Follow the dress code imposed by different European countries, including the ban on the wearing of the burqa, United Arab Emirates has told its citizens. In an advisory to those planning to travel abroad, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation listed the countries and areas that have bans in place on the wearing of the burqa.
In a travel advisory dated 3 July, Ahmed Elham Al Dhaheri, the Assistant Under-Secretary for Consular Affairs urged UAE citizens to "respect the laws of a host country, in order to honourably represent the UAE abroad."
He "recommended" citizens "abide by the ban of burqa [the veil] applied in some European countries and cities, which prohibit the wearing of the veil in public institutions and places, to avoid legal repercussions or fines arising from the violation of this law."
He said that European countries that banned the wearing of the burqa included France, Belgium and the Netherlands. He also highlighted that Barcelona in Spain has banned the wearing of any clothing covering the face since 2010.
The same ban on covering the face applies in the Hesse State in Germany and a number of Italian cities. Al Dhaheri said that the Danish courts have also banned the veil.
For those travelling to Switzerland, the official warned of a burqa ban in Thiessen Canton, south-east of the country. The ban of the veil in public places took effect from 1 July 2016. Those who defy the ban will be fined or face deportation from the canton. The fine imposed can be increased if the violator chooses to continue wearing the veil.
The UAE posted a tweet in Arabic on Saturday, 2 July, urging citizens to avoid wearing traditional clothes "to preserve their safety". Although the tweet did not mention any particular incident, it was thought to refer to an incident in Ohio when a businessman from Abu Dhabi who was dressed in robes and a head scarf was mistaken for an Isis terrorist.
Use credit cards instead of carrying large sums of cash
The advisory also urged those travelling to Europe to be cautious "due to the security developments in some European countries, triggered by the unfolding unrest in the Middle East region, and their fallout, especially the refugee crisis."
Al Dhaheri also urged travellers to use credit cards instead of carrying larges sums of cash "to avoid potential exposure to theft or assault".