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The UAE's Unluckiest Traveler Has Been Found!

27 September 2016

The search for the UAE’s Unluckiest Traveler has come to an end! We asked participants to share tales of the most unfortunate encounters they experienced whilst travelling abroad and the responses were truly fantastic, there were over 300 entries to RSA’s competition. We received a variety of tales ranging from lost luggage, missed or cancelled flights to experiences of theft, natural disasters and bear attacks! The RSA judges have read through each and every one of the unique experiences to select our winner. Some were funny, some were frustrating and some were truly heartbreaking, and rest assured it was extremely difficult to select the most suitable winner! 

RSA Travel Tales

We offered the Unlucky Travelers a chance to win a trip of a lifetime worth AED 30,000 to spend on a dream trip of their choice. Of course, there could only be one winner from our relentless search for the UAE’s Unluckiest Traveler and the winner is.. James Gaubert! After going through all the great stories we have received, we asked James to visit us for an interview as he has been selected as one of the finalists in this compeititon. What James did not know is that we had planned to surprise him and his fiancée and went live on Facebook announcing that he is in fact our lucky (or rather unlucky) winner (Click here to watch the video and see James’ reaction as he walks through the door.)

We’re sharing James’ story from the last time he went on holiday in 2009, right before he relocated from the UK to Dubai. Given the daunting process of moving to a new country, James and his girlfriend had planned the perfect break, an all inclusive two week trip to Cuba. They checked into a beautiful room overlooking the clear blue sea in an amazing 5 star Cuban resort.

James told us: “All was going very well and on the second night of the holiday I decided to take Katy for a romantic walk on the beach, it was dark and I had bought some Chinese lanterns for us to light and set off into the night sky. We walked down to the beach and from here on, it was a complete disaster. I couldn't light the lanterns as the sea breeze was too strong and we had to ditch that idea, then, on the walk back to the hotel I stubbed my toe on a rock . I was in agony, I literally had to hop up to the hotel and sat in the bar with my foot in a big bucket of ice.’

Following James’ unfortunate injury, the hotel nurse informed him he had to be taken to hospital immediately.

He continued: “The hospital was literally on the other side of the island and I was taken there in the back of a van - no seats, no bed - picture darkness! When we got to the hospital - if you can call it that - I was told that it was broken and would need to be put in plaster. Not only did they put my toe in plaster but they put my entire leg, toe to hip in plaster!”

Unfortunately, for the next 12 days, James couldn’t go about any usual holiday activities due to his full leg cast and crutches, which will have been extremely uncomfortable with the heat. And as a result, his holiday was completely ruined and he described the flight back home as a complete disaster!

In interesting twist, James said: “After we returned home and I had the plaster removed at my local hospital they told me that it didn't need to be in plaster at all and that the hospital in Cuba had completely overreacted! Anyway, I then moved over to Dubai to start my new job and life in the sun - 3 months later Katy joined me here - decided that she didn't like it and went home. We split up!”

So, it seems the Cuban hospital had taken James’ broken toe a little too seriously, and his relationship didn’t even work out on his return to Dubai! Following James’ disastrous trip to Cuba, he hasn’t had a chance to take a holiday outside of the UAE since. We’re pleased to hear he’s getting married in October (and not to Katy!). James and his fiancée have been saving up for the wedding all year and hadn’t managed to factor a honeymoon into their budget.

James Gaubert and fiancee  

James ended his entry with “I think I am just destined to not really travel anywhere lol. Thanks so much for reading the story - hope it made you smile - you have to look back and laugh at these things right.”

We’d like to thank James for sharing his rather funny but also very unfortunate story and congratulate him on winning RSA’s competition, we’re glad we have the opportunity to ensure that he is destined to travel once again as insurance is really about second chances and having protection when you need it most! We’re delighted to offer him the prize of a dream trip in the hope that it will redeem his unlucky experience. Perhaps James and his fiancée are now planning the fantastic honeymoon they deserve… though maybe he won’t go back to Cuba!

We wish safe travels to all participants for their next excursion abroad, here's some that deserve a mention...

deserve a mention

Bad luck has surely been demonstrated through these stories but most importantly, we are glad that we were able to raise awareness about the many things that can go wrong and the need for protection. We are happy to see participants realising that it’s never been really about luck but rather preparation. We value each and every experience shared with us and would also like to thank all those who contributed to the campaign. There were so many unique responses and we hope that none of the contributors are put off from travelling again. We hope you consider the importance of purchasing Travel Insurance to protect you and your family from unforeseen circumstances you could experience whilst abroad.