criminal law

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July 23, 2013

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International Coverage of UAE Law: Ignorance Is No Excuse

Whether you're living in Dubai as an expatriate or a local citizen, knowing and following the UAE law is a duty and a responsibility and one must not, whether knowingly or unknowingly, do anything which is against the law of the country. Not simply because it's the law of the country, but also because it adds extra protection to your actions if they are within the sphere of the law. UAE law is not strictly based on Islamic Sharia law, but some elements or parts are derived from it. Accordingly, it is crucial to have a basic understanding of the UAE laws as they may differ from the laws of your home country. There may be criminal liabilities under the UAE Penal Code if a person offends any Islamic sacred sites or rituals or insults any of the recognised divine religions or incites any act that induces the commission of such wrongdoing.

"Saying that the criminal law in Dubai is from Sharia law and needs witnesses, this is not true. The information is totally false and misleading."

For example, under the UAE laws, any person who offers alcoholic beverages to a person under the age of 21 years or who incites such drinking or who purchases the alcohol so that he can provide it to the underage person, is liable for criminal punishments under Article 363/4 of the UAE Penal Code. The punishments include jail for up to 1 year and a fine of a maximum of AED 100,000 or either of these penalties. However, the Penal Code of the UAE also provides that it will not be considered a crime if the person has verified that the age of the individual to whom the alcoholic beverages are offered or sold is not less than 21 years.

There is no doubt that the UAE Laws are comprehensive and offer protection to people who are in the UAE. However, while the UAE people are well protected by law, one must not ignore the rules and regulations of the UAE and ensure that the law is being followed. Ignorance UAE law is not an excuse, whether you are the victim or not.


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