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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

State Depts. travel advisory for UAE !

Lou Dobbs asked a question that we all need to ask those that keep telling us the United Arab Emirates is our friend!

Aired 2/22/06

The Bush administration has stated repeatedly that the United Arab Emirates is a reliable partner in the war on radical Islamist terrorists. But if the UAE is such a stable, dependable friend of the United States, then why is the United States State Department warning Americans on the dangers of traveling to the United Arab Emirates?

The State Department says in its current travel advisory, "Americans in the United Arab Emirates should exercise a high level of security awareness. Americans should maintain a low profile and vary routes and times for all required travel."

That's right, our State Department issuing a travel advisory for the United Arab Emirates, the owner of DP World that would take over operation of terminals at six major U.S. ports.

The United States, of course, is not the only government concerned about its citizens' welfare in the United Arab Emirates. Britain advises its citizens to "avoid large gatherings" and "be aware of the threat of terrorism."
The Australian government says, "We continue to receive reports that terrorists are planning attacks against Western interests in the Unite Arab Emirates."
Canada is currently advising its citizens on the threat of terrorist attacks in the UAE as well.
In our poll question tonight, we ask: Do you feel more or less confident because President Bush says he didn't know about the port deal until members of Congress objected after the deal was approved?

More confident
118 votes
Less confident
8767 votes
Total: 8885 votes

Cast your vote at

U.S. State Dept. statement for travel to UAE
(NOTE: You MUST read how "western" this place is!)

SAFETY AND SECURITY: Americans in the United Arab Emirates should exercise a high level of security awareness. The Department of State remains concerned about the possibility of terrorist attacks against U.S. citizens and interests throughout the world. Americans should maintain a low profile, vary routes and times for all required travel, and treat mail and packages from unfamiliar sources with caution. In addition, U.S. citizens are urged to avoid contact with any suspicious, unfamiliar objects, and to report the presence of the objects to local authorities. Vehicles should not be left unattended, if at all possible, and should be kept locked at all times. U.S. Government personnel overseas have been advised to take the same precautions. In addition, U.S. Government facilities may temporarily close or suspend public services from time to time as necessary to review their security posture and ensure its adequacy.

Taking photographs of potentially-sensitive military or civilian sites, and/or engaging in mapping activities, especially mapping which includes the use of GPS equipment, without coordination with UAE authorities, may result in arrest, detention and/or prosecution by local authorities.

Country-wide traffic laws impose stringent penalties for certain violations, particularly driving under the influence of alcohol. In the UAE, there is zero tolerance for driving after consumption of alcohol. Penalties may include hefty jail sentences and fines and, for Muslims (even those holding U.S. citizenship), lashings.

Persons involved in an accident in which another party is injured automatically go to jail until the injured person is released from the hospital. Should a person die in a traffic accident, the driver of the other vehicle is liable for payment of compensation for the death (known as "dhiyya"), usually the equivalent of 55,000 U.S. dollars. Even relatively-minor accidents may result in lengthy proceedings, during which both drivers may be prohibited from leaving the country.

Codes of behavior and dress in the UAE reflect the country's Islamic traditions and are more conservative than those of the United States. Visitors to the UAE should be respectful of this conservative heritage, especially in the Emirate of Sharjah where rules of decency and public conduct are strictly enforced. Female travelers should keep in mind the cultural differences among the many people who coexist in the UAE and should be cognizant that unwitting actions may invite unwanted attention to them. Isolated incidents of verbal and physical harassment of Western women have occurred. Victims of harassment are encouraged to report such incidents to the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi or the Consulate General in Dubai.

Legislation enacted in January 1996 imposes the death sentence for convicted drug traffickers. Some drugs normally taken under a doctor's supervision in the United States, and even some over-the-counter U.S. drugs and medications, are classified as narcotics in the UAE and are illegal to possess.

Drinking or possession of alcohol without a Ministry of Interior liquor permit is illegal and could result in arrest and/or fines and imprisonment.

Religious proselytizing is not permitted in the UAE. Persons violating this law, even unknowingly, may be imprisoned.


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