I been in the right place, but it must've been the wrong time
February 3, 2012 1:12 PM   Subscribe

I'm going to Dubai in late April. Should I be worried?

Concerns that Israel will attack Iran in an attempt to prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons escalated Thursday when the Washington Post reported that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta believes there is a “strong likelihood” that Tel Aviv will launch such an offensive in April, May or June.


There are other possibilities. One Iranian says to watch Dubai where 400,000 Iranian expatriates work. Iranians could “shut it down,” the official said. All the officials note that Iran has had a long time to plan its response.

One huge question is what the Iranians would do if they believed that the Saudis or Emiratis were helping Israel. In that case, say U.S. officials, expect Iran to respond against the southern Gulf States and, if the attack is serious enough, expect the United States to move to protect the Saudi Kingdom in particular, expanding the theater of combat.
I'm already booked or I'd probably change the timing. Also, should anything happen would American Express and/or the airline cancel and then reimburse me for the ticket fee? What happens to prepaid commercial airfare in times of war?
posted by 2bucksplus to Travel & Transportation around Dubai, UAE (4 answers total)
Do not let speculative news reports scare you off your travel plans. Dubai (and the UAE in general) is probably the safest possible place you can go in the Middle East. The CIA World Factbook has a piddling section under Transnational Issues, and there's nothing of note on travel.state.gov (which is the first place where histrionic travel warnings get posted). The closest I can find is the bog-standard Worldwide Caution message, which they've been spitting out on cue since 2001, so that means nothing.

Yes, a lot can happen in a few months, but if you're really concerned, just keep your eyes on the actual news - as in, things that are genuinely unfolding on the ground right now - rather than theoretical discussions of what may or may not go down between now and April. Don't let the talking heads spook you.
posted by mykescipark at 1:57 PM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

C'mon over. No need to worry yourself about the talk. If all hell does break loose we can get drunk together.
posted by ambient2 at 10:59 PM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Seconding ambient2.

Iran talks sh*t like it's their job, because it's what gets them maneuvering room in negotiations. But, if you tally up Iranian threats against Iranian actions, one column is pretty heavy and the other one is pretty light. Also, they have no reason to shut Dubai down, because it doesn't get them anything, but talking about it *might* bring the US to the bargaining table quicker if they put on a convincing enough act.

And if I'm wrong, and the Iranians do attack, you'd have a pretty cool story to tell your grand kids.
posted by cirgue at 7:49 AM on February 4, 2012

Keep an eye on the travel advice for the UAE. The FCO also have comprehensive advice that might be worth checking. If there is an option in the US to register your location with the government then do it. Make sure you have appropraite insurance which covers both cancellation of your trip and emergency evacuation if necessary. The UAE is generally safe though and I wouldn't postpone your trip.
posted by Laura_J at 2:20 PM on February 4, 2012

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