Dubai: Schools are almost out for the summer and with it, families are expected to leave the UAE for their annual summer holiday abroad.
But before residents leave for their summer break, the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) has cautioned passengers to take precautions and be aware of the cultural differences that may lead to unnecessary problems with the law.
“While your behaviour in the UAE is culturally accepted, people from different countries may have a different interpretation and respond in a negative manner,” said MoFAIC.
The ministry called on citizens to choose their hotel accommodation or place of accommodation that is equipped with safety measures, such as CCTV or a watchman, to avoid residences that do not meet a high standard of sedcurity, and not to leave doors of hotel rooms or apartments open.
Holiday-goers should never let their children wander alone, especially late at night.
Travellers have been advised to avoid carrying large sums of money during their holiday, and were encouraged to use credit cards instead in order to avoid becoming a victim of theft or assault.
“Avoid areas that are notorious for thieves, beggars and peddlers, and do not to live in these types of neighbourhoods,” said MoFAIC.
How to be safe
- Do not burn incense in rooms.
- Avoid chatting online to strangers, and never call them or meet them in private.
Cultural differences to avoid
- Do not give home-cooked food to strangers.
- Do not kiss, hug or talk to the children of strangers.
- Travellers should not show an exaggerated behaviour with their own children. For example, do not kiss them on the lips because such types of cultural differences may be considered as a crime, and could be interpreted as sexual harassment.
- Do not have family disputes in public as a passerby may interfere and notify the local police about the incident.
- Do not carry the identification documents or passports of family members, except for minors, to avoid being charged with the unlawful possession of documents.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on Emiratis to register with the Twajudi service, which can be accessed on the ministry’s website or smart app, called UAEMOFA.
The service allows the ministry and its diplomatic missions to remain in contact with Emiratis in the event of emergencies and crises that might occur in the countries to which they travel.
Emirati travellers can also register in the Musafir programme, a health insurance document that provides travelling Emiratis with coverage in the case of medical emergencies.
If Emiratis visit countries in which the UAE has no diplomatic representation, they can contact the ministry on the following toll-free number in case of any emergency: +971 800-444-44.