Britain has warned its nationals travelling to the United Arab Emirates of a "high threat from terrorism", raising its alert for the Gulf Arab trade hub that is home to large community of British expatriates.
The British Embassy in Dubai declined to specify what had prompted the change, saying that threat alerts were continually being reviewed based on a variety of information. The previous level referred to a "general threat from terrorism".
"It has gone up a level to high... but most threat levels go up and down," Simon Goldsmith, spokesman for the British Embassy in Dubai, told Reuters. "We are not advising British nationals to change their travel plans. This is not what we are saying."
Several Gulf countries have faced attacks from Islamist militants but there has been no major attack or political unrest in the UAE, a federation of seven emirates that includes the Gulf's top tourism destination, Dubai.
"We believe terrorists may be planning to carry out attacks in the UAE," the British foreign office website (www.fco.gov.uk) wrote.
"Attacks could be indiscriminate and could happen at any time, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers such as residential compounds, military, oil, transport and aviation interests."