The Public Relations Department at the Ministry of Interior (MoI) has issued an advisory, titled ‘Have a Pleasant Trip’, in view of the travel season. The advisory contains a number of awareness tips under different themes to spread the message of safety and security among people during this season.
These are as follows:
* Official documents
The advisory has urged travellers to ensure that their passports are valid for at least six months and they should obtain a visa on time for the country where they intend to travel. “Some embassies in Qatar require the signature of children aged 10 years or more on the passport,” it notes. One should also confirm the validity of official documents such as the ID card, driver’s licence, car ownership card and debit/credit cards.
“Always keep official documents and personal valuables in a safe and secure place while travelling. Do not pawn your passport or ID card to any party in any way,” the MoI adds. In case of any problem, one must immediately inform the nearest diplomatic mission of his/her country and notify officials about the problem in detail.
Travellers have also been advised to arrange for an international driver’s licence as the transit system in some countries does not allow a foreigner to drive unless s/he carries a licence issued by those countries.
“Get the international Customs transit book (Triptyque) as this will serve as a guarantor before the Customs authorities of countries through which you pass or stop during your journey. Some Arab states require the Triptyque for passing through their territory,” the MoI notes, adding that one should keep a copy of the passport and visa as this may help in case the originals go missing. This may be done by saving copies of both in one’s email.
Travellers should also collect the address and telephone numbers of the embassies/consulates of their country located in their travel destinations. This will help them in case of any emergency, the advisory adds.
* Securing the house before travel
The MoI has advised travellers to ensure that they lock the doors of their house properly by using one or more high-quality locks. They must not leave behind money, jewellery or other valuables inside and instead deposit them in a bank. “Before leaving the house, please switch off the electric switchboard, gas pipelines and the main water valve,” the advisory states.
People could also request their relatives or neighbours to pass by their house at intervals during the travel period to ensure their safety.
* Awareness and caution during travel
The ministry has advised travellers to be extra cautious about the situation around them – at hotels, airports, markets, etc – in order to ensure their personal security and safety. “Please avoid mingling with unknown persons while travelling,” the advisory states. “Please avoid carrying jewellery or any valuables unnecessarily with you during the travel period. Keep your money in a purse and ensure it is available at its place constantly.”
Travellers should also avoid using illegal taxis and visiting suspicious localities, the MoI points out. They should act as ambassadors of their country, follow the rules and regulations of the host country as well as aviation laws, and not carry prohibited items.
If accompanied by domestic workers, the sponsor must enquire about their visas and relevant procedures in this regard. Further, the advisory has reminded travellers to “carry currencies consistent with instructions of the host country” and excessive cash is required to be declared before Customs officers.
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