criminal law


November 23, 2019



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A man demanded I delete photos I took in public - was this right?

Question: I was taking pictures while walking on a public beach the other day when a man approached me and demanded I delete any photos that may have included his family. He said photography was illegal and he could have me arrested. I caved and deleted them but I still wonder how photography could be considered illegal?

Answer: Photography is not illegal in the UAE. It is, however, illegal is to invade someone's privacy using electronic means such as photography. Invasion of privacy through electronic means attracts Article 21 of the UAE Cyber Crime Law, which provides imprisonment up to six months and fine up to Dh5,000. Therefore, it is advisable to refrain from taking someone's photograph without their consent.

Question: I delivered shoes to a customer and have proof of the delivery. He sent me an email saying he received the good and promising to pay me Dh100,000 within a week. It has been a month and he still has not paid me. Can I include his email as evidence in court?

Answer: According to UAE law, electronic messages can be used in court. You may use all the relevant documents including the email correspondence and register a court case against the defendant to claim your outstanding amount. It is also important to note that documents including emails submitted in the court should be translated into Arabic if they are not already.

Question: I purchased property in 2016 and, according to the Sale Purchase Agreement, the anticipated delivery of the property was in June 2018. The developer extended the anticipated delivery to June 2019 under a clause in the contract that allows a 12 month grace period. However, the project is still not completed and the developer have since said it may not be delivered until late 2020. Can you tell me my legal options?

Answer: When the completion date for a project is extended without probable cause, investors have the right to seek redress for damages caused by the delay - except for in unavoidable circumstances such as a natural disaster. You may initiate civil proceedings against the developer for terminating the agreement and claim the investment along with cost for damages caused due to delay in hand over. Termination of the contract is subject to the discretion of the court. The procedure and timeline for filing such a case may vary depending upon the choice of dispute resolution agreed upon in the contract such as courts or arbitration.

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