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November 27, 2023

Message to U.S. Citizens: Travel to the United Arab Emirates During COP28

The 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference, known as COP28, will take place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from November 30 to December 12, 2023.  U.S. citizens should be aware of logistical challenges due to the large number of anticipated attendees for the event, road closures, and increased law enforcement measures.  U.S. citizens traveling to Dubai during COP28 should remain vigilant and take the following important steps:


  • Sign up for the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive future security notices and to help us contact you in an emergency.
  • Review the U.S. Department of State’s Worldwide Caution, which advises U.S. citizens of the potential for terrorist attacks, demonstrations, or violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests worldwide.
  • Review the Travel Advisory for the UAE, which currently stands at Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution due to the threat of missile or drone attacks and terrorism.
  • Review security messages to U.S. citizens in the UAE, including the most recent message issued on October 27, 2023.
  • Comply with the UAE’s passport and visa requirements; please note UN-registered participants in COP28 must obtain a special COP28 UAE visa before traveling, following these instructions.  (For non-participants traveling as tourists, no advance visa is usually required.
  • Carefully review the Local Laws and Special Circumstances section on the State Department’s travel information webpage for the UAE, which discusses UAE laws and practices related to LGBTQI+ persons, alcohol use, importation of certain medications and substances, possession of narcotics, and other behaviors that could result in arrest or other legal problems.
  • Be aware that, according to the UAE government, protests and demonstrations during COP28 will be permitted only within designated areas at the conference site, and that such activity occurring elsewhere may be deemed unlawful by UAE authorities.
  • Note also the UAE government’s social media restrictions that prohibit the posting of insulting or derogatory material online.


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