Ignorance of the Law is no Excuse in Dubai

Dubai downtown

Dubai downtown
Credit: Pixabay

Dubai: Cradle of Innovation in the Place of History and Religious Rule.
Dubai is an amazing place to visit, that’s why it is one of the top destinations for people on vacations. The reason is quite simple: travelers are intrigued and fascinated by many wonderful aspects of this complex city -from enhanced technology, world’s tallest building, the busiest international airport, to the bewildering mixture of religious rules, rich cultural heritage, and heavenly prospects for foodies.

Dubai is also a cosmopolitan and forward-looking urban centre which is sprinkled with glamour and luxury all over it. It is the city of the future, where soon enough we might see self-driving cars, flying drone taxis, and 3D organ printing.

So it is just common sense to learn more about the magnificent place and be aware of its legislation as in the eyes of a foreigner there are many, let’s say, peculiar laws breaking of which has resulted in penalties or even imprisonment of tourists.  
 
Local Customs and Expectations

Some minor offences like dressing inappropriately may earn you a warning, while others, for example, littering or, strangely enough, using VPN, can lead to quite unpleasant and large fines; whereas other activities can even land you behind the bars in a heartbeat. Let’s go over some such extravaganza. 
 
Common-Law Violations Among Tourists in the UAE

  • alcohol consumption and being drunk in public places: punishment for such behaviour is not limited to penalties, very frequently people find themselves in prison for several months alongside paying large fines;
  • taking photos of locals (especially women), car accidents or aircraft, and posting these images: according to cybercrime laws you can be fined up to 100,000 dollars, jailed for six months, and also be deported. One notorious situation happened to an Australian teacher who posted an image of a car parked across two disabled parking spots to her personal Facebook page, as a result, she was jailed, fined and later deported;
  • swearing and acts of misbehaviour in public: cursing in public is totally against the law. Using bad language can be punished by up to 12 months in prison and a large fine of over 2 thousand dollars. Showing your middle finger will lead to deportation;
  • fundraising and charity: in the UAE fundraising must first be approved by a special department; otherwise, it may result in imprisonment, extremely large fines, and even deportation;
  • public demonstration of affection: this manifestation is prohibited even between spouses. You can still hold hands, but not hug or kiss. In 2010 two British friends were accused of kissing in a restaurant and spent a month in jail because of it. Another Indian couple was sentenced to three months in prison for texting each other flirty messages.

 A Wise Tip to Use

If you consider yourself to be a sensible vacationer, when in the UAE, definitely have emergency legal help such as Dubai advocates & legal consultants on speed dial. Caution is the parent of safety!

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