Inconvenient as they may be, legal issues are part and parcel of everyone’s life. They are more prevalent than one might assume. Sometimes, people are ignorant of the fact that their behavior or act, which is considered normal in their country, is a crime in others. This mostly happens in Dubai where many people find themselves in trouble after committing an offense which appears to be normal for them.
While there are various well-known laws to consider in Dubai, some of the most common restrictions are often overlooked. You can have legal consultants in Dubai to solve your problem. But, it’s a good idea to research some of the laws and customs to prevent any problems before visiting this dynamic city. So, keep reading this to get some insight into the most pressing legal crimes that people would commit.
Swearing: A heinous Crime
Authorities in Dubai have prohibited swearing in public. The things which are absolutely common in many parts of the world are unacceptable in Dubai. You can get punishment up to a year and a fine as high as 10,000 dirhams (£2,157). That is to say, swearing and making rude gestures are considered as obscene acts. You can be jailed or even deported. You have to take particular care when dealing with the police and other officials.
This does not end here. Even using words like swearing on WhatsApp or any other social media platform will land you in troubled waters. This also includes sending emojis of the indecent gestures as well. You can have a fine of up to 250,000 dirhams (£53,928), a prison sentence or even deportation. Because as per UAE’s cyber laws, these are crimes.
Bringing Drugs or Medicines
Few nations have left this matter to their public while others like UAE have adopted very harsh measures regarding this issue. Watch out especially when you are traveling to Dubai as the emirate has very strict laws related to possession and use of drugs and narcotics. They have a zero-tolerance policy for this. That is to say, possessing drugs can have a standard minimum jail sentence of 4 years.
Therefore, when traveling to Dubai, the best thing you can do is not to bring any medicine with you. Do you want to know the worst-case scenario? Well, it is the death penalty, which is as bad as a worst-case scenario gets. If there is still a need, then check if the medicine is on a banned list. Most importantly, bring the prescription, go to the UAE embassy for attestation and then travel to Dubai.
Photographing: Do’s and Don’ts
This is one of the most serious offenses that has caught out many people in the past. The UAE is very strict regarding the privacy of individuals and taking a picture of someone without their consent or knowledge is taken very seriously. This problem further exacerbates if you post these pictures on social media platforms. According to the cybercrime laws of the emirates, you can be fined 500,000 dirhams (£107,816) and jailed for six months for the wrongdoing, and these punishments are much stricter when they are in practice, as this has led to the deportation of various visitors.
With so many places to visit across the UAE, you cannot resist yourself taking pictures of the views. But if you are a first-time traveler, you need to know some basic rules of photographing in the emirate. Taking pictures of others without their consent is considered deeply offensive and will likely result in a heavy fine or even imprisonment. According to Article 378 of the UAE Penal Code, taking a photo without permission is an invasion of privacy and thus punishable. Some other sensitive areas are
• Government buildings and military sites
• Photos of aircraft without permission
• Sharing photos without permission
Dancing in Public
Although Dubai has many nightclubs, these are private and they have special licenses for operation. You can dance in your room or at licensed clubs. Therefore, dancing in public is an offense. Moreover, this is followed by eating and drinking as well which is completely banned on all public platforms whether they are metros, buses or pedestrian crossings. You can be fined up to 100 dirhams if they find you consuming food and beverages. According to the authorities, it causes disruption for the public and that’s why you can get jail time as well. Even listening to loud music in public areas can land you in jail.
Promoting Charity on Social Media
This is hard to digest but it’s true. Raising money for others is a tricky task in Dubai. Many charities continue to rely heavily on direct marketing tactics. Promoting a charity without government permission is also an offense worthy of being arrested or jailed. Fundraising must be approved by the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department (IACAD).
Otherwise, advertising the fundraising and appealing for donations without consent of the government is a severe breach of UAE’s charity laws. This can lead to imprisonment or fines of between 250,000 and 500,000 dirhams (£53,928 and £107,855). The authorities have deported many people who posted about their charities on social media.
All in all, be careful and read up on all the rules to avoid any inconvenience. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to consider seeking legal help before coming to the country.