22 August, 2023

Dubai Laws for foreigner to Consider

dubai laws for foreigner

The laws and rules of Dubai and the other emirates in the UAE are distinctive. While many of these constraints are well-known, there are a few that are less well-known and frequently disregarded. These peculiar laws include penalties including fines, expulsion, and even arrest. Let’s look at a few of these bizarre methods for getting into trouble in the UAE.

Swearing on WhatsApp

The UAE has a strong no-swear policy, and even saying the F-word can be punishable under Article 373 of the UAE Penal Code. Such words are considered to be a dishonour to one’s honour or humility. If you are found swearing, you might spend up to a year in jail and pay up to 10,000 dirhams ($2,157) in fines. Furthermore, flashing your middle finger is seen as an impolite gesture and can lead to deportation. This holds true for both private and public occurrences, as well as for social media and WhatsApp. Swearing or sending inappropriate emojis can result in fines of up to 250,000 dirhams (£53,928), jail time, or expulsion.

Checking someone’s phone

Invading someone’s privacy through social media or computer networks is prohibited in the UAE. A privacy breach occurs when someone accesses someone else’s personal information or transfers images without authorization. In a 2016 instance, a lady in Ajman who transferred her husband’s images from his phone to hers over WhatsApp and accused him of adultery was fined 150,000 dirhams (£32,363) and deported. A minimum six-month prison term and fines between 100,000 and 500,000 dirhams (between £21,563 and £107,816) are the possible penalties for breaking this regulation.

Eating or drinking on public transport

All modes of public transportation, including metros, buses, and pedestrian crossings, as well as their stations, expressly forbid the consumption of food or drinks. You might be fined 100 dirhams (£22) if you are seen eating or drinking.

Carrying foods containing poppy seeds

Poppy seeds are considered a source of opium and are banned in the UAE. Being found in possession of poppy seeds is a serious violation of the law and can result in a jail sentence.


The Islamic Affairs and charity Activities Department (IACAD) must first provide their consent before fundraising for charity causes in the UAE. The UAE’s charity regulations are broken when fundraisers are advertised or donations are requested without authorization. Deportation, penalties ranging from £53,928 to £107,855 and imprisonment are all possible outcomes of this.

Using a VPN

The UAE’s cybercrime laws forbid using a virtual private network (VPN) to access blocked or restricted websites or download copyrighted content. If a VPN user uses a phone IP address or a third-party address to perpetrate or cover up a crime, they may be subject to fines of up to 2 million dirhams (or £107,855 to £431,421) or 500,000 dirhams (or £431,421).

Having a dirty car

Despite the UAE’s regular sandstorms, owning a dirty automobile is viewed as harming the city’s reputation and endangering the public’s health. Regularly, filthy vehicles are impounded and their owners are issued fines and impound costs of 3,000 dirhams (£647).

Washing your car

Both cleaning your automobile “incorrectly” and not washing it at all are illegal. Due to the contamination from unclean water on the streets and drains, washing your automobile in a residential neighbourhood or utilising labourers to wash cars is regarded as a defamation of the city and a threat to the environment. It is necessary to utilise reputable vehicle wash facilities, such as those found at gas stations or in the parking lots of shopping centres.

Taking photos of people without their permission

In the UAE, protecting people’s privacy is a top priority. Without their knowledge or consent, taking images of someone is a serious crime. Sharing these photographs on social networking sites makes the infraction worse. Cybercrime regulations provide that offenders risk jail time of six months and penalties of up to 500,000 dirhams (£107,816). In actuality, the penalties might be far worse, with some tourists possibly facing deportation.