The UK’s foreign travel advice for the United Arab Emirates has been updated with a warning urging holidaymakers to ‘show respect’ while visiting the country. Dubai is a hotspot for British tourists and has proved a popular destination for holidaymakers for years due to its luxurious lifestyle, remarkable architecture and warm climate.
On the UK Government website, the foreign travel advice for the United Arab Emirates was updated this week, with a warning for those set to visit imminently. Updated on 27 May, the guidance now states that visitors to the UAE should ‘show respect’.
This comes after the death of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, on 13 May, aged 73. Until 22 June, the country is observing a period of mourning, and the Gov.uk website states that “residents and visitors to the UAE should show respect during this time.”
The advice continues with “If you are a British citizen and require urgent assistance during this time, please call 02 610 1100 or 04 309 4444.” Sheikh Khalifa’s name is immortalised in history after having the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, named after him.
After becoming president in 2004, the pro-Western moderniser was known for aligning the Gulf State closer to the US and its allies. During the 2007/2008 financial crisis, he also bailed out debt-ridden Dubai and oversaw a large portion of the country’s economic growth.
Eventually, he was forced to step away from day-to-day duties with regards to running the country after suffering a stroke and undergoing emergency surgery. During the latter part of his life, his half-brother, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, became de-factor ruler.
In 2018, Forbes named Khalifa in its list of the world’s most powerful people. Following his death, as well as a 40-day period of mourning, with flags at half staff, the UAE also announced a three-day suspension of work across the government and private sector.
State mourning was also announced in neighbouring Arab countries, such as Bahrain, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar and Jordan.