Travel warning for Lebanon: UAE, Saudi Arabia, USA among other countries
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were among countries that are now warning their citizens from traveling to Lebanon. The Saudi move was reported by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA). The Saudis who are currently in Lebanon were advised by the Kingdom’s Foreign Ministry to exercise the utmost caution and contact the Kingdom’s embassy in Beirut for any assistance.
The Lebanon Ministry of Tourism so far is ignoring the issue and has no indication on their website about challenges for tourists. This is bad news for the active travel and tourism industry and efforts to re-launch tourism to the country 2 weeks before WTM.
The travel warning from Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry comes as Lebanese protests enter a second day with protesters calling for the removal of leaders they accuse of looting the economy.
The United States has Lebanon categorized as a category 3 which means “reconsider travel” saying:
Reconsider travel Lebanon due to crime, terrorism, kidnapping, and armed conflict. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.
Do Not Travel to:
- the border with Syria due to terrorism and armed conflict
- the border with Israel due to the potential for armed conflict
- refugee settlements due to the potential for armed conflict
U.S. citizens should reconsider or avoid travel to certain areas in Lebanon because of the threats of terrorism, armed clashes, kidnapping, and outbreaks of violence, especially near Lebanon’s borders with Syria and Israel. U.S. citizens living and working in Lebanon should be aware of the risks of remaining in the country and should carefully consider those risks.
U.S. citizens who choose to travel to Lebanon should be aware that consular officers from the U.S. Embassy are not always able to travel to assist them. The Department of State considers the threat to U.S. government personnel in Beirut sufficiently serious to require them to live and work under strict security restrictions. The internal security policies of the U.S. Embassy may be adjusted at any time and without advance notice.
Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Lebanon. The potential exists for death or injury in Lebanon because of the attacks and bombings perpetrated by terrorist groups. Terrorists may conduct attacks with little or no warning targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities.
The Lebanese government cannot guarantee the protection of U.S. citizens against sudden outbreaks of violence. Family, neighborhood, or sectarian disputes can escalate quickly and can lead to gunfire or other violence with no warning. Armed clashes have occurred along the Lebanese borders, in Beirut, and in refugee settlements. The Lebanese Armed Forces have been brought in to quell the violence in these situations.
Public demonstrations can occur with little warning and could become violent. You should avoid areas of demonstrations and exercise caution in the vicinity of any large gatherings. Protesters have blocked major roads to gain publicity for their causes, including the primary road to the U.S. Embassy, and the primary road between downtown Beirut and Rafiq Hariri International Airport. Access to the airport may be cut off if the security situation deteriorates.
Kidnapping, whether for ransom, political motives, or family disputes, has occurred in Lebanon. Suspects in kidnappings may have ties to terrorist or criminal organizations.
More updates on Lebanon can be found on https://www.eturbonews.com/world-news/lebanon-news/