An advisory to citizens of the United Arab Emirates has been issued by the UAE Embassy in Hong Kong, telling those either already living there or planning to visit the country to exercise caution after the explosive protests earlier this week. The Embassy issued the warning via its official account on Twitter, after HK Airport Authority announced the cancellation of all flights on Monday following thousands of protesters engaging in a sit-in at the airport. The Consulate also urged citizens to get in touch via phone, either via the MOFA contact office or the emergency number if the seriousness of the situation worsens. Citizens were also being urged to register themselves via the Tawajudi app.
The pro-democracy protestors chose to flood the airport and use it as a place to stage a sit-in on Monday to make a stand against police violence, resulting in an unexpected shutdown of one of the busiest hubs for travel in the entire world. A number of violent demonstrations have been denounced as “terrorism” by the Chinese government as anger on both sides has begun to escalate. The airport was open for business again as of Tuesday. It is important for travellers to keep an eye on the travel advisories issued by the UAE. Such advisories can be issued for a number of good reasons, such as the recent troubles in Hong Kong or in Jammu & Kashmir, which the UAE also issued a travel advisory for just last week.
Citizens of the UAE who are planning to visit Hong Kong may be rethinking their travel plans in the wake of the problems and the travel advisory from the UAE Embassy, and may also be considering upgrading their travel insurance in the event that they decide to continue with their trip. Travel insurance is always a good idea for UAE citizens choosing to visit other nations, but many people do not always go ahead and take it out, perhaps out of financial concerns. According to a 2018 study, over 50% of travellers in the UAE fail to take out travel insurance when they travel overseas and only just over a quarter take out travel insurance even occasionally.
However, it is always important to do so, even when visiting countries that have not had a travel advisory issued for them, unlike in the case of Hong Kong. Travel insurance policies in the UAE are actually quite reasonably priced. With the number of accidents and risks that are part and parcel of going on a trip, particularly overseas, it seems only prudent to ensure that those risks – which can include the trip being cancelled, having important items documented or stolen, or suffering a medical emergency while out of the country – are mitigated against to at least some degree by having travel insurance, potentially saving thousands of dirhams that can be caused by travel mishaps.