Five Travel Tips for Expats to Remain Safe in the UAE

Photo by Oleg ZhukovUAE Travel

Are you thinking about traveling to the UAE? If so, you should make sure to take certain precautionary steps to stay safe in the country. Whether you intend to visit the country for tourism or business purposes, you should keep in mind to follow the tips mentioned in this article to ensure an incident-free and enjoyable time while in the UAE.

1. Stay Safe on the Road

To start, you need to be licensed, but if you are not from one of a selective list of 36 countries that the UAE considers to have valid driving licences, you will need to apply for one and possibly take a test.

While the roads in the UAE urban areas are generally modern and well built, driving in the country can be rather dangerous. Reckless driving, speeding and running a red light are common incidences. The traffic in the cities is heavy and the traffic accidents are common occurrences. Some of the accidents are fatal. So, it’s important to take precautions when driving on the road. You should take particular precaution when driving in the desert as fog, storms and drifting sand increases the risk of a traffic accident.

Also, you should avoid breaking the traffic rules. Driving recklessly, speeding and red light offenses result in a hefty fine and in some cases even jail time. You could also be detained if you are involved in a traffic accident and the other person gets injured. Determining the fault of the accident is generally a lengthy process during which the individuals are not allowed to leave the country.  

2. Avoid Giving Your Passport to Anyone

Never give your passport to anyone when in UAE. You should not leave the passport as insurance with bike or car rentals. This is the most common way criminals try to steal passports of the expats. The information given in the passport can be used to commit a crime for which you may be prosecuted.

3. Take Particular Precaution During the Ramadan Holiday

UAE is relatively tolerant when it comes to revealing attire. However, expats are required to avoid any suggestive clothing during the month of Ramadan. Keep in mind that it’s forbidden to eat or drink on the streets during the month.  Many shopping centers and hotels offer screened off areas where you can indulge in satiating your gastronomic needs while in UAE.

Watch What You Say

 

The UAE has strick laws regarding what is said about the government. Free speech does not exist here and one wrong word about the UAE leadership or policies could land you with a hefty prison sentence.

 

 

5. Avoid Falling to Scams

The oil-rich Emirati state attracts a large number of the wealthy and affluent people from different parts of the world.  That’s why it’s not surprising that a number of fraudsters are active who try to dupe people by using innovative tactics. From invisible ink scam to SIM card fraud, the criminals use different tactics to try to get away with easy money. So, you should be always on your toes when traveling in UAE to avoid being the target of the criminals.

6. Avoid Disputed Areas

You should avoid the waters of the Strait of Hormuz as well as the islands of Greater Tumb, Lesser Tumb and Abu Musa. There is an ongoing dispute between UAE and Iran regarding these areas. Tourists that arrive in the areas might be arrested and imprisoned in Iran due to a violation of Iranian territories.