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Things You Might Not Realize Could Get You in Trouble in the UAE

Things You Might Not Realize Could Get You in Trouble in the UAE blog by S & S Lawyers that is the leading law firm in sharjah, UAE consisting of experienced lawyers and advocates in Sharjah that provides high quality legal services to groups and individuals to help them with legal matters, including arbitration, civil, criminal law and crimes, real estate, personal status, and as well free legal consultation.

A muslim country like the UAE, it is important to take extra measures especially when it comes to the existing laws whether they’re minor or major and a muslim country has its obvious rules and regulations that even expatriates are already aware of - such as no displaying of public affection, no drinking in public and no indecent clothing.

According to the legal professionals from S & S lawyers. There are things you should definitely be aware of if you’re going to live in the UAE and there are things from the original country of some of us that we might be doing that are actually against the law in the UAE and it’s important to know that.

Let’s take a look of some of the things you don’t realize that might get you in trouble in the UAE.

1. Sharing Photos of Accidents

The UAE’s Ministry of Interior says that snapping photos or videos of traffic accidents and circulating them on social media platforms is a violation of the law, the same goes to posting images or videos of aviation accidents and those that are found guilty could face a life imprisonment and/or a fine between Dhs50,000 and Dhs3 million, as well as deportation.

A legal expert says that sharing these photos is actually considered a break of several articles of law, including the obstruction of justice or an ongoing investigation. Do not do this to avoid facing criminal and civil liability.

Snapping photos or videos doesn’t just apply for accidents but also for things that are invading the privacy of an individual or organization, one thing one should not do is take photos or videos of people or properties without their permission, this is a part of the cybercrime law within Federal Decree Law No. 34 of 2021 and is a breach of online privacy.

2. Swearing in WhatsApp Messages

Dropping the F-bomb in public is against the law, as well as using abusive language in WhatsApp messages which also includes the “middle finger” emoji. Even though the UAE Federal Law on combating cyber crimes is relatively new, it contains severe punishments that could lead to imprisonment and hefty fines with anyone being found guilty of committing any of the crimes listed in the law also faces deportation.

Article 20 clearly states that slander, using abusive language or insulting another person or entity using a computer network or any information technology means is a punishable crime.

In 2015, a man was fined Dhs3000 for swearing at a colleague over WhatsApp messenger, the content of the message was not made public but it was described as “insulting words”, but prosecutors later appealed the verdict saying that the man should face a fine of Dhs250,000 or imprisonment.

3. Spreading Rumors

Gossip is normalized in most countries and while its normal, it's also important to know if they’re facts or not because spreading false information could land you in jail for up to three years, with a fine of up to Dhs1 Million - the penalty can be imposed on those who knowingly spread misinformation that could harm the public interest or disturb the peace.

The law that deals with this specifically aims to avoid chaos and public disorder.

4. Taking Photos of Planes

As tourists and people living in the modern world, taking photos of planes to post on social media platforms or simply to commemorate such happening by snapping your favorite aircraft is actually breaking the law. It’s also important to note that taking photos of other restricted areas like military buildings, palaces and courts could land you in jail for at least up to three months, or a fine of up to Dhs5000.

According to legal experts, you will actually find similar laws and regulations which address the issue of entering or photographing restricted areas in most countries. We are living in a time where we have to be extra cautious of similar crimes and assist the authorities in ensuring the safety of the public.

5. Checking Someone’s Phone

Relationships don't matter when it comes to invading privacy, so checking someone’s phone (that includes your partner) without their permission could land you in legal hot water. A steep fine of between Dhs50,000 and Dhs100,000 or imprisonment will be waiting for you for accessing any information system with a password acquired without permission from its original owner.

You could be facing a minimum of six months in jail or a fine between Dhs300,000 and Dhs500,000 if there is a criminal intent.

The Bottom Line

All countries have their own laws that each individual must take seriously and follow to avoid facing legal troubles, but in order to follow them you need to be aware of them first. The rules we’ve listed above we hope have helped you understand the country of UAE more, we’ve created this article to raise awareness in the country of what you should and should not do.

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