinated travelers younger than 60 years old traveling to the United Arab Emirates. Unvaccinated travelers 60 years and older may get vaccinated before traveling to the United Arab Emirates.

Hepatitis B - CDC Yellow Book

Dosing info - Hep B

Infants 6 to 11 months old traveling internationally should get 1 dose of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine before travel. This dose does not count as part of the routine childhood vaccination series.

Measles (Rubeola) - CDC Yellow Book

Rabid dogs are commonly found in the United Arab Emirates. However, if you are bitten or scratched by a dog or other mammal while in the United Arab Emirates, rabies treatment is often available. 

Consider rabies vaccination before your trip if your activities mean you will be around dogs or wildlife.

Travelers more likely to encounter rabid animals include

  • Campers, adventure travelers, or cave explorers (spelunkers)
  • Veterinarians, animal handlers, field biologists, or laboratory workers handling animal specimens
  • Visitors to rural areas

Since children are more likely to be bitten or scratched by a dog or other animals, consider rabies vaccination for children traveling to the United Arab Emirates. 

Rabies - CDC Yellow Book

Recommended for most travelers, especially those staying with friends or relatives or visiting smaller cities or rural areas.

Typhoid - CDC Yellow Book

Dosing info - Typhoid

Yellow Fever

Required for travelers ≥9 months old arriving from countries with risk for YF virus transmission; this includes >12-hour airport transits or layovers in countries with risk for YF virus transmission. 1

Yellow Fever - CDC Yellow Book

Avoid contaminated water


How most people get sick (most common modes of transmission)

  • Touching urine or other body fluids from an animal infected with leptospirosis
  • Swimming or wading in urine-contaminated fresh water, or contact with urine-contaminated mud
  • Drinking water or eating food contaminated with animal urine
  • Avoid contaminated water and soil

Clinical Guidance

Avoid bug bites.

Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic fever

  • Tick bite 
  • Touching the body fluids of a person or animal infected with CCHF
  • Avoid Bug Bites

Airborne & droplet

  • Breathing in air or accidentally eating food contaminated with the urine, droppings, or saliva of infected rodents
  • Bite from an infected rodent
  • Less commonly, being around someone sick with hantavirus (only occurs with Andes virus)
  • Avoid rodents and areas where they live
  • Avoid sick people

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)

  • Scientists do not fully understand how the MERS virus spreads
  • May spread from to others when an infected person coughs or sneezes
  • May spread to people from camels.

Middle East Respiratory virus syndrome (MERS)

Tuberculosis (TB)

  • Breathe in TB bacteria that is in the air from an infected and contagious person coughing, speaking, or singing.

Learn actions you can take to stay healthy and safe on your trip. Vaccines cannot protect you from many diseases in the United Arab Emirates, so your behaviors are important.

Eat and drink safely

Food and water standards around the world vary based on the destination. Standards may also differ within a country and risk may change depending on activity type (e.g., hiking versus business trip). You can learn more about safe food and drink choices when traveling by accessing the resources below.

  • Choose Safe Food and Drinks When Traveling
  • Water Treatment Options When Hiking, Camping or Traveling
  • Global Water, Sanitation and Hygiene | Healthy Water
  • Avoid Contaminated Water During Travel

You can also visit the  Department of State Country Information Pages  for additional information about food and water safety.

Prevent bug bites

Bugs (like mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas) can spread a number of diseases in the United Arab Emirates. Many of these diseases cannot be prevented with a vaccine or medicine. You can reduce your risk by taking steps to prevent bug bites.

What can I do to prevent bug bites?

  • Cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats.
  • Use an appropriate insect repellent (see below).
  • Use permethrin-treated clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents). Do not use permethrin directly on skin.
  • Stay and sleep in air-conditioned or screened rooms.
  • Use a bed net if the area where you are sleeping is exposed to the outdoors.

What type of insect repellent should I use?

  • FOR PROTECTION AGAINST TICKS AND MOSQUITOES: Use a repellent that contains 20% or more DEET for protection that lasts up to several hours.
  • Picaridin (also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and icaridin)
  • Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol (PMD)
  • 2-undecanone
  • Always use insect repellent as directed.

What should I do if I am bitten by bugs?

  • Avoid scratching bug bites, and apply hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion to reduce the itching.
  • Check your entire body for ticks after outdoor activity. Be sure to remove ticks properly.

What can I do to avoid bed bugs?

Although bed bugs do not carry disease, they are an annoyance. See our information page about avoiding bug bites for some easy tips to avoid them. For more information on bed bugs, see Bed Bugs .

For more detailed information on avoiding bug bites, see Avoid Bug Bites .

Stay safe outdoors

If your travel plans in the United Arab Emirates include outdoor activities, take these steps to stay safe and healthy during your trip.

  • Stay alert to changing weather conditions and adjust your plans if conditions become unsafe.
  • Prepare for activities by wearing the right clothes and packing protective items, such as bug spray, sunscreen, and a basic first aid kit.
  • Consider learning basic first aid and CPR before travel. Bring a travel health kit with items appropriate for your activities.
  • If you are outside for many hours in heat, eat salty snacks and drink water to stay hydrated and replace salt lost through sweating.
  • Protect yourself from UV radiation : use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, wear protective clothing, and seek shade during the hottest time of day (10 a.m.–4 p.m.).
  • Be especially careful during summer months and at high elevation. Because sunlight reflects off snow, sand, and water, sun exposure may be increased during activities like skiing, swimming, and sailing.
  • Very cold temperatures can be dangerous. Dress in layers and cover heads, hands, and feet properly if you are visiting a cold location.

Stay safe around water

  • Swim only in designated swimming areas. Obey lifeguards and warning flags on beaches.
  • Practice safe boating—follow all boating safety laws, do not drink alcohol if driving a boat, and always wear a life jacket.
  • Do not dive into shallow water.
  • Do not swim in freshwater in developing areas or where sanitation is poor.
  • Avoid swallowing water when swimming. Untreated water can carry germs that make you sick.
  • To prevent infections, wear shoes on beaches where there may be animal waste.

Keep away from animals

Most animals avoid people, but they may attack if they feel threatened, are protecting their young or territory, or if they are injured or ill. Animal bites and scratches can lead to serious diseases such as rabies.

Follow these tips to protect yourself:

  • Do not touch or feed any animals you do not know.
  • Do not allow animals to lick open wounds, and do not get animal saliva in your eyes or mouth.
  • Avoid rodents and their urine and feces.
  • Traveling pets should be supervised closely and not allowed to come in contact with local animals.
  • If you wake in a room with a bat, seek medical care immediately. Bat bites may be hard to see.

All animals can pose a threat, but be extra careful around dogs, bats, monkeys, sea animals such as jellyfish, and snakes. If you are bitten or scratched by an animal, immediately:

  • Wash the wound with soap and clean water.
  • Go to a doctor right away.
  • Tell your doctor about your injury when you get back to the United States.

Consider buying medical evacuation insurance. Rabies is a deadly disease that must be treated quickly, and treatment may not be available in some countries.

Reduce your exposure to germs

Follow these tips to avoid getting sick or spreading illness to others while traveling:

  • Wash your hands often, especially before eating.
  • If soap and water aren’t available, clean hands with hand sanitizer (containing at least 60% alcohol).
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you need to touch your face, make sure your hands are clean.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Try to avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home or in your hotel room, unless you need medical care.

Avoid sharing body fluids

Diseases can be spread through body fluids, such as saliva, blood, vomit, and semen.

Protect yourself:

  • Use latex condoms correctly.
  • Do not inject drugs.
  • Limit alcohol consumption. People take more risks when intoxicated.
  • Do not share needles or any devices that can break the skin. That includes needles for tattoos, piercings, and acupuncture.
  • If you receive medical or dental care, make sure the equipment is disinfected or sanitized.

Know how to get medical care while traveling

Plan for how you will get health care during your trip, should the need arise:

  • Carry a list of local doctors and hospitals at your destination.
  • Review your health insurance plan to determine what medical services it would cover during your trip. Consider purchasing travel health and medical evacuation insurance.
  • Carry a card that identifies, in the local language, your blood type, chronic conditions or serious allergies, and the generic names of any medications you take.
  • Some prescription drugs may be illegal in other countries. Call the United Arab Emirates’s embassy to verify that all of your prescription(s) are legal to bring with you.
  • Bring all the medicines (including over-the-counter medicines) you think you might need during your trip, including extra in case of travel delays. Ask your doctor to help you get prescriptions filled early if you need to.

Many foreign hospitals and clinics are accredited by the Joint Commission International. A list of accredited facilities is available at their website ( ).

In some countries, medicine (prescription and over-the-counter) may be substandard or counterfeit. Bring the medicines you will need from the United States to avoid having to buy them at your destination.

Select safe transportation

Motor vehicle crashes are the #1 killer of healthy US citizens in foreign countries.

In many places cars, buses, large trucks, rickshaws, bikes, people on foot, and even animals share the same lanes of traffic, increasing the risk for crashes.

Be smart when you are traveling on foot.

  • Use sidewalks and marked crosswalks.
  • Pay attention to the traffic around you, especially in crowded areas.
  • Remember, people on foot do not always have the right of way in other countries.


Choose a safe vehicle.

  • Choose official taxis or public transportation, such as trains and buses.
  • Ride only in cars that have seatbelts.
  • Avoid overcrowded, overloaded, top-heavy buses and minivans.
  • Avoid riding on motorcycles or motorbikes, especially motorbike taxis. (Many crashes are caused by inexperienced motorbike drivers.)
  • Choose newer vehicles—they may have more safety features, such as airbags, and be more reliable.
  • Choose larger vehicles, which may provide more protection in crashes.

Think about the driver.

  • Do not drive after drinking alcohol or ride with someone who has been drinking.
  • Consider hiring a licensed, trained driver familiar with the area.
  • Arrange payment before departing.

Follow basic safety tips.

  • Wear a seatbelt at all times.
  • Sit in the back seat of cars and taxis.
  • When on motorbikes or bicycles, always wear a helmet. (Bring a helmet from home, if needed.)
  • Avoid driving at night; street lighting in certain parts of the United Arab Emirates may be poor.
  • Do not use a cell phone or text while driving (illegal in many countries).
  • Travel during daylight hours only, especially in rural areas.
  • If you choose to drive a vehicle in the United Arab Emirates, learn the local traffic laws and have the proper paperwork.
  • Get any driving permits and insurance you may need. Get an International Driving Permit (IDP). Carry the IDP and a US-issued driver's license at all times.
  • Check with your auto insurance policy's international coverage, and get more coverage if needed. Make sure you have liability insurance.
  • Avoid using local, unscheduled aircraft.
  • If possible, fly on larger planes (more than 30 seats); larger airplanes are more likely to have regular safety inspections.
  • Try to schedule flights during daylight hours and in good weather.

Medical Evacuation Insurance

If you are seriously injured, emergency care may not be available or may not meet US standards. Trauma care centers are uncommon outside urban areas. Having medical evacuation insurance can be helpful for these reasons.

Helpful Resources

Road Safety Overseas (Information from the US Department of State): Includes tips on driving in other countries, International Driving Permits, auto insurance, and other resources.

The Association for International Road Travel has country-specific Road Travel Reports available for most countries for a minimal fee.

Maintain personal security

Use the same common sense traveling overseas that you would at home, and always stay alert and aware of your surroundings.

Before you leave

  • Research your destination(s), including local laws, customs, and culture.
  • Monitor travel advisories and alerts and read travel tips from the US Department of State.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) .
  • Leave a copy of your itinerary, contact information, credit cards, and passport with someone at home.
  • Pack as light as possible, and leave at home any item you could not replace.

While at your destination(s)

  • Carry contact information for the nearest US embassy or consulate .
  • Carry a photocopy of your passport and entry stamp; leave the actual passport securely in your hotel.
  • Follow all local laws and social customs.
  • Do not wear expensive clothing or jewelry.
  • Always keep hotel doors locked, and store valuables in secure areas.
  • If possible, choose hotel rooms between the 2nd and 6th floors.

Healthy Travel Packing List

Use the Healthy Travel Packing List for United Arab Emirates for a list of health-related items to consider packing for your trip. Talk to your doctor about which items are most important for you.

Why does CDC recommend packing these health-related items?

It’s best to be prepared to prevent and treat common illnesses and injuries. Some supplies and medicines may be difficult to find at your destination, may have different names, or may have different ingredients than what you normally use.

If you are not feeling well after your trip, you may need to see a doctor. If you need help finding a travel medicine specialist, see Find a Clinic . Be sure to tell your doctor about your travel, including where you went and what you did on your trip. Also tell your doctor if you were bitten or scratched by an animal while traveling.

For more information on what to do if you are sick after your trip, see Getting Sick after Travel .

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travel advisory united arab emirates

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COVID-19: travel health notice for all travellers

United Arab Emirates travel advice

Latest updates: The Need help? section was updated.

Last updated: January 16, 2024 07:50 ET

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Safety and security, entry and exit requirements, laws and culture, natural disasters and climate, united arab emirates - exercise a high degree of caution.

Exercise a high degree of caution in the United Arab Emirates due to the threat of terrorism.

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There’s an ongoing threat of terrorism. Terrorist groups have indicated their intention to target the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Enhanced security measures are in place, and Emirati authorities may reinforce them on short notice.

Terrorist attacks could occur at any time.

Targets could include:

  • government buildings, military installations and schools
  • places of worship
  • airports and other transportation hubs and networks
  • public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners

Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places. Be particularly vigilant during sporting events, religious holidays and other public celebrations. Terrorists may use such occasions to mount attacks.

Missile strikes and drones

Conflicts in the Middle East and the Gulf region can affect the UAE. Regional tensions can flare up at any time, resulting in an unpredictable and volatile security situation.

Armed groups in the region have publicly stated their intention to target neighbouring countries, including the UAE, with drones and missiles.  Drone attacks continue to either reach UAE territory or be intercepted over the country.

 Missiles and drones have reached:

  • urban areas
  • military installations
  • oil industry infrastructure
  • public facilities, such as airports

Their interception may cause scattered debris or fragments.

During missile and drone strikes:

  • seek shelter
  • stay away from doors and windows
  • follow the instructions of local authorities

If you encounter debris or fragments:

  • don’t get close to or touch them
  • move away from them immediately
  • contact local authorities

The crime rate is low. Petty crime, such as pickpocketing, purse snatching and theft from cars may occur.

During your stay:

  • make sure that your personal belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times
  • don’t leave personal items and documents in plain sight in a vehicle
  • keep your car doors locked and windows closed at all times

Violent crime is rare.

Credit card and ATM fraud

Credit card and ATM fraud occur. Be cautious when using debit or credit cards:

  • pay careful attention when your cards are being handled by others
  • use ATMs located in well-lit public areas or inside a bank or business
  • avoid using card readers with an irregular or unusual feature
  • cover the keypad with one hand when entering your PIN
  • check for any unauthorized transactions on your account statements

Cybercrime, malware attacks and online extortion are common in the UAE. Perpetrators may compromise public Wi-Fi networks to steal credit card or personal information.

  • Avoid using public Wi-Fi networks
  • Avoid making purchases on unencrypted websites
  • Be cautious when posting information on social media
  • Be particularly vigilant when contacting or meeting individuals known over the Internet

Telephone scams

Foreigners have received calls from scammers claiming to be local authorities or financial institutions. The caller may try to collect personal information or request a fund transfer to resolve administrative or customs issues.

Don’t send any money or personal information in this type of situation.

Romance scams

Romance scams are common. Victims of these types of scams have lost thousands of dollars. Before travelling to the UAE to visit someone you met online:

  • keep in mind that you may be the victim of a scam
  • inform yourself about the country’s customs and laws on conjugal relations and marriage
  • be sure to retain possession of your return plane ticket, money, and passport

Useful links

  • Overseas fraud
  • Cyber security while travelling

Women’s safety

Although rare, women travelling alone may be subject to some forms of harassment, verbal abuse, or physical assaults.

Local authorities may not respond adequately to reports of sexual violence and harassment. Emirati authorities have detained women reporting sexual assault. The victim must prove that the sex was not consensual to avoid being charged. The notion of sexual consent may differ substantially from the Canadian context.

If you are the victim of a sexual assault, you should report it immediately to the nearest Government of Canada office.

  • Avoid travelling alone, especially at night
  • Remain particularly vigilant in less populous areas

Be careful when dealing with strangers or recent acquaintances

Advice for women travellers

Spiked food and drinks

Snacks, beverages, gum and cigarettes may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery.

  • Be wary of accepting these items from new acquaintances
  • Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers

Water activities

Coastal waters can be dangerous. Rip currents occur at beaches and can sweep swimmers out to sea.

Rescue services may not be consistent with international standards. Some beaches don’t have lifeguards or warning flags.

  • Only participate in scuba diving and other water activities with a well-established company
  • Don’t swim alone, after hours or outside marked areas
  • Consult residents and tour operators for information on possible hazards and safe swimming areas
  • Monitor weather warnings
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities

Water safety abroad

Adventure tourism

Desert expeditions or trekking can be dangerous, especially if they are not well organized. Trails are not always marked, and weather conditions can change rapidly.

If you undertake desert expeditions:

  • never do so alone
  • always hire an experienced guide from a reputable company
  • travel in a 4 x 4 vehicle
  • buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation
  • ensure that your physical condition is good enough to meet the challenges of your activity
  • avoid venturing off marked trails
  • ensure that you’re properly equipped and carry sufficient water supply
  • know the symptoms of dehydration and heatstroke, both of which can be fatal
  • ensure that you’re well informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard
  • inform a family member or friend of your itinerary, including when you expect to be back
  • obtain detailed information on each activity before setting out

Road safety

Road safety varies across the UAE.

Accidents causing fatalities are common.

Pedestrians should be particularly careful and should always use designated crossings, pedestrian bridges or underpasses.

Road conditions

Road conditions are excellent throughout the UAE. Driving conditions may be hazardous during sandstorms or foggy conditions due to limited visibility.

  • Avoid off-road driving unless you’re in a convoy of 4 x 4 vehicles
  • Leave your travel itinerary with a third party
  • Ensure that you’re well prepared with a cell phone and a sufficient supply of gasoline, water and food

Driving habits

Drivers can be reckless. They often tailgate and drive at excessive speeds.

If you choose to drive in the UAE:

  • always drive defensively
  • maintain distance from other vehicles on the road
  • familiarize yourself with your itinerary before leaving
  • always carry a cell phone and charger
  • keep a list of emergency numbers with you

Public transportation

The emirates of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, have reliable and modern public transportation systems. Public transportation options are more limited in the other emirates.

Public buses in the UAE are generally modern, safe and efficient. Most emirates have public buses and inter-emirates buses operating on their own schedule.

Taxis are convenient to travel within cities and between the emirates.

Street taxis use meters while private taxis have flat rates.

Pink taxis (in Dubai) and purple taxis (in Abu Dhabi) are reserved for and driven by women.

Special taxis for people with special needs or disabilities are also available.

  • Use only officially marked taxis or trusted ride-sharing app
  • Avoid sharing a taxi with strangers

If using a private taxi, negotiate the fare in advance

  Pink taxis  - UAE Government

There are territorial disputes between the UAE and Iran in the Gulf over the islands of:

  • Greater Tunb
  • Lesser Tunb

Be cautious if you travel by sea in the Strait of Hormuz due to tense encounters that could lead to vessel and passenger detention.

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

Information about foreign domestic airlines

Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.

We have obtained the information on this page from the authorities of the United Arab Emirates. It can, however, change at any time.

Verify this information with the  Foreign Representatives in Canada .

Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.

Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

Regular Canadian passport

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond your date of entry into the United Arab Emirates.

Passport for official travel

Different entry rules may apply.

Official travel

Passport with “X” gender identifier

While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Other travel documents

Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

  • Foreign Representatives in Canada
  • Canadian passports

Other entry requirements

The authorities of the United Arab Emirates only accept Canadian temporary passports for exit and transit. Travellers cannot enter the UAE when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document.

Tourist visa: not required Business visa: required Student visa: required

If you’re entering the UAE as a tourist, you must obtain an entry stamp at the port of entry. This entry stamp is free and valid for 30 days. Ahead of the expiry of the initial 30-day period, you may request a validity extension for an additional 30 days.

  • Foreign Representatives in Canada
  • Visa/Entry Permit Information  – UAE Government
  • Smart services  - Federal authority for identity and citizenship of the UAE

Health entry requirements

Medical tests, including tests for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and tuberculosis infections, are required to obtain or renew a work or residency permit. Emirati authorities don’t recognize foreign-issued HIV test results.

If you test positive for HIV or another communicable disease such as hepatitis or tuberculosis, you may be subject to:

  • deportation
  • mandatory treatment

It’s also forbidden to enter the UAE with HIV/AIDS antiretroviral medication for personal use. If you do so, you may be subject to:

Exit requirements

You must exit the UAE with the passport you used for entry.

If you obtained a new passport during your stay in the UAE, you should consult the immigration authorities before travelling to ensure your visa was properly transferred to the new document.

Previous or expired visas must be formally cancelled by the organization or the individuals sponsoring your work or residency visa. If your previous visa has not been cancelled, you may be prevented from leaving the UAE or face difficulties returning in the future.

UAE authorities may place an exit ban on certain individuals to prevent them from leaving the country.

An exit ban can relate to investigations into:

  • an individual, their family or an employer
  • criminal and civil matters, including business disputes
  • employment without a valid work permit
  • unpaid financial debts

An exit ban can be requested by people involved in any of these circumstances. You may not be aware that authorities have placed an exit ban on you until you try to leave the country.

Your passport may be seized until the case is fully investigated and settled.

If you face an exit ban, you should seek legal advice.

Children and travel

Children born to a father who holds Emirati citizenship acquire UAE citizenship at birth, regardless of where they were born.

They must enter and leave the country on a UAE passport.

  • Travelling with children

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

Relevant Travel Health Notices

  • Global Measles Notice - 31 August, 2023
  • COVID-19 and International Travel - 31 August, 2023

This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.

Routine vaccines

Be sure that your  routine vaccinations , as per your province or territory , are up-to-date before travelling, regardless of your destination.

Some of these vaccinations include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Pre-travel vaccines and medications

You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary. 

Yellow fever   is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

  • Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from or have transited through an airport of a country   where yellow fever occurs.


  • Vaccination is not recommended.
  • Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
  • Contact a designated  Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre  well in advance of your trip to arrange for vaccination.

About Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada * It is important to note that  country entry requirements  may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest  diplomatic or consular office  of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.

There is a risk of hepatitis A in this destination. It is a disease of the liver. People can get hepatitis A if they ingest contaminated food or water, eat foods prepared by an infectious person, or if they have close physical contact (such as oral-anal sex) with an infectious person, although casual contact among people does not spread the virus.

Practise  safe food and water precautions and wash your hands often. Vaccination is recommended for all travellers to areas where hepatitis A is present.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.

  Hepatitis B is a risk in every destination. It is a viral liver disease that is easily transmitted from one person to another through exposure to blood and body fluids containing the hepatitis B virus.  Travellers who may be exposed to blood or other bodily fluids (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) are at higher risk of getting hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all travellers. Prevent hepatitis B infection by practicing safe sex, only using new and sterile drug equipment, and only getting tattoos and piercings in settings that follow public health regulations and standards.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.

Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.

 The best way to protect yourself from seasonal influenza (flu) is to get vaccinated every year. Get the flu shot at least 2 weeks before travelling.  

 The flu occurs worldwide. 

  •  In the Northern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs from November to   April.
  •  In the Southern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs between April and   October.
  •  In the tropics, there is flu activity year round. 

The flu vaccine available in one hemisphere may only offer partial protection against the flu in the other hemisphere.

The flu virus spreads from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Clean your hands often and wear a mask if you have a fever or respiratory symptoms.

In this destination, rabies  may be present in some wildlife species, including bats. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal. 

If you are bitten or scratched by an animal while travelling, immediately wash the wound with soap and clean water and see a health care professional. 

Before travel, discuss rabies vaccination with a health care professional. It may be recommended for travellers who will be working directly with wildlife. 

Safe food and water precautions

Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.

  • Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
  • Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
  • Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs. 

Typhoid   is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.

Travellers visiting regions with a risk of typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation, should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.  

Insect bite prevention

Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:

  • Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
  • Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
  • Minimize exposure to insects
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed

To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.

Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.

There is a risk of chikungunya in this country.  The risk may vary between regions of a country.  Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.

Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.

Animal precautions

Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may increase your chance of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.

Closely supervise children, as they are more likely to come in contact with animals.

Cases of locally-acquired   Middle East respiratory syndrome  (MERS) have been reported in this country.

MERS is a viral respiratory disease caused by the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

Some people infected with MERS-CoV experience no symptoms, while others may experience mild flu-like or more severe pneumonia-like symptoms. About one-third of reported cases have result ed in death.

Eat and drink safely ,   and   avoid close contact with animals, especially camels. If you must visit a farm or market, make sure you practise good hygiene and  wash your hands  before and after contact with animals.

There is currently no licensed vaccine to protect against MERS.

Person-to-person infections

Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette , which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:

  •   washing your hands often
  • avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
  • avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness 

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) , HIV , and mpox are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners. Check with your local public health authority pre-travel to determine your eligibility for mpox vaccine.  

Medical services and facilities

Good health care is available throughout the emirates. However, it may vary significantly from facility to facility, particularly outside of large cities.

Private clinics and hospitals are well equipped. Services may be expensive, but they usually have sufficient qualified medical personnel speaking English well.

Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.

Travel health and safety

Prescription medication

Some prescription medications may not be available in the UAE.

If you take prescription medication, you’re responsible for determining its legality in the country.

  • Bring enough of your medication with you
  • Always keep your medication in the original container
  • Pack your medication in your carry-on luggage
  • Carry a paper and an electronic copy of your prescriptions

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a   travel health kit , especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

You must abide by local laws.

Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad .

Penalties for breaking the law in the UAE can be more severe than in Canada, even for similar offences. No transfer of offender's treaty exists between Canada and the UAE. If you’re convicted of a serious crime, you must serve your jail sentence in the UAE.

Legal process

UAE authorities routinely notify the Embassy of Canada or Consulate following the arrest of a Canadian citizen.

If you are arrested, request that the arresting authorities immediately notify the nearest Canadian government office of your arrest .  If you are not allowed to do so, ask a friend or family member to contact the Embassy or Consulate of Canada.

The UAE and Canadian criminal law systems are significantly different. Laws, penalties and legal procedures vary according to the emirate.

Detention during the investigative period is common and can be lengthy. You may be held without access to legal counsel or consular assistance. You may also have to remain in the UAE for a parole period after your release.

If you’re involved in legal proceedings, local authorities can prevent you from leaving the UAE by withholding your passport or enforcing an exit ban. Familiarize yourself with the rules and laws of each emirate to which you intend to travel.

Overview of the criminal law system in the United Arab Emirates

Death penalty

Although rarely carried out, the death penalty can be applied in the UAE.

If you are convicted of a crime, you can face:

  • corporal punishment
  • the death penalty

Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe.

 Convicted offenders can expect:

  • heavy fines
  • jail sentences
  • the death penalty for severe offences, including drug trafficking

The UAE has a zero-tolerance policy towards drugs, even for travellers in transit. Detection of drugs (including cannabis) in blood or urine tests can also lead to a conviction.

Although it’s legal to consume alcohol in private homes and licensed venues, it’s a punishable offence to drink or be under the influence of alcohol in public. Even passengers in transit through the UAE can be arrested if they’re under the influence of alcohol.

Don’t drink alcohol outside private homes or licensed venues.

Drugs, alcohol and travel


Certain prescription and over-the-counter medications legally available in Canada, such as codeine and psychiatric medications, are classified as controlled substances in the UAE. It’s illegal to bring them into the country, even in small quantities, without prior permission from the UAE Ministry of Health.

If you attempt to bring banned medication into the UAE without prior approval and required documentation, you may be subject to:

  • confiscation of medication

Medical tests are mandatory to obtain or renew your residency permit. You could face prosecution if traces of prohibited substances are detected in your urine or blood sample, even if you haven’t imported the medication into the UAE.

Consult the Ministry of Health and Prevention’s list of controlled medicines to determine if you must obtain a permission to import any required medication. You can obtain a permission by creating a profile online and completing an electronic form.

  • List of controlled medicines  – UAE government
  • Issuing permission to import medicines for personal use  – UAE government

2SLGBTQI+ travellers

UAE law criminalizes sexual acts and relationships between persons of the same sex.

2SLGBTQI+ travellers could be detained based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or sex characteristics. They could also be detained and face other charges such as:

  • cross dressing
  • gross indecency
  • offence to public morals

2SLGBTQI+ travellers could face:

They should carefully consider the risks of travelling to the UAE.

Travel and your sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics

Dress and behaviour

UAE customs, laws and regulations adhere closely to Islamic practices and beliefs. Public displays of affection, including holding hands and kissing, may attract the attention of local authorities. Verbal insults and obscene gestures may be considered criminal acts.

Foreign female travellers are not expected to wear head covers. However, revealing clothing is considered inappropriate.

To avoid offending local sensitivities:

  • dress conservatively
  • behave discreetly
  • respect religious and social traditions
  • interact on social media with the same care as you would in person
  • seek permission from locals before photographing them

In 2024, the lunar month of Ramadan is expected to begin on or around March 10.

In public, between sunrise and sunset, refrain from:

In Abu Dhabi and Dubai during Ramadan, restaurants remain open, serving food as normal. Most government and public sector businesses have reduced working hours.

Religious proselytism

Religious proselytism is illegal.

You should avoid engaging in religious activities that contradict or challenge Islamic teachings and values. This includes preaching, possessing or distributing religious literature or material.


It’s illegal to criticize or disrespect the UAE’s:

  • ruling families
  • political system
  • institutions

This includes comments made on social media.

Punishment can be severe, including lengthy jail terms.

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is legally recognized in the UAE.

If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of the UAE, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.

Emirati authorities determine your citizenship based on the passport you use to enter the country. Ensure you use the same passport to enter and exit the country. Using different passports may lead to detention and delays.

General information for travellers with dual citizenship

UAE family law is different from Canadian family law. Decisions are based on Islamic law.

Children of an Emirati father automatically acquire Emirati citizenship at birth.

Although the courts will review each case individually, custody of boys under the age of 11 and girls under 13 is normally awarded to the mother. Custody is normally transferred to the father once boys reach 11 and once girls reach the age of 13.

Regardless of which parent is awarded custody, fathers are normally given guardianship responsibilities for the children by the courts, granting them significant legal rights. Guardians have the right to hold the child’s passport and can legally prevent the child from exiting the UAE.

International Child Abduction

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. It does not apply between Canada and the United Arab Emirates.

If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in the United Arab Emirates by an abducting parent:

  • act as quickly as you can
  • consult a lawyer in Canada and in the United Arab Emirates to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
  • report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre.

If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.

Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.

  • International Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents
  • Canadian embassies and consulates by destination
  • Emergency Watch and Response Centre

Cohabitation outside of marriage

Heterosexual sex and cohabitation outside of marriage for individuals over 18 years of age was recently decriminalised in all Emirates except Sharjah. This applies only to couples in which both partners are from countries that don’t follow Islamic Shariah marriage laws. While the practice is decriminalised, it may still be viewed negatively by parts of Emirati society.

Extramarital sex remains illegal in certain cases where a case is brought forth based on a complaint from the husband or guardian.

Online behaviour

Laws related to online behaviour, which also apply to the use of social media, are strict. Comments or behaviours considered defamatory, antisocial, culturally insensitive, or contrary to morality may be punishable by:

  • imprisonment

The authorities also restrict the use of virtual private networks (VPNs). Social media influencers receiving compensation for advertisements and product placement require a UAE influencer licence. If you do so without a licence, you may be fined or detained.

  Social media influencers licensing  - UAE Government  


There are restrictions on photographing and filming:

  • military installations and military personnel
  • government buildings
  • individuals without their permission

If you are in or around these areas, always:

  • verify if photography is allowed or if a special permit is required
  • request permission in advance if people are featured in your photos
  • refrain from photographing or filming if in doubt
  • comply with all requests from local authorities

Illegal activities

The following activities are illegal in the UAE and punishable by heavy fines or jail time:

  • engaging in prostitution
  • possessing pornographic material
  • issuing bounced checks or failing to pay a debt
  • possessing pork products in the emirate of Sharjah
  • littering in public places and on roads from a vehicle
  • spitting in public places, including on beaches

Imports and exports

There are strict import and export regulations on:

  • firearms and ammunition
  • body protection gear

Failure to comply may result in imprisonment or deportation.

  • Prohibited items  - UAE Government
  • Customs clearance  - UAE Government


Fundraising and charity activities are strictly regulated in the UAE.

It’s illegal to raise funds or organize a crowdfunding campaign without proper authorization. Make sure that you donate funds only to government-approved charities.

Government-approved charities  - UAE Government

Working in the UAE on a tourist visa is forbidden. You must be sponsored by your employer to work legally.

Certain local sponsors may attempt to retain your passport, even if UAE law forbids this practice.

  • Clearly establish the terms and conditions of employment in writing before your arrival
  • Never leave your passport or any other identity document with anyone

You must carry an international driving permit to drive and rent a car in the UAE, except in Dubai where you can use your Canadian driver’s license. If you become a resident of the UAE, you can convert your Canadian driver’s license to the UAE driving license at the Traffic Department of each Emirate. For Abu Dhabi, you can do this via TAMM services .

The country has a zero-tolerance policy for drinking and driving. The legal blood alcohol limit is zero.

Penalties for drinking and driving are severe.  If the police suspect you of drinking and driving, they could oblige you to provide a blood or urine sample. If alcohol or drugs are detected, you may be prosecuted.

If you’re convicted, you can expect:

  • heavy fines and a lengthy jail sentence
  • vehicle confiscation
  • driver’s license suspension

If involved in an accident:

  • don't leave the scene
  • don't move your vehicle
  • call the police

Failure to remain at the site may be considered an admission of guilt depending on the emirate in which the accident occurred.

The UAE government may prevent you from leaving the country until all injury claims have been settled, regardless of which party is at fault. If the accident has resulted in death, you may be legally required to provide financial compensation to the deceased’s family.

Local judicial resolution process may take several months, even for minor accidents.

International Driving Permit

The currency of the United Arab Emirates is the dirham (AED).

ATMs are available across the emirates.

Credit cards are widely accepted at main hotels, shops and restaurants. Smaller businesses may only accept cash.

If you are carrying AED 60 000 or more, or the equivalent in other currencies, you must make a declaration to customs when you enter of leave the country. The sum can be in:

  • money orders
  • traveller’s cheques
  • other convertible assets

Humidity and heat may be most severe during the hot season, from June to September.

Know the symptoms of dehydration and heatstroke, which can both be fatal.

Dust storms

Sandstorms and dust storms may occur any time, particularly during the summer months.

Winds carrying sand can blow at high speeds for days, creating difficult driving conditions. Poor visibility can affect flights. These storms can also cause respiratory problems, which can be fatal for some individuals.

During a storm:

  • stay indoors
  • keep windows closed
  • follow the instructions of local emergency services personnel
  • monitor local media for up-to-date information on the situation

Drought and flooding

The UAE has been facing a water crisis in recent years, leading to drought and desertification.

Although rare, heavy rain does occur in winter months from December to March. It can result in flash floods in dry riverbeds and canyons.

Flash floods and landslides can hamper overland travel and reduce the provision of essential services. Roads may become impassable and bridges damaged.

  • Monitor local news and weather reports
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities, including evacuation orders

During winter, periods of severe fog can hinder transportation and visibility.

  • Exercise caution, particularly while driving
  • Expect travel delays
  • Follow the advice of local authorities

Weather forecasts and warnings  - National Center of Meteorology

Local services

In case of emergency, dial:

  • police: 999
  • ambulance: 998
  • fire department (civil defence): 997

Consular assistance

For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada to the United Arab Emirates, in Abu Dhabi, or the Consulate General of Canada to the United Arab Emirates, in Dubai, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.

The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.

The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.

If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

Learn more about consular services .

Risk Levels

  take normal security precautions.

Take similar precautions to those you would take in Canada.

  Exercise a high degree of caution

There are certain safety and security concerns or the situation could change quickly. Be very cautious at all times, monitor local media and follow the instructions of local authorities.

IMPORTANT: The two levels below are official Government of Canada Travel Advisories and are issued when the safety and security of Canadians travelling or living in the country or region may be at risk.

  Avoid non-essential travel

Your safety and security could be at risk. You should think about your need to travel to this country, territory or region based on family or business requirements, knowledge of or familiarity with the region, and other factors. If you are already there, think about whether you really need to be there. If you do not need to be there, you should think about leaving.

  Avoid all travel

You should not travel to this country, territory or region. Your personal safety and security are at great risk. If you are already there, you should think about leaving if it is safe to do so.

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UAE travel advice: is it safe to travel to Dubai right now?

travel advisory united arab emirates

Friday January 26 2024, 09:00am

The UAE is home to the two most popular Middle Eastern destinations for tourists, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Each offers dazzling cities, vast deserts and gorgeous beaches. In Dubai, you’ll see the world’s tallest skyscraper, resort hotels that compete in extravagance, and dinky wooden boats that still ply the creek. Abu Dhabi, while smaller and less glitzy, is home to thrilling theme parks and stunning architecture. And just inland lies the desert from which all of this sprang, and where you can still get a sense of life in the tented camps of pre-oil days.

While there are concerns over rising tensions in the Middle East due to the conflict between Israel and Hamas, especially following the US and UK strikes on Houthi bases in Yemen, the United Arab Emirates hasn’t been affected. Here’s what you need to know.

Main photo: the Dubai skyline with the Burj Khalifa at dawn (Getty Images)

What’s the latest advice about travelling to the UAE?

A fountain show in Dubai

Currently the Foreign Office does not advise against travelling to the UAE. However, following the joint US and UK strikes on Houthi bases in Yemen on January 11, it cautioned that the situation could change.

The Foreign Office said: “Military activity is currently underway in response to attempts by Houthi militants to prevent movement of international shipping in the Red Sea. While the area of activity is limited to the Red Sea and Yemen, there is a possibility that travel advice for nearby countries could change at short notice. You should continue to monitor travel advice and follow any relevant instructions from local authorities.”

In October 2023, the Foreign Office also updated its travel advice to state that terror attacks are “likely”, and that they could be “indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners.” They recommend that tourists should be vigilant in public places and at public events, stay alert and follow the advice of local authorities.

Has Dubai been affected by the Israel-Hamas conflict?

Dubai , Abu Dhabi and the rest of the United Arab Emirates are not currently affected by the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Here’s what you need to know about the travel advice for neighbouring countries

  • Is it safe to travel to Israel right now?
  • Is it safe to travel to Turkey right now?
  • Is it safe to travel to Egypt right now?
  • Is it safe to travel to Cyprus right now?
  • Is it safe to travel to Jordan right now?

Can I travel to Dubai without a visa?

Tourist visas are issued to British passport holders on arrival in Dubai so there’s no need to apply in advance. It will be a stamp applied by immigration officials in their passport. The tourist visa is free and lasts for 30 days.

If you’ve been to Israel in the past and there’s evidence of this in your passport, you can enter the UAE as normal as long as you don’t intend on doing any work. However, if you are planning to work, you may be subject to further checks and entry may be denied.

Can you drink in Dubai?

The bar at Pierchic, Jumeirah Al Qasr

Visitors and residents can drink at home and in licensed venues, such as hotels, restaurants and clubs. Visitors will need a liquor licence to buy alcohol from the two shops that sell alcohol in Dubai, which they can obtain with their passport and entry stamp.

Is Dubai safe for LGBTQ travellers?

Same sex activities are illegal in the UAE and same sex marriages are not recognised in the country. There have been reports of punishment for same sex activities, particularly where they have caused offence or there’s a public element. The Foreign Office says that the “UAE is in many respects a tolerant society and private life is respected”.

What should I wear in Dubai?

Dubai marina

Women should dress modestly when in public, in areas such as shopping malls and parks. This means that clothes should cover the top of the arms and legs, and no underwear or swimwear should be on show. It helps to take a scarf or shawl to cover your shoulders when you need to, for example at religious sites.

If you’re at the beach or a swimming pool, swimwear is acceptable.

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travel advisory united arab emirates

  • Travel updates

Flight suspension

Security alert.

  • Operational changes

Flights to Hamburg, Frankfurt and Düsseldorf cancelled/delayed on 1st February 2024.

Industrial action by aviation security staff in Germany has impacted the following Emirates flights on 1st February 2024:

EK060: Hamburg to Dubai is cancelled.

EK062: Hamburg to Dubai is delayed and will depart from Hamburg on 2nd February at 1730hrs local time.

EK043: Dubai to Frankfurt is cancelled.

EK044: Frankfurt to Dubai is cancelled.

EK046: Frankfurt to Dubai is delayed and will depart from Frankfurt on 2nd February at 1130hrs local time.

EK048: Frankfurt to Dubai is delayed and will depart from Frankfurt on 2nd February at 1730hrs local time.

EK058: Düsseldorf to Dubai is delayed and will depart from Düsseldorf on 2nd February at 1700hrs local time.

We’re sorry for inconvenience this may cause.

Affected customers who have booked with travel agents should contact them for alternative travel arrangements. Customers who have booked directly with Emirates may contact their local office for rebooking options.

To receive the latest updates on their flights, customers are advised to ensure that their contact details are correct by visiting Manage Your Booking .

Suspension of flights to/from Tel Aviv

Emirates has suspended all flights to and from Tel Aviv.

We are closely monitoring the situation in Israel and are in close contact with the relevant authorities.

Customers with onward connections to Tel Aviv on Emirates flights will not be accepted for travel at their point of origin until further notice. 

Customers affected by the suspension should contact their booking agents for alternatives, refunds, cancellations or for rebooking their flight itineraries.

Customers are requested to ensure their contact details are correct by visiting  Manage Your Booking  to receive updates.

Reminder on carriage of personal electronic devices

Customers are reminded that they may not carry or check in more than 15 personal electronic devices (PED).

Personal electronic items should be packaged separately, and not taped or attached to another electrical item. For safety reasons, the authorities may confiscate items which are badly packaged or if the number of items carried exceed limit of 15 PEDs per passenger. Please refer to our policies relating to the carriage of PEDs, batteries and other goods that may be restricted due to safety or regulatory requirements here .

Our First and Business Class check-in desks in Emirates Terminal 3 have reopened

The refurbishment of our First Class and Business Class check-in areas at Emirates Terminal 3 at Dubai International airport is now complete. If you’re travelling in First Class or Business Class, or if you’re an Emirates Skywards Gold member travelling in Economy Class, you’re welcome to check in for your flight at our refurbished check-in area.

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travel advisory united arab emirates

United Arab Emirates

Latest update.

Exercise a high degree of caution in the UAE due to the threat of terrorism.


UAE (PDF 781.23 KB)

The Middle East (PDF 1.45 MB)

Local emergency contacts

Fire and rescue services, medical emergencies, advice levels.

Exercise a high degree of caution  in the United Arab Emirates.

Exercise a high degree of caution  in the United Arab Emirates due to the threat of terrorism.

  • Conflicts in the Middle East and Gulf region could affect the UAE.  Monitor local and international media. If there's a security incident, follow the advice of local officials.
  • There's an increased threat of terrorism in the UAE, including threats against military bases. Maintain a high level of security awareness.  
  • Protests or demonstrations may be considered illegal. Avoid demonstrations or protests. Monitor local media and follow the advice of local authorities.
  • Missiles and uncrewed aerial systems (drones) were last launched at the UAE from Yemen in early 2022. Most were intercepted, but there were casualties. Further attacks are possible. 
  • The crime rate is low. Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and bag snatching, occurs but is rare. Drink spiking sometimes happens. Physical and verbal harassment and sexual assaults occur. Avoid walking alone after dark in isolated places, including pedestrian underpasses.
  • Be prepared for extreme weather. Between June and September, temperatures can exceed 50°C. Sand and dust storms are also common. In extreme heat, stay out of the sun and drink plenty of water.
  • Many areas of the Gulf are sensitive to security issues and territorial disputes. There's also a risk of piracy. If you're planning sea travel, refer to the International Maritime Bureau’s piracy reports.

Full travel advice:  Safety

  • Cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) have been reported. Avoid contact with camels and products contaminated with camel secretions.

Waterborne, foodborne, parasitic and other infectious diseases sometimes occur. Get medical advice if you develop a fever or diarrhoea.

  • Red algae or 'red tide' may sometimes affect beaches. This can cause skin and eye irritations, as well as breathing problems. Don't swim in affected water.
  • The standard of public medical facilities in major cities is adequate. However, services might not be available in remote areas. You may have to pay upfront before treatment.

Full travel advice:  Health

  • If you have any unresolved criminal charges in the UAE,  including unpaid debts,  authorities may detain you on arrival, even if you're in transit.
  • Many things that are acceptable in Australia are illegal in the UAE. It's illegal to insult Islam, the UAE, the royal families/government officials or the UAE flag. Same-sex relations are illegal, and same-sex marriage is not recognised. Familiarise yourself with local rules before you go. 
  • There's a zero tolerance for illegal drugs and drug-related offences. Penalties for drug offences include the death penalty or life imprisonment.
  • It's illegal to be drunk in public, including at airports across the UAE. It's illegal to consume alcohol in the Emirate of Sharjah (see 'Alcohol' section for more information).
  • Be careful when taking photos. It's illegal to photograph airports and transport infrastructure, bridges, government buildings, embassies and palaces. It's also illegal to photograph anyone or post photos of people or their personal belongings (including vehicles) on social media without their consent. This includes people in the background of photos.
  • You'll need a permit from the UAE before undertaking media activity or bringing media equipment into the UAE.
  • The UAE doesn't recognise dual nationality. We can't provide consular help if you enter the UAE on a non-Australian passport.
  • The UAE has strict dress and behaviour codes. Wear clothing that covers your shoulders and knees. Dress modestly, especially in the Emirates of Sharjah and Ajman, where Islamic law is strictly enforced. 

Full travel advice:  Local laws

  • You won't be allowed to enter the UAE if you have 'XX' in your birthdate in your Australian passport. It must show a day, month and year. Your Australian passport must also include your first name and last name.
  • Tourist visas are issued on arrival in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Visit the  UAE Federal E-Governmental Portal  for information regarding visas to the UAE.
  • See the latest information for travelling to, from or connecting through Dubai .
  • See the latest information for travelling to, from or connecting through  Abu Dhabi.
  • If you're travelling on a Diplomatic or official passport, you must obtain a visa before travelling.
  • Emergency passports are not accepted for entry to the UAE. 
  • Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. You should contact the nearest embassy or consulate of the UAE for the latest details. 

Full travel advice:  Travel

Local contacts

  • The  Consular Services Charter  details what we can and can't do to help you overseas.
  • For consular help, contact the Australian Embassy in Abu Dhabi or the Australian Consulate-General in Dubai .
  • To stay up to date with local information, follow the Embassy's social media accounts.

Full travel advice:  Local contacts

Full advice

Civil unrest and political tension.

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

There's an increased threat of terrorism in the UAE, including threats against military bases. Maintain a high level of security awareness.

Rebel groups in Yemen have previously targeted the UAE and neighbouring countries with uncrewed aerial systems including drones and missiles. 

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

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 and must be authorised by the government.

To protect yourself in case of unrest:

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

More information:

  • Demonstrations and civil unrest

Authorities have in the past arrested several alleged terrorists for possibly planning attacks in the UAE.

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

Attacks could occur at any time and could target:

  • places of worship
  • military sites
  • transport hubs
  • shopping malls and markets
  • other locations visited by foreigners
  • 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. 

Cyber security 

You may be at risk of cyber-based threats during overseas travel to any country. Digital identity theft is a growing concern. Your devices and personal data can be compromised, especially if you’re connecting to Wi-Fi, using or connecting to shared or public computers, or to Bluetooth.

Social media can also be risky in destinations where there are social or political tensions, or laws that may seem unreasonable by Australian standards. Travellers have been arrested for things they have said on social media. Don't comment on local or political events on your social media.

  • Cyber security when travelling overseas

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.

Travel insurance

Get comprehensive  travel insurance  before you travel. 

Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won't pay for these costs.

If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.

If you're not insured, you may have to pay many thousands of dollars up-front for medical care.

  • what activities and care your policy covers
  • that your insurance covers you for the whole time you'll be away

Physical and mental health

Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition. 

See your doctor or travel clinic to:

  • have a basic health check-up
  • ask if your travel plans may affect your health
  • plan any vaccinations you need

Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.

If you have immediate concerns for your welfare or the welfare of another Australian, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or contact your  nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate  to discuss counselling hotlines and services available in your location.

  • General health advice
  • Healthy holiday tips  (Healthdirect Australia)


Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.

There are laws about bringing in certain medications into the UAE. If you arrive with certain medication, you may not be allowed into the country or may be prosecuted. Get pre-approval and the required documents before you arrive.

You can only bring a 3-month supply of medication, whether entering or transiting the UAE.

Authorities have detained or deported travellers for:

  • carrying medication to treat HIV/AIDS or hepatitis
  • testing positive for HIV/AIDS or hepatitis - see  Health

Before you leave Australia:

  • check if your medication is legal in the UAE by visiting the  UAE Ministry of Health website  and downloading the  Annex to Travellers Guidelines  under Resources.
  • some medications require a permit, you can apply for a permit through the UAE Ministry of Health website
  • contact the UAE Ministry of Health if you require more information by e-mailing [email protected] or calling +971 800 11111 
  • if needed, have DFAT authenticate  your medical documents 

Health risks

Middle east respiratory syndrome coronavirus.

Cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) have been reported in:

  • Saudi Arabia
  • the United Arab Emirates

Other countries have reported imported cases from returned travellers.

Avoid contact with camels. Don't consume raw camel milk, undercooked camel meat, or anything contaminated with camel secretions.

Get medical advice if you have a fever, cough, breathing difficulties or diarrhoea.

  • MERS information  (Department of Health and Aged Care)

Other health risks

Dust storms and sandstorms can make breathing issues worse.

Red tide algal blooms sometimes affect beaches. This can cause:

  • skin irritations
  • eye irritations
  • breathing problems

Don't swim in affected water. Check with local authorities about outbreaks.

If there's a red tide alert, follow local warnings. This algal bloom can cause paralytic shellfish poisoning. Avoid shellfish and seafood because they may be affected.

  • Infectious diseases
  • COVID-19  (Department of Health and Aged Care)

Medical care

Medical facilities.

The standard of public medical facilities in major cities is adequate. However, services might not be available in remote areas.

Several private facilities meet international standards. You can find these in:

There's no reciprocal healthcare agreement between Australia and the UAE. Before treating patients, hospitals often ask for:

  • guarantee of payment
  • proof of medical insurance
  • an upfront deposit

You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.

Behaviour that could be considered offensive or antisocial, but not criminal, in Australia could violate UAE law. Anyone breaking UAE laws, even without knowing, may face severe punishments.

UAE law applies to you even if you're only transiting and don't leave the airport.

The UAE is a mostly Muslim country. Local laws closely reflect Islamic practices and beliefs.

Sharia or Islamic courts work alongside the civil and criminal courts in the UAE. This can make legal issues and systems complicated.

Even simple legal issues can be complex and take time to be resolved. Custodial sentences are served in local jails.

If you have unresolved criminal charges in the UAE, including unpaid debts, authorities may detain you on arrival, even if you're in transit.

Legal process

If you come to the attention of UAE authorities, your case will be dealt with by the local legal and judicial system. This differs significantly from Australia's legal system.

If you're arrested, authorities may hold you for a long time before your case goes to trial. UAE authorities can hold your passport and stop you from leaving the country. Even simple legal issues can take a long time to resolve. Custodial sentences are served in local jails.

If you're going to be deported, you'll be in immigration detention for at least 24 hours before being allowed to leave the UAE.

To get a list of lawyers who can represent you, either:

  • download from  Australian Embassy and Consulate-General in the UAE
  • call the Consular Emergency Centre in Canberra - see  Local contacts

If you're arrested or jailed, we will do what we can to help you under our  Consular Services Charter . But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.

  • Arrested or in prison

Laws in individual emirates

The UAE is made up of 7 emirates, each with its own justice system. Laws, legal procedures and penalties vary between systems.

There's a federal court system with a final court of appeal in Abu Dhabi. This is called the Federal Supreme Court. Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah aren't part of this system.

Commercial, civil and family law disputes

Australians are often involved in disputes where local firms or courts have taken their passport. This prevents them from leaving the UAE until the dispute is settled.

You can be jailed or stopped from leaving the UAE for offences including:

  • having a cheque dishonoured
  • not paying bills, including court fines, hotel bills, personal loans and local credit cards

Immigration authorities can refuse you entry if you have a criminal record. It won't matter how long ago the offence took place.

If you travel to the UAE with an active case against you, including an unpaid UAE debt, authorities are likely to detain you on arrival. This applies even if you're only in transit and don't plan to leave the airport. Speak to a lawyer before you travel if you think you might have an unsettled case against you. 

Bail is generally not available to non-residents arrested for fraud. You can be jailed until debts are settled.

If you take part in activities involving local legal matters, get professional legal advice. This is particularly relevant for family law matters including:

  • child custody 
  • child support

Ask a legal professional about your rights and responsibilities.

If you have children or assets in the UAE, get local legal advice about preparing a local will or registering a foreign will.

The UAE has a zero-tolerance policy towards drugs, including for travellers transiting through the country. 

Penalties for drug trafficking may include the death penalty, or a sentence up to life imprisonment.

Penalties for having or using illegal drugs include lengthy jail terms and heavy fines. These laws also apply if you're transiting through the UAE.

If illegal drugs are found in blood or urine tests, this is considered possession. It won't matter where or how long ago you consumed the drugs.

You can be charged with possession if trace amounts of drugs are found on your body, clothing or luggage. You can be convicted for 0.05g or less.

Avoid carrying substances that could be mistaken for drugs or drug equipment. This can include, for example, marijuana-flavoured or branded:

  • chewing gum

Lab testing on suspicious substances could take days or weeks. During this time, authorities could detain you without bail.

  • Carrying or using drugs
  • Ministry of Health & Prevention
  • UAE Government

Media activity

You must obtain permission in advance from the Emirati authorities to undertake media activity relating to the production, transmission or distribution of printed, digital, audio, video or visual information. If you fail to do this, you could be arrested and deported from the UAE.

You can get more information on obtaining the necessary permits to carry out media activity in the UAE and bringing media equipment into the UAE by registering online at the  Media Regulatory Office website .

Personal conduct

Criminal acts.

You can be fined, jailed or deported for:

  • insulting other people, the UAE, the royal families, the local government or local officials
  • disrespecting the UAE flag
  • making rude gestures
  • making inappropriate or offensive comments on social media
  • touching another person without their permission

It's illegal to harass women in the UAE. Behaviour that may offend or be considered illegal includes:

  • ogling or long stares
  • unwanted conversation
  • touching any part of the body

Taking photographs of people, particularly women, without permission can lead to arrest or fines.  This also applies to people you've just met.

Posting photos of people or their personal belongings on social media without their consent can be illegal. This includes people in the background of photos.

Public displays of affection

You can be arrested for intimate public displays of affection, including kissing. This behaviour can attract the attention of local authorities. See Local customs below.

Unauthorised preaching

If you engage in unauthorised preaching or distribute non-Islamic religious material to Muslims, you can be jailed and deported.

If you make offensive comments about Islam either in writing or verbally, you could be jailed or subject to other penalties.

Social media and behaviour online

The UAE has strict laws about online behaviour, including comments.

Online behaviour that may be considered a crime includes:

  • spreading rumours or gossip
  • swearing and insulting others
  • extortion and making threats or accusations
  • posting photos of local incidents, such as building fires or storm damage
  • using a fake IP address, such as a Virtual Private Network (VPN), to commit or cover up a crime

Punishments for these crimes include:

  • deportation

Charity and fundraising activities are closely regulated, including when conducted online and via social media. Make sure charity or volunteer organisations are registered with the UAE Government before you take part.

  • Advice for volunteers

Sex outside of marriage

Heterosexual sex and cohabitation outside of marriage was recently decriminalised in all Emirates except Sharjah, but you must be over the age of 18 years. 

Extra-marital sexual relationships (adultery) is illegal in the UAE. If either person's spouse or parent/guardian files a criminal complaint, then both parties of an extra-marital consensual relationship shall be liable to a jail sentence.

LGBTI information

Same-sex relationships are illegal and may lead to severe punishment, including prison and fines.

Cross-dressing is also illegal.

If you're transgender or intersex, or your gender on your passport doesn't match your appearance, you may:

  • be questioned at immigration
  • be denied entry into the UAE

If you're travelling on an Australian passport showing 'X' or 'U' (indeterminate, intersex or unspecified) in the gender field, you won't be able to enter the UAE.

  • Advice for LGBTI travellers


Prostitution is illegal in the UAE.

Severe penalties apply to:

  • people providing prostitution services
  • customers of prostitution services

Registering births of children born to unmarried parents

If you're unmarried and fall pregnant or give birth in the UAE and wish to obtain a local birth certificate, both you and your partner will need to either get married or you and/or your partner must singly or jointly acknowledge the child and provide documentation in accordance with the laws of your country.

Although a Federal law has recently decriminalized the use of alcohol, every Emirate has its own guidelines.

The Emirate of Sharjah is 'dry' which means the sale or consumption of alcohol is illegal. You can't carry alcohol in your car if you're:

  • driving through Sharjah
  • crossing the border from Oman into Sharjah

There are limits on how much duty-free alcohol you can bring in. These limits are strictly enforced.

Liquor licences

Liquor licences are still required for Residents in Dubai but are no longer required for Residents in Abu Dhabi and other Emirates (except for Sharjah) to purchase alcohol for personal consumption.

A liquor licence is only valid in the Emirate that issues it. For example, a liquor licence issued in  Ras Al Khaimah  isn't valid in Dubai.

Legal drinking age

The legal drinking age in Abu Dhabi is 18 years. However, a Ministry of Tourism by-law means hotels can only serve alcohol to people aged over 21 years.

The legal drinking age in Dubai and the northern Emirates, except for Sharjah, is 21 years.

Drinking in public

It's illegal to be intoxicated in public outside of licenced venues. You can be arrested. Authorities have arrested travellers at the airport for becoming intoxicated on a flight or while in transit.

Be careful if you're using a taxi when intoxicated. If you have a dispute with a driver or vomit in a taxi, you may be:

  • taken directly to a police station
  • charged with public intoxication

If you commit a crime after drinking alcohol, you'll probably be charged with both that offence and with intoxication.

Penalties for alcohol-related offences include fines, jail or deportation.

You must have a valid work permit from the  UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation  for any type of employment.

If you plan to work, sort out terms and conditions or sponsorship before starting. This will minimise the risk of a dispute.

If you get into a dispute, a special department of the UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation can review and help settle your claim.

Your UAE employer may ask to hold your passport as a condition of employment. This is illegal, but not unusual.

An employer can hold your passport for a short time when arranging, renewing or cancelling your visa or work permit. If your passport is held for a longer period, either:

  • make a complaint to the  UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation  
  • get legal advice

If you’ve been a resident in the UAE, make sure you cancel your work visa before leaving the country permanently. If you don't, it may seem like you're running away. In this case, you could be arrested if you return to or even transit through the UAE.

You have to take a full medical exam to get a work or residence permit. This includes an HIV/AIDS test. HIV certificates issued by foreign medical authorities aren't accepted.

Other legal issues

Serious crimes and other types of illegal activities.

Serious crimes can attract the death penalty. Serious crimes include:

The UAE Government has a list of groups it considers to be terrorist organisations .

If you're associated with such groups, you could be refused entry or arrested and detained. 

In the UAE it's illegal to:

  • carry weapons, including pocketknives and capsicum or pepper spray
  • discriminate through speech, written word or online media
  • vandalise religious symbols, rituals or holy rites

Penalties for discriminating and vandalising can include:

  • jail terms of 6 months to more than 10 years
  • fines of up to AED2 million

Law enforcement and military equipment

You must have written approval from the UAE Ministry of Defence to transport law enforcement or military equipment into or through the UAE.

This equipment includes:

  • body armour
  • military equipment
  • police equipment
  • weapon parts and tools

Australians, including those transiting through UAE airports, have been punished for transporting this equipment without written approval. Some have been jailed or deported.

Photography and other hobbies

It's illegal to photograph:

  • people without permission
  • airports and related transport infrastructure
  • government buildings, including embassies

Taking part in some hobbies, particularly around these sites, can break the law. These include:

  • bird-watching
  • flying remote-controlled helicopters or planes
  • plane-spotting 

Register drones with the Civil Aviation Authority of the relevant Emirate before you use them.

Driving laws

It's illegal for residents to drive without a UAE driver's licence once they have residency. Non-residents and travellers must have an International Driving Permit (IDP).

Although common in the UAE, it's illegal to use a mobile phone, eat or drink while driving. 

Other illegal activities include:

  • walking on highways
  • hitchhiking

It's illegal to drive after drinking alcohol. You may be jailed or fined if you have any alcohol in your blood when driving. These laws are strictly enforced in the UAE.

Police must be called to all road accidents, including single vehicle accidents. It's illegal to leave the scene of a traffic accident.

If you have an accident, don't take photos of the other car without the driver's permission.

Australian laws

Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.

  • Staying within the law and respecting customs

Dual citizenship

The UAE doesn't recognise dual nationality.

Children born in the UAE to Emirati fathers automatically become UAE citizens. They must enter and leave the UAE on UAE passports.

We can't provide consular help if you enter the UAE on a non-Australian passport.

Child custody decisions are based on Sharia law. Speak to a lawyer about custody disputes. Find out if your children could be prevented from leaving the country.

  • Dual nationals

Local customs

The Islamic holiday month of  Ramadan  is observed in the UAE. Respect religious and cultural customs and laws at this time.

Avoid eating, drinking or smoking in public or in front of people who are fasting. Seek local advice to avoid offence.

Explore our Ramadan page to learn more, including dates for Ramadan.

Dress and behaviour

The UAE is a mostly Muslim country with strict standards of dress and behaviour. Take care not to offend.

Get familiar with local customs, culture and attitudes before leaving Australia.

Research dress codes for tourist attractions, shopping malls, beaches and other public places. These are often displayed onsite or available on websites.

Dress modestly, especially in Sharjah and Ajman where Islamic law is strictly enforced.

If you're a woman, cover your shoulders and knees.

Get local advice if in doubt about appropriate dress. 

Visas and border measures

Every country or territory decides who can enter or leave through its borders. For specific information about the evidence you'll need to enter a foreign destination, check with the nearest embassy, consulate or immigration department of the destination you're entering. 

Tourist visas on arrival are available in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Diplomatic and official passport holders must obtain a visa before travelling.

For visa information, visit the  UAE Federal E-Government Portal  or the  Emirates  or  Etihad Airlines  website before booking your flight. 

Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. Contact your nearest UAE Embassy or Consulate-General or the local authorities to confirm your visa and/or residency status and for details about entry permits, currency, customs and quarantine rules.

Diplomatic relations between Qatar and the United Arab Emirates were restored in January 2021.  All points of entry between the two countries have reopened.  If you are planning on travelling between the UAE and Qatar, confirm your travel plans with your airline or travel agent.

Other formalities

Criminal activity.

If you have unresolved criminal charges, including unpaid debts in the UAE, authorities may detain you when you arrive. Immigration officials may then transfer you to police custody. This can be the case even if you only plan to transit through the airport. See  Local laws

If you're worried about authorities denying you entry, contact an  UAE embassy or Consulate-General  before you leave Australia.

Restricted items

It's illegal to import:

  • poppy seeds
  • pornographic material 

Importing pork products requires special approvals.

Authorities may examine and censor or confiscate videos, books and magazines.

It's illegal to carry weapons or replica weapons, including used bullet cartridges, into the UAE.

Some countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you're just transiting or stopping over.

Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.

You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than 6 months.

The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport's expiry date before you travel. If you're not sure it'll be valid for long enough, consider getting  a new passport .

Emergency passports are not accepted for entry to the UAE.

If your Australian passport has 'XX' anywhere in your date of birth, for example, 'XX FEB 1980', you will be refused entry to the UAE. Your passport must have a numerical date of birth, for example, '14 FEB 1980'.

Australian passports which have only one name will be refused entry to the UAE. You must have a name in the both the first and last name fields to enter the UAE.

If you're travelling on an Australian passport showing 'X' or (non-binary, indeterminate, intersex, or unspecified) in the sex field, you won't be able to enter or transit through the UAE. You can only enter or transit through the UAE if you carry a passport that shows the sex specified as ‘F’ (female) or ‘M’ (male).

Lost or stolen passport

Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.

Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.

If you're a UAE resident and lose your Australian passport while overseas, contact your nearest UAE embassy. They can give advice on re-entering. Do this before applying for an emergency passport.

If you lose your passport before passing through UAE immigration, you must return to Australia on the next available flight.

Once you're in Australia, you can apply for a full passport. The Australian Embassy can't issue you a new passport if you haven't cleared UAE immigration.

If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:

  • In Australia, contact the  Australian Passport Information Service .
  • If you're overseas, contact the nearest  Australian embassy or consulate .

Foreigners must provide their passports for scanning when checking in to a hotel.

If UAE law enforcement take your passport for any reason, make sure they give you a receipt. You'll need the receipt to collect it later and when checking into accommodation.

The local currency is the United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED).

Currency exchange outlets and ATMs are readily available throughout the UAE. Credit cards are widely accepted.

You must declare cash above AED100,000 or the equivalent in other currencies. This covers all forms of currency, not only cash.

  • Dubai Customs Services
  • Abu Dhabi Airport Customs

Local travel

Driving permit.

If you're on a tourist visa and want to drive, you must get an International Driving Permit before leaving Australia.

Road travel

You're more likely to be killed in a motor vehicle accident in the UAE than in Australia.

Accidents often occur due to:

  • drivers crossing lanes
  • reckless overtaking

When driving, be aware of other dangers, including:

  • roaming animals
  • pedestrians and cyclists
  • drifting sand
  • dust storms

Pedestrian deaths and serious injuries on the road are common in the UAE. Only cross the road at marked crossings. However, still take extra care. Vehicles won't always give way.

Off-road driving can be dangerous. Ensure vehicles are well equipped and properly maintained.

If you're driving in desert areas, travel with at least one other vehicle. Use a GPS and take enough petrol and water.

Land border crossing points may close without notice. If you plan to leave the UAE by road, check the border crossing is open before you depart.

  • Driving or riding

If you're entering the Gulf area by sea, be aware that many areas are sensitive about security and territory.

Maritime boundaries and the islands of Abu Musa and the Tunbs in the southern Gulf are under dispute between Iran and the UAE.

Relevant authorities have inspected vessels and detained and arrested people. Make enquiries before entering these waters.

  • Going on a cruise
  • Travelling by boat

DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.

Check  the UAE's air safety profile  with the Aviation Safety Network.


Depending on what you need, contact your:

  • family and friends
  • travel agent
  • insurance provider

Always get a police report when you report a crime.

Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.

Consular contacts

Read the  Consular Services Charter  for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.

For consular assistance, contact:

Australian Embassy, Abu Dhabi

16th Floor, Nayel & Bin Harmal Tower Zayed the First Street Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Phone: (+971 2) 401 7500 Fax: (+971 2) 401 7501 Email:  [email protected] Website: Twitter:  @AusAmbUAE

Australian Consulate-General, Dubai

25th Floor, Burjuman Centre Office Tower Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Road (Trade Centre Road) Dubai, United Arab Emirates Phone: (+971 4) 508 7100 Fax: (+971 4) 355 1547 Email:  [email protected]

The working week of the Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Consulate-General in Dubai is Monday to Friday. This is in line with local practice.

All visitors to the Australian Embassy (Abu Dhabi) and Consulate-General (Dubai) must have an appointment. Check the Embassy website   for more information, including details about opening hours and any temporary closures.

24-hour Consular Emergency Centre

In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:

  • +61 2 6261 3305 from overseas
  • 1300 555 135 in Australia


Travelling to United Arab Emirates?

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travel advisory united arab emirates

  • Passports, travel and living abroad
  • Travel abroad
  • Foreign travel advice

United Arab Emirates

Entry requirements.

This advice reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British citizen’ passport from the UK, for the most common types of travel. 

The authorities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) set and enforce entry rules. If you’re not sure how these requirements apply to you contact the UAE Embassy in the UK . 

COVID-19 rules 

There are no COVID-19 testing or vaccination requirements for travellers entering UAE. 

Passport validity requirements

To enter the UAE, your passport must have an ‘expiry date’ at least 6 months after the date you arrive in the UAE.

If you have a residence permit, your passport’s expiry date must be at least 3 months after the date you arrive in the UAE.

If you’re travelling through the UAE and not passing through immigration, your passport must have an expiry date at least 3 months after the date you will transit.

Visa requirements

You can get a visitor or tourist visa issued free of charge when you arrive in the UAE. You do not need to apply in advance of travel. Your passport will be stamped with the visa as you go through immigration. It will be valid for up to 40 days.

You can be fined for overstaying your visa. If you want to extend your stay, contact:

  • for Dubai: General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs
  • for the rest of the UAE: Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship

Living and working in the UAE 

If you have entered Dubai on a visit visa and want to start working, you must get a probationary work permit valid for up to 3 months from the Ministry of Labour. If you are caught working on a visit visa, you could get a fine or a prison sentence, and you risk deportation. 

You risk arrest if you have lived or worked in the UAE and return when:

  • your previous visa is not in order - for example if you did not cancel your work visa
  • you have outstanding debts
  • you have an unresolved legal issue

If you have any doubt about your status before returning to the UAE seek advice from a local lawyer . 

If you have any questions on the validity or expiry of your visa, or on how to work or stay in the UAE, contact UAE Immigration directly: 

  • for Dubai: General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs  
  • from the UK: UAE Embassy in the UK  

Residence visas

If you apply for a residence visa, you will have to take a blood test. If you test positive for any communicable diseases like HIV, hepatitis or tuberculosis, you may be detained and then deported, without appeal. Check the health and fitness requirements on the  United Arab Emirates’ government portal .  

When applying for a UAE residence visa, it is common practice for your sponsor’s representative to give their details as the contact information on your application. When your residence visa is issued, update these details using ICP Smart System services . These details are used by the local authorities when they contact you.

Previous travel to Israel 

UAE immigration authorities have advised that British nationals with valid or expired Israeli visas or stamps in their passports should not face any difficulties entering the UAE as long as they do not intend to work. If you do intend to work, further checks may be required and there is a risk that entry may be refused. 

If you are a British-Israeli dual national and have any concerns about entering the UAE, contact the UAE Embassy in the UK .

Leaving the UAE 

If you are subject to a travel ban, involved in legal proceedings, have unpaid debt or are a child subject to a custody dispute, you may be prevented from leaving the UAE.

Vaccination requirements  

At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the vaccinations and certificates you need on TravelHealthPro . 

Customs rules 

There are strict rules about goods that can be brought into and taken out of UAE . You must declare anything that may be prohibited or subject to tax or duty. 

It is illegal to bring pork products or pornography into the UAE. Videos, books, and magazines may be subject to scrutiny and may be censored. 


There are strict rules about what medications can be brought into the UAE. You will need approval from the UAE authorities to bring in medication that the UAE classes as narcotic, psychotropic, controlled or semi-controlled. 

You must request approval in advance to bring in medication. Apply online using the electronic application form on the UAE Ministry of Health website. The UAE authorities advise that applications are normally processed within 5 working days. 

If you arrive in the UAE without evidence of prior approval, the medication will not be allowed into the UAE and you may be prosecuted. For information on controlled medicines or the process for obtaining permission, contact the UAE Ministry of Health on [email protected] or call +971 800 11111. 

In all cases, there are limits on the amount of medication that can be brought into the UAE legally. The Ministry of Health advise you can bring up to 3 months’ supply of medication as a visitor, reduced to one month’s supply if the medication is included in the list requiring approval. 

You do not need to complete this approval process if you are only transiting airside through a UAE airport and will not pass through UAE immigration to enter the UAE.

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Last verified: Thursday, 1. February 2024 at 08:23 AM

United Arab Emirates Travel Advisory

  • Western Asia
  • United Arab Emirates Travel Advice

We advise caution when travelling to United Arab Emirates

Local situation: 3.2 / 5.

We advise caution when travelling to United Arab Emirates. We detected travel advisories from 6 sources for this specific country.

Regional Situation: 3.1 / 5

United Arab Emirates shares land borders with Saudi Arabia and Saudi Arabia . For these countries, the individual warning index is 3.2 (Saudi Arabia) and 3 (Oman).

Current informationen on Covid-19 in United Arab Emirates

There are currently no officially reported cases of infections with SARS-CoV-2 (or Coronavirus) in United Arab Emirates. As reported by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control this morning (~8:30am CET).

There are currently no officially reported deaths related to this disease in United Arab Emirates.


Advice scoring history for United Arab Emirates

Chart of the risk level over that last 200 days. This is the daily calculated travel risk for United Arab Emirates.

Chart of the number of sources over that last 200 days. This is the daily number of advisory sources (of any rating) that have been active on that day.

Note: Changes happening on the 28th/29th of July 2019 are related to a change in the software and number of sources processed.

Rating Details (single travel warnings)

These are the individual advisories published by other countries about the destination United Arab Emirates from a travellers perspective. The scoring of all messages combined is the foundation for the current rating 3.2 out of 5.0 .

Warning Level Icon

This is the general advisory usually covering the country as a whole.

Advisory issued by: New Zealand

Flag of New Zealand

Exercise increased caution in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) due to the threat from terrorism and drone/missile attacks (level 2 of 4).


Advisory issued by: United States

Flag of United States

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 ...


Advisory issued by: Finland

Flag of Finland

Iaktta normal försiktighet - Allmänt taget ett tryggt resmål. Resenärer uppmanas att iaktta försiktighet eftersom det finns en risk för terrordåd i landet. Beakta de muslimska förhållningsreglerna. I landet råder nolltolerans mot narkotika.


Warning Level Icon

Advisory issued by: Canada

Flag of Canada

The Canadian goverment suggests: Exercise a high degree of caution.


Individual rating changes for United Arab Emirates

This is the recent history of individual changes of travel advices that affected the total asessment of United Arab Emirates. Most recent events first.

Changes from August 7th 2020

The total rating for United Arab Emirates changed from 3.1 to 3.6 . Here are the influencing details:

Flag of United States

The United States government increased their existing warning for United Arab Emirates to 4.0 (of 5.0) from the previous rating of 1.0 (by +3.0).

Changes from March 22nd 2020

The total rating for United Arab Emirates changed from 3.0 to 3.1 . Here are the influencing details:

Flag of Canada

The Canadian government increased their existing warning for United Arab Emirates to 4.0 (of 5.0) from the previous rating of 3.0 (by +1.0).

Changes from March 18th 2020

The total rating for United Arab Emirates changed from 2.7 to 3.0 . Here are the influencing details:

Flag of Australia

The Australian government increased their existing warning for United Arab Emirates to 5.0 (of 5.0) from the previous rating of 4.0 (by +1.0).

Flag of Ireland

The Irish government increased their existing warning for United Arab Emirates to 4.0 (of 5.0) from the previous rating of 3.0 (by +1.0).

Changes from March 14th 2020

The total rating for United Arab Emirates changed from 2.3 to 2.7 . Here are the influencing details:

The Australian government issued a new warning for United Arab Emirates with a rating of 4.0.

Flag of Denmark

The Danish government increased their existing warning for United Arab Emirates to 4.0 (of 5.0) from the previous rating of 3.0 (by +1.0).

Changes from September 25th 2019

The total rating for United Arab Emirates changed from 0.0 to 0.0 . Here are the influencing details:

The Danish government issued a new warning for United Arab Emirates with a rating of 3.0.

Flag of Finland

The Finnish government issued a new warning for United Arab Emirates with a rating of 2.0.

The Irish government issued a new warning for United Arab Emirates with a rating of 3.0.

Flag of New Zealand

The New Zealand government issued a new warning for United Arab Emirates with a rating of 2.0.

The Canadian government issued a new warning for United Arab Emirates with a rating of 3.0.

The United States government issued a new warning for United Arab Emirates with a rating of 1.0.

About United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates with its capital Abu Dhabi is a country in Asia (Western Asia), slightly smaller than Maine (82,880 km²). The country is located Middle East, bordering the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf, between Oman and Saudi Arabia. The climate can be described as desert; cooler in eastern mountains. The landscape is flat, barren coastal plain merging into rolling sand dunes of vast desert wasteland; mountains in east. With a population of about 4.62 million citizens.

Flag of United Arab Emirates

Introduction Video

Basic Statistics and Facts

Environmental problems and natural hazzards.

These are problems United Arab Emirates is facing. Environmental issues refer to damages of the nature due to industry and society. Natural hazzards refer to potential dangers originating in nature.

Environmental problems

  • beach pollution from oil spills
  • desertification
  • lack of natural freshwater resources compensated by desalination plants

Natural hazzards

  • frequent sand and dust storms

Top Industries and Agricultural Products

These are the main product industries and agricultural products of United Arab Emirates. This list indicates what this country is good at producing.

  • commercial ship repair
  • construction materials
  • handicrafts
  • petrochemicals

Agriculture products

  • dairy products
  • watermelons

Imports and Exports

These are the main product categories of imports and exports to and from United Arab Emirates.

Export products

  • natural gas

Import products

  • transport equipment

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the current travel advisory for united arab emirates.

United Arab Emirates is currently rated at 3,2 out of a possible 5.0. Collected from 6 official sources. We advise caution when travelling to United Arab Emirates.

Is it safe to travel United Arab Emirates in 2024?

Visiting the country United Arab Emirates is usually fine. The score is at 3,2 Just keep an eye open, obey local rules and you'll most likely be fine.

How many travel advisories do you know for United Arab Emirates?

We currently evaluate 11 official sources each morning. Today, we know of active advisories from 6 individual sources for United Arab Emirates.

What is the current Corona virus situation in United Arab Emirates?

There are currently no officially reported cases of infections with SARS-CoV-2 (or Coronavirus) in United Arab Emirates. As reported by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control this morning (~8:30am CET). There are currently no officially reported deaths related to this disease in United Arab Emirates.

What is the size of United Arab Emirates?

United Arab Emirates has a size of 82,880 km² or 32,000 mi² which is slightly smaller than Maine.

Common Frequently Asked Questions

For non-country specific questions, please check our global F.A.Q.

Travel safety map for United Arab Emirates and bordering countries.

Risk level icon

If you want to embed United Arab Emirates travel warning information into your website or application, check out these tools.

  • Is United Arab Emirates safe to travel?
  • What's the safety situation in United Arab Emirates?
  • Are there security warnings for United Arab Emirates?

Afghanistan Flag

2020-03-10: Integrated data from European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (COVID-19/ SARS-CoV-2/ Coronavirus).

2019-09-01: Added timeline charts for risk level and number of advisories.

2019-07-29: Added two more sources (Finland and Denmark). Affects country ratings.

2019-07-15: South-Sudan was missing and was added today.

2019-05-18: Performance improvements for API users.

2019-03-23: Introduced professional API with more data.

2019-02-13: Added three more sources (Cyprus, Ireland and Malta). Affects country ratings.

Caution October 19, 2023

Worldwide caution, update january 10, 2024, information for u.s. citizens in the middle east.

  • Travel Advisories |
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  • MyTravelGov |

Find U.S. Embassies & Consulates, congressional liaison, special issuance agency, u.s. passports, international travel, intercountry adoption, international parental child abduction, records and authentications, popular links, travel advisories, mytravelgov, stay connected, legal resources, legal information, info for u.s. law enforcement, replace or certify documents.

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