Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

ALERT - COVID-19 - Do not travel overseas at this time. Due to the difficulty travellers are experiencing returning home, New Zealanders overseas need to take steps to stay safely where they are and shelter in place....Read more

ALERT - COVID-19 - Do not travel overseas at this time. Due to the difficulty travellers are experiencing returning home, New Zealanders overseas need to take steps to stay safely where they are and shelter in place....Read more

  • Reviewed: 19 March 2020, 13:53 NZDT
  • Still current at: 14 August 2020

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COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
There have been confirmed cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Qatar.

Local authorities in countries and territories with confirmed cases of COVID-19 may impose containment measures including travel restrictions and quarantine requirements to prevent the spread of the virus.

Such measures may be imposed at short notice and specific details may change rapidly, including where and to whom they apply to and for how long. All travellers should stay informed of measures being taken by authorities in the areas they are travelling to. We recommend that all travellers consult the official website or the nearest embassy or consulate of your country or territory of destination to find out about any border controls and other measures that may apply to you.

For information on countries and territories which have COVID-19 related border restrictions affecting foreign nationals, including travellers in transit, please check the International Air Transport Association (IATA) website before you travel.  IATA provides a comprehensive list of all countries and territories that have imposed COVID-19 related border restrictions and is being continually updated.

As part of its response to managing the COVID-19 outbreak, the New Zealand Government has some temporary travel restrictions in place in New Zealand. Please refer to the New Zealand Ministry of Health website for up to date information.

For further travel advice and information about COVID-19, please see our webpage here. We encourage all New Zealanders living and travelling overseas to register with us.

 

Regional tensions
On 3 January 2020, an Iranian military commander and Iraqi paramilitary leaders were killed in a U.S. airstrike near Baghdad International Airport.

The security situation in the Middle East region is unpredictable and may become increasingly volatile.

Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates have suspended all flights to and from Qatar from 6 June 2017 until further notice. Qatar has also suspended all flights to and from these destinations. New Zealanders travelling between Qatar and Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, or from New Zealand via Qatar to these destinations, are advised to contact their airline or travel agent to see if their bookings are affected and make alternative travel arrangements to reach their destination if necessary.

Normal entry requirements continue to apply for New Zealand passport holders for transit and entry to the United Arab Emirates, regardless of whether you also hold a Qatari residency. 

Terrorism
Terrorists have, and continue to threaten to carry out attacks in the Gulf region. These include references to attacks on Western interests, including residential compounds, as well as places of worship, military, oil, transport and aviation interests. 

New Zealanders in Qatar are advised to maintain a high level of personal security awareness, particularly in public and commercial areas known to be frequented by foreigners. 

Civil unrest
New Zealanders in Qatar are advised to avoid any protests and demonstrations, as even those intended as peaceful have the potential to turn violent. 

Local travel and maritime safety
Travellers entering the Gulf area by sea should be aware that many areas of the Gulf are highly sensitive, including near maritime boundaries and the islands of Abu Musa and the Tunbs in the southern Gulf. Vessels entering these areas have been detained and inspected. Mariners are advised to make thorough enquiries with local authorities before entering these waters or visiting  ports. 

General travel advice
It is recommended that New Zealanders travelling to Qatar familiarise themselves with local laws and customs. There are serious penalties for acts that may not be illegal or inappropriate in New Zealand.

New Zealanders are advised to respect religious and social traditions in Qatar to avoid offending local sensitivities. Modesty and discretion should be exercised in both dress and behaviour, particularly in relation to personal conduct and sex and relationships.

Female visitors are advised to take extra care when travelling alone, especially at night. Men have been known to occasionally verbally and physically harass women on their own.

Obscene language or gestures, defamation, behaviour that disrespects the Government, local culture or Islam, and alcohol-related offences may result in complaints and charges being laid by local authorities. This includes offence caused via online mediums, and taking photos of people without their permission.  

New Zealanders travelling or living in Qatar should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air. 

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

Travel tips


The New Zealand Embassy Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates is accredited to Qatar

Street Address Level 25, Suite 2503, International Tower, Capital Centre, Abu Dhabi, UAE Postal Address PO Box 62292, Abu Dhabi Telephone +971 2 496-3333 Fax +971-2-496-3300 Email nzembassy.abu.dhabi@mfat.govt.nz Web Site http://www.mfat.govt.nz/united-arab-emirates Hours Sun - Thu 0830-1600 Notarial Services: Mon and Wed 0900-1200 hrs, and Thu 1330-1530 (by appointment only) Note Facebook: @nzembassyuae Twitter: @nzinuae

See our regional advice for the Middle East

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Accredited New Zealand Embassy United Arab Emirates

Street Address
Level 25, Suite 2503, International Tower, Capital Centre, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Telephone: +971 2 496-3333

Fax: +971-2-496-3300

Email: nzembassy.abu.dhabi@mfat.govt.nz

Website: http://www.mfat.govt.nz/united-arab-emirates

Hours: Sun - Thu 0830-1600 Notarial Services: Mon and Wed 0900-1200 hrs, and Thu 1330-1530 (by appointment only)

Related advice from other countries

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