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UAE Approves the Draft Law Regulating Non-Muslim Places of Worship

  • Publish date: Wednesday، 31 May 2023
UAE Approves the Draft Law Regulating Non-Muslim Places of Worship

The Federal National Council (FNC) has given its approval to a proposed federal law that governs non-Muslim places of worship. This draft law is designed to promote tolerance and coexistence, and it will be applicable to all non-Muslim places of worship throughout the country, including those located in free zones.

This came in a session chaired by Saqr Ghobash, the FNC Speaker at the parliament's HQ in Abu Dhabi.

Additionally, the draft law suggests the establishment of a committee responsible for assessing and categorizing non-Muslim religious practices, rituals, and traditions in the UAE. The composition, functioning, and responsibilities of the committee will be determined by the UAE Cabinet, taking into account the recommendations of relevant ministries.

A competent authority will maintain a registration of licensed or designated positions and locations of worship, which will contain the information outlined in the executive regulations of the draft law.

The FNC introduced an article on the allocation of rooms of worship, which stipulates the following:

- The executive regulations of the draft law determine the conditions, requirements and procedures for allocating rooms for worship by the competent authority.

- The competent authority issues the final license that grants the place of worship its personal legal status from the date of issuance.

- The proposed law requires every place of worship to open a bank account with a local bank, in line with the rules and criteria set by the law's executive regulations.

Under the provisions of the draft law, individuals who violate any aspect of the law, its regulations, or associated decisions may face fines ranging from Dh100,000 to Dh3 million.