The United Arab Emirates
The UAE is under a threat of terrorist attacks, the FCDO has warned its people. AFP / KARIM SAHIB AFP / KARIM SAHIB

The UK Foreign Office has warned people about possible terrorist attacks in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and other emirates of the UAE in the coming days amid the unrest in the Gulf region.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) regularly provides updates for people travelling abroad. The UK Foreign Office has stated that around 1.5 million British nationals visit the UAE every year. While most of those visits are trouble-free, FCDO's recent terrorism assessment has changed guidelines on its official website.

FCDO's latest advisory

The FCDO has issued a warning suggesting terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in the UAE and the "attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners".

The UK Foreign Office has urged its people to be more alert and vigilant at all times citing the "high threat of terrorist attacks globally affecting UK interests and British nationals, including from groups and individuals who view the UK and British nationals as targets".

Since there is a risk of increased threat against "Western interests, including against UK citizens", the FCDO has asked travellers to be up to date with the latest developments via media and their travel advice.

"Terrorists continue to issue statements threatening to carry out attacks in the Gulf region. These include references to attacks on Western interests, including residential compounds, military, oil, transport and aviation interests as well as crowded places, including restaurants, hotels, beaches, shopping centres and mosques. You should maintain a high level of security awareness, particularly in public places and at public events," FCDO wrote in its travel advisory.

'Travel insurance now more important than ever'

The UK Foreign Office also reminded people of a series of incidents that occurred in the UAE last year. A number of missiles and unmanned aerial systems (drones) were launched into the UAE from Yemen at the beginning of 2022, targeting infrastructure and high-profile locations, some of which were in populated areas. While the majority of those missiles and drones were destroyed, the incident led to a small number of casualties.

On January 17, 2022, the UAE authorities confirmed a Houthi attack on a civilian area in Abu Dhabi, which caused the deaths of three civilians. There were two more missile-related attacks on the UAE later that month, but the defence forces intercepted them in time and ensured there were no casualties.

With a high possibility of more such attacks taking place in the popular Middle Eastern destination, the FCDO alerted travellers that it was now "more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover" before taking a trip to any part of the UAE.

FCDO issues warning against France travel

Earlier, the UK Foreign Office issued a travel warning to holidaymakers who were planning to head to France as the Western European country "raised its national threat level to the highest level".

France is one of the most-visited countries across the globe as it receives millions of tourists every year. The European hotspot is also popular among British travellers, as both countries are well connected and easily accessible through trains and buses, apart from flights.

The declared "highest threat level" in France is described as "maximum vigilance and protection in the event of an imminent threat of a terrorist act or in the immediate aftermath of an attack".

The FCDO also alerted about possible evacuations of crowded places in France, including airports, public transport stations and stops, tourist sites, major sports venues, schools, places of worship and large commercial centres.

"Stay alert, be prepared for heightened security checks and follow the advice of local authorities," added FCDO.