UAE airlines have been affected by decisions from the USA to ban portable electronics devices from the cabin.
The White House confirmed that, among other airlines and countries, Emirates and Etihad flights from Dubai and Abu Dhabi will be subject to more intense security checks on flights entering the US, effective immediately.
As a result, all portable electronics larger than a smartphone will be banned from being taken on board, and will instead be consigned to hold luggage. The decision, according to the White House press secretary, is in response to increased security threats facing America.
The UAE joins a list of nine other countries around the Middle East and North Africa on the USA’s list. The UK followed suit in imposing a ban on larger devices in the cabin, but the UAE is not one of the countries facing stricter security conditions.
Banned from the cabin include any devices larger than 16cm x 9.3cm. Smartphones are included in that catchment, but most devices on the market are smaller than the dimensions stated. All tablets, laptops, games consoles, DVD players and other personal electronics devices will be consigned to hold luggage.
All affected airlines have been notified by the respective governments, and have until the end of this weekend (Saturday March 25) to impose the new measures.
Dubai Airports confirmed to Time Out Dubai it has received notification from the Transport Security Administration, and clarified the situation for passengers soon to be travelling from DXB.
"Dubai Airports has received confirmation from GCAA of a TSA directive banning electronic devices larger than a smart phone, such as laptop computers, iPads and camera equipment but excluding medical equipment, as carry-on luggage on board flights bound for the US, effective as of March 25,” it said in a statement. “This applies to originating and connecting passengers. Dubai Airports adheres to all regulatory directives and is communicating the change to its customers via its website and social media channels."
On a lighter note, Emirates quickly responded to the news by showing off its in-flight entertainment service.
Affected airports for routes to the US:
• Mohammed V International, Casablanca, Morocco
• Ataturk Airport, Istanbul, Turkey
• Cairo International Airport, Egypt
• Queen Alia International, Amman, Jordan
• King Abdulaziz International, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
• King Khalid International, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
• Kuwait International Airport
• Hamad International, Doha, Qatar
• Abu Dhabi International, United Arab Emirates
• Dubai International, United Arab Emirates
Affected countries travelling to the UK:
• Saudi Arabia