Earlier this week, several nations cut their diplomatic ties with the State of Qatar, claiming the country supports terrorist groups. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates shut down all air, ground and sea routes with Qatar, and by Monday night, Qatar Airways wasn’t permitted to fly into or over the aforementioned countries.
Now, restrictions are growing even tighter — even for those transiting through the UAE. Today, the country threatened that it would punish anyone who expressed sympathy toward Qatar with up to 15 years in prison and a fine of at least 500,000 dirhams ($136,000), and it announced that it was going to bar entry for Qataris to the country.
If you’re traveling through the UAE, including Dubai, keep this in mind. If you’re caught sympathizing with Qatar, you could spend a long time in a UAE prison. In fact, it might be best just to not mention the country at all if you’re in the general neighborhood.
“Strict and firm action will be taken against anyone who shows sympathy or any form of bias towards Qatar, or against anyone who objects to the position of the United Arab Emirates, whether it be through the means of social media, or any type of written, visual or verbal form,” UAE Attorney-General Hamad Saif al-Shamsi told the UAE-based newspaper Gulf News.