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Moving to Dubai

Moving to Dubai and or one of the other United Arab Emirates in the hunt for a better quality of life and to save money living in a tax-free environment? Don’t hinder your chance of enjoying a new experience by getting into trouble and landing in a cell (or being deported)! Before you go, familiarise yourself with the Dubai and UAE etiquette that is expected of those living and visiting Dubai:

  1. Fundraising

Surprisingly, there are laws in places that must be followed regarding the world of fundraising for a good cause. Anyone who wishes to fundraise must be aware of the laws in place; even if you just want to give a little back to the communities you live amongst. People seeking to fundraise in Dubai must first get approval from the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department (IACAD) through one of its nine authorised charities.

  1. Swearing online

Not many people are aware that using abusive language in WhatsApp messages or on social media can land them a prison sentence. If you send the wrong person the wrong message or use the middle finger emoji, under the UAE’s cyber laws you could be eligible to pay a maximum of 500,000 AED. Worse yet, you could be deported.

  1. Checking someone else’s phone

The UAE law states that using ‘a computer network and/or electronic information system or any information technology for the invasion of privacy of another person’ is illegal. That includes taking a sneak peek at your spouse’s devices. Snooping around could land you a jail sentence of up to 3 years and a fine that could cost you between 100,000 AED and 300,000 AED.

  1. Taking pictures of others without their approval

Yes – it’s illegal to take a photograph of someone without their consent or without them knowing. If you share these images online, you could face up to six months in jail and a hefty 500,000 AED fine. So before you fall into the depths of the UAE’s online crime laws, put the camera down.

  1. Taking and sharing pictures of incidents

Similarly, the same rule applies to taking and sharing photos of accidents. People found guilty of doing this can face life in prison and could even be deported due to the nature and rules surrounding the crime.

  1. The possession of poppy seed bagels

You might think poppy seed bagels are harmless, but they are in fact the source of two Class A drugs: opium and heroin. You will be arrested for possessing drugs and receive an extended prison sentence as a result.

  1. Spreading rumours

Nobody likes a rumour. Spreading rumours or sharing false information on social media is a criminal offence in the UAE. The law states that those who ‘damage the social peace and public order’ and interrupt ‘national peace’ may face a prison sentence or could receive a civil fine, costing as much as 1million AED.

If you need any advice regarding the laws or etiquette in Dubai, then get in touch with a member of our expert team today.

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