Unusual Dubai Laws for Tourists and Residents
- Publish date: Wednesday، 26 May 2021
Dubai is known to be one of the safest countries and for residents and tourists. There are many laws to consider in the city, and sometimes these laws are considered to be ‘unusual’. These are some of the strangest ways you can get arrested, fined or even deported from the country.
Read More: The Best Areas For Rent in Dubai
Read More: UAE Protects Workers Through Long Hours Law
- Swearing on social media
Swearing in public is completely prohibited in the UAE, with the use of the F-word being a crime, as it “disgraces the honor or the modesty” of a person, according to Article 373 of the UAE Penal Code. Swearing is punishable by up to a year in prison and a fine as high as 10,000 dirhams. Flashing your middle finger, which is considered an “indecent gesture” that breaches “a victim’s pride, privacy and/or modesty”, will result in deportation.
This extends to your online activity; using swear words in WhatsApp messages, or on any social media or messaging platform for that matter, breaches UAE’s cyberlaws. This includes sending emojis of the aforementioned indecent gestures. You can face a fine of up to 250,000 dirhams (£53,928), a prison sentence or deportation.
- Checking someone’s phone
This has got to be the strangest yet the safest to know that our privacy matters. It is illegal in the UAE to “invade the privacy of another person” using computer networks or social media. This can lead to a a minimum six-month jail sentence and a fine of between 100,000 and 500,000 dirhams.
- Using VPN
As per the UAE’s cybercrime laws, VPN users can face fines ranging between 500,000 and 2 million dirhams, if they are “using a false IP address or a third-party address by any other means for the purpose of committing a crime or preventing its discovery”. So, whether you are trying to access a restricted or blocked site, or downloading copyrighted material, you are risking a hefty fine.
- Taking pictures of people without their consent
This is a very serious offence that has caught out many people in the past. The UAE is very strict about preserving the privacy of individuals, and taking a picture of someone without their knowledge or consent is taken very seriously. This is further exacerbated if you post these images on social media platforms. According to the cybercrime laws, you can be fined up to 500,000 dirhams and jailed for six months for the offence, although in practice the sentences are much harsher, with various visitors having been deported.
Image Source: Visit Dubai Instagram, Unsplash