November 29, 2023
weird dubai laws


Dubai is the dream destination by holding the position of most popular destination in the Middle East with some weird Dubai laws. Dubai hosted more than 8 million expatriates every year. After all, it has a friendly environment, beautiful beaches, eye-catching architecture, and mouth-watering food. Nothing is perfect! Dubai is one of the major cities of Muslim countries, UAE. They follow strict Islamic laws. But nothing to worry about. Dubai is on the less strict side of following the rules.

Although it is pretty much clear that, United Arabs Emirate is a beautiful country with some well-known rules and regulations. But there are few lesser-known rules to follow that are often overlooked. From Dubai to Sharjah, there are some strangest ways through which you can get arrested. Or maybe fined, worse deported from the UAE.

Thinking, you know all the laws of Dubai, UAE? Well, sorry to disappoint you! In this article, you will find some important laws that are often overlooked. Sink these weird laws in your head, before heading on a Dubai trip.

1. Weird Dubai Laws – Swearing on WhatsApp

Swearing in public is not a tolerable thing in Dubai. It is completely prohibited in the entire UAE country. According to Article 373 of the UAE Penal Code, swearing and using the F-word is considered a crime. As it “disgraces the modesty or the honor” of a person, you might not believe, but by swearing, you can land yourself in jail for one year, or need to pay a fine of up to 10, 000 dirhams ($2,157). Never flash your middle finger in public as it is an “indecent gesture”. That’s not the end of the rules on Swearing in Dubai. Its extends to online activity too, like using swear words in any social media, WhatsApp messages, or any other platform. It breaches the UAE’s cyber laws. If doing so, you can face fines of up to 250,000 dirhams ($53, 928) or prison sentences.

2. Weird Dubai Laws – Checking someone’s phone

No doubt checking someone’s phone is illegal. In Dubai, checking someone’s phone without their permission is counted as an “invasion of the privacy of the person”. You might receive a minimum of six-month prison and a fine of around 100,000 to 500,000 dirhams ($21,563 to $107,816). Many such cases happened in UAE where the accused had to go to jail or pay a huge penalty.  

3. Eating or drinking on public transport

Eating or drinking on any public transport is strictly prohibited. Here any means, all form of transporting including bus, trains, metros and even pedestrian crossings. If you get caught consuming food, you might be charged 100 dirhams or $22. You might find a difficult spot for munching.

4. Carrying foods containing poppy seeds

If you know what poppy seeds mean, you wouldn’t try to use them. For those who don’t know, poppy seeds are the source of opium. It is a banned substance in the United Arab Emirates. Being caught in possession of poppy seeds could be a serious violation of the law and ends up in a jail sentence.

5. Weird Dubai Laws – Fundraising

Raising funds for a noble cause may be a big deal within the UAE. you would possibly know this if you were within the country this Ramadan. However, with several fraudulent cases reported, the govt. has now tightened strings for fundraising. Any variety of donations within the UAE must be approved by the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department (IACAD). Failure in doing so is considered a breach of the UAE’s charity law and may cause imprisonment, fines of between AED 250,000 and AED 500,000 or perhaps deportation.

6. Weird Dubai Laws – Using a VPN

According to the UAE’s cybercrime laws, illegal VPN users can get fined between 500,000 to some couple million dirhams ($107, 855 to $431, 421). If any user uses a false IP address or any third-party address by any means is seen as committing a crime against the cyber law and must be punished. So, whether you’re trying to access a restricted or blocked site, or downloading copyrighted material, you’re risking a hefty fine.

7. Having an unclean car

That’s so weird, right? With the frequent sandstorms within the UAE, you’d think you’d be forgiven for having a dusty car. However, dirty cars are seen to be “disfiguring the town image and public health”. As a result, they’re routinely towed away, with owners being slapped with fines and impound fees of three,000 dirhams (£647).

8. Taking photos of individuals without their permission

This is an awfully serious offense that has caught out many of us in the past. The UAE is incredibly strict about preserving the privacy of people, and taking an image of somebody without their knowledge or consent is taken very seriously. This is often further exacerbated if you post these images on social media platforms. In step with the cybercrime laws, you’ll be fined up to 500,000 dirhams (£107,816) and jailed for 6 months for the offense, although in practice the sentences are much harsher, with various visitors having been deported.

One such case was that of Jodi Magi, an Australian teacher. She was jailed, fined 10,000 dirhams ($2,157), and even deported. Wondering why? She posted a picture of a vehicle parked across two parking spots on her personal Facebook web page.

9. Making and spreading rumors

Possibly the foremost ambiguous offense on this list, anything construed as a rumor is punishable under UAE law. Gossiping, especially on social media, may end up during a three-year jail sentence and a fine of up to 1 million dirhams (£215,754). All these necessary steps are taken to limit the people who cause damage to the public order and social peace. These steps are highly important to stop who causes a threat to national peace. Hence, not only Dubai, entire UAE has very strict laws concerning the spread rumors online.

This was delivered to light after the 2016 floods when photos and videos of the damage caused by the heavy rain and powerful winds were circulated widely on social media platforms. These were denounced as rumors, and it absolutely was declared that discussing the storm and sharing negative photos was illegal.

10. Taking Snaps or Sharing Photos of Road Accidents

Taking pictures generally may be a risky business within the UAE. In addition, as a prohibition against taking pictures of military buildings, courts, and palaces, you’re not permitted to require any pictures of road accidents you see on your journeys. This may set you back between 50,000 and three million dirhams (between £10,788 and £647,262), and leave you in danger of deportation. This extends to aviation accidents: posting images and videos on social media platforms is totally prohibited.

11. Public Display of Affection

Hugging, holding hands, kissing, or petting publicly is punishable within the UAE., and also the law only gets more rigid during Ramadan. There are several arrests in recent years for unacceptable behavior publicly places, especially in parks, which is taken into account as a heavy violation of the country’s decency laws.

12. Weird Dubai Laws – Dressing

A lot has been said and heard about this, isn’t it? Women within the UAE must be dressed modestly, with their arms, legs, and head covered. Men aren’t allowed to wear sleeveless publically. Cross-dressing is strictly prohibited.

13. Washing your car

If you don’t wash your cars properly, you might get into some serious trouble, before you can say the word “oh no”. You’re prohibited from washing your car in residential areas or employing laborers to clean your car. The casual car washes distort the beautiful image of the city as it is environmentally hazardous. The dirty water pollutes the sewers and the streets. Instead, you have got to require your car to proper facilities, like those at petrol stations and therefore the car parks of shopping malls.