Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

  • Reviewed: 30 March 2017, 13:25 NZDT
  • Still current at: 18 July 2018

High Risk

There is a high risk to your security in Bangladesh due to the heightened threat of terrorism and uncertain security situation. We advise against all tourist and other non-essential travel to Bangladesh.

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There is an ongoing threat of terrorism in Bangladesh. There have been a number of deadly attacks in recent years, including fatal attacks targeting foreigners.

Recent attacks include:
-       On 25 March 2017, two explosions in the north-eastern city of Sylhet during a counter-terrorism operation killed 6 people and injured more than 50 others.
-       On 24 March 2017, a suicide bombing occurred at a checkpoint near Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka.
-       On 7 July, an attack near an Eid gathering in Kishoreganj killed 3 people and injured many more.
-       On 1 July 2016, gunmen attacked a cafe in Dhaka’s Gulshan 2 district killing 22 people, including 17 foreigners. Reports suggest the attack deliberately targeted foreign nationals.

Further attacks in public places and targeting foreigners are possible. Terrorist groups, including the Islamic State of Iraq (ISIL) and Al Qaeda in the Indian Sub-continent (AQIS), have claimed responsibility for previous attacks and continue to make threats to conduct further attacks in Bangladesh, including against foreigners. Other targets have included religious minority groups, secular activists, academics and members of the LGBTI community.

New Zealanders throughout Bangladesh are advised to be vigilant at all times, particularly in public places and stay informed of potential risks to safety and security by monitoring the media and other local information sources. You should follow any advice or instructions issued by the local authorities. We recommend exercising caution around potential attack targets such as locations where foreign nationals gather such as hotels, bars, restaurants, nightclubs, markets, shopping malls, conference centres, educational facilities, places of worship, government buildings, embassies and public transport hubs.

Civil Unrest/Political Situation
Bangladesh has experienced periods of political unrest in the past. Nationwide strikes (hartals), demonstrations, and localised industrial disputes are common.  This civil unrest often escalates into violence, causing deaths, injuries and significant property damage.

The political situation in Bangladesh remains volatile. There have been periodic protests and clashes related to domestic political developments and further unrest and hartals are possible. In early 2015, there was an escalation in tensions that lasted for several months, involving a nationwide blockade and programme of hartals. There were also a number of violent incidents associated with the protests.

Hartals can be highly disruptive and involve the shutdown of all activity, including commerce and communications, within a given area. Transport networks may be blockaded and essential supplies, such as fuel, can be difficult to obtain. 

Small-scale improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and firearms have been used by some protestors in the past and hartals are frequently accompanied by violence targeting public transport or private vehicles moving on roads in the affected area. We recommend avoiding unnecessary travel during these periods and exercising a heightened degree of vigilance.

New Zealanders are advised to be vigilant and avoid all political demonstrations, rallies and large public gatherings as they could turn violent with little warning.  The majority of violent civil unrest in Bangladesh occurs in response to domestic political developments. Dates of national significance may be a focus for protesters and have attracted violence in the past.

Chittagong Hill Tracts region
New Zealanders should be particularly vigilant in the Chittagong Hill tracts region. Politically motivated and ethnic violence is an issue  in the region and there are regular reports of violent crime. In particular, travellers should be alert to the threat of kidnapping and armed robbery in remote areas.

Violent Crime
Violent crime such as armed robbery occurs in Bangladesh. Petty crime, including pickpocketing and snatch and grab attacks, is common and often targets those travelling in rickshaws, CNGs (motorised rickshaws), taxis and other forms of public transport.

The risk of robbery increases after dark.  New Zealanders are advised to avoid walking or travelling alone or taking public transportation after dark.

Piracy is a problem in and around Bangladeshi waters. Mariners are advised to take appropriate precautionary measures in these waters. For more information view the International Maritime Bureau's piracy report.

General Travel Advice
New Zealanders travelling or resident in Bangladesh should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy that includes provision for medical evacuation by air.

New Zealanders in Bangladesh are strongly encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Travel tips

The New Zealand High Commission New Delhi, India is accredited to Bangladesh

Street Address Sir Edmund Hillary Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi 110 021, India Telephone +91 11 4688 3170 Fax +91 11 4688 3165 Email Web Site Hours Mon - Fri 0830 - 1700 hrs

New Zealand Consulate Dhaka, Bangladesh

Street Address 'AVANTI', Apartment No.B4, House No.37, Road No.27, Block-A, Banani, Dhaka - 1213 Telephone +880 (2) 985 6334 Alternate Telephone +880 (2) 985 6335 Mobile +880 173 004 5045 Fax 008802- 9856390 Email

See our regional advice for South Asia

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Accredited New Zealand High Commission India

Street Address
Sir Edmund Hillary Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi 110 021, India

Telephone: +91 11 4688 3170

Fax: +91 11 4688 3165



Hours: Mon - Fri 0830 - 1700 hrs

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