UAE Laws

Dubai Laws You Need To Know

If you're a foreign tourist in Dubai, you should be aware of Dubai laws in order not to fall into serious legal trouble in the United Arab Emirates.

If you’re a foreign tourist in Dubai you should be aware of local laws in order not to fall into serious trouble in the United Arab Emirates.

Dubai is, no doubt, a wonderful place to visit or to live. But, you must be aware of Do and Don’t of the United Arab Emirates.

Here, I am informing you about “Don’t” in Dubai.

Drinking Alcohol in Dubai

1. It is illegal to be intoxicated in public or to drink alcohol in public; if you’re intoxicated, always hire a taxi directly to your hotel or apartment. Non-Muslim residents in the UAE can acquire a license to drink alcohol at home and in licensed places. Alcohol licenses are only valid in the Emirate where it is issued. Non-Muslim residents should also get a permit to drink alcoholic beverages in licensed places. Muslims are not allowed to drink.

Application forms for alcohol license are available in liquor stores. You will need a minimum salary of Dhs2,000 and your purchase limit is depending on your earning, you cannot buy in bulk. Driving while you’re under the influence of alcohol is a very serious crime in the United Arab Emirates. Drink-driving could land you immediately in jail.

Shaking Hands

2. Don’t shake your hands with an Emirati woman if she doesn’t offer.

Prohibited Photography in UAE

3. Don’t photograph women or anyone without their consent even if they’re appearing behind you in your selfies or photography except if the picture is captured at a public event. Don’t photograph someone’s properties or cars unless you have their permission.

4. Don’t photograph government buildings, military facilities, ports or airports, police stations, Sheikhs’ places or certain bridges.

Misuse of Social Media in UAE

5. Don’t use the social media for political or racial or religious or sectarian criticism. Don’t share news links on Facebook or Twitter without reading them. Don’t post critical comments. Posting critical material of companies or any individual or related to any incidents in the UAE is the punishable crime. Abusing or ridicule the country or its authorities may be subject to punishment under UAE law.

Taking Drugs in UAE

6. Don’t be stupid for drugs. The law of the United Arab Emirates is very strict, includes death penalty or life in jail. UAE airports have excellent technology, so transiting passengers carrying drugs may be arrested even with small amount of drugs.  Some herbal highs, like Spice, are also illegal. The UAE authorities count the presence of drugs in the bloodstream as the possession.

Homosexuality in UAE

7. Homosexual acts are subject to severe punishment in the UAE.

Sex in Dubai

8. Sex between those who are unmarried could lead to criminal sanctions. Don’t display affection in public, holding hands or kissing in public could lead to imprisonment. It is against the law to live-in-relationship with opposite sex or to live together in an apartment or to share a same hotel room.

9. Importing pornography is prohibited. Videos, books, and magazines may be subject to scrutiny. Such media and websites are banned in the UAE both in terms of access and possession.

Dress Code of Dubai

10. Women should dress modestly when in public area. They can wear skirts to the knees or longer, their tops subsequent to sleeves, their clothes should not be too tight/revealing or transparent.

11. Men should not go out in underwears, this is highly awful to Emiratis.

12. Swimwear only for the beach or hotel swimming pools. Otherwise, you’re at risk of fine or jail.

Rude Gesture in Dubai

13. Don’t protest or use rude gestures in public or online, it could be a cause of the serious trouble.

Warning for foreigners in Dubai

Importantly, you’ve probably heard the stories that foreigners in Dubai are roaming freely with outfits or dresses that are not appropriate for Dubai Culture and laws. Also, probably you’ve heard that people are drinking alcoholic beverages freely, or having sexual relations with an unrelated woman, or sharing the same hotel room with an unrelated woman or with your girlfriend. The reason behind it: no one had lodged any complaint or legal petition against actions done by foreigners.

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Arif Mohammad

Independent Blogger, ECommerce Webmaster & Social Media Marketer. Mudawwana UK Director. Previously in Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi & Riyadh.

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