Know more about the Criminal Law of Dubai

The framework of the criminal law of Dubai is greatly influenced by Sharia Law, which is the religious law and moral code of Islam. Sharia deals with issues such as sexuality, crimes, marriage, liquor, gambling, dress co

It is always wise to know the basic laws and regulations of the country you are in, whether you are a local, an expatriate, or a tourist. You may not want to break any law or regulations and be caught unaware of them. Not knowing the law is never an excuse.

For countries like UAE, the criminal laws are a bit conservative. UAE is an assembly of Muslim countries that are strict in their ethics, morals, and religion. Though Dubai is an established tourist spot where a great piece of the population is foreigners, this remains the same.

The best way to live freely in UAE is to know at least the basics of their rules and regulations. These will save you from innocently committed crimes and violations during your stay.

  • The Dubai Penal Code is very clear on its rules of public displays of affection. For example, only married couples are allowed to hold hands in public. But that is the only display of affection that is tolerated. Violations of this code such as hugging, kissing, cuddling in public may cause you deportation out of Dubai.
  • Offensive gestures and behavior such as swearing are considered a grave public offense. Offenders of this law are subject to fines, deportation, or imprisonment.
  • All residents and tourists must show respect to the symbols of the UAE (flag, national emblem) and religion. If these are abused, violators are punished by either payment of fines, imprisonment, or deportation.
  • Dress code is also a part of the criminal law of Dubai. No one should dress up inappropriately by revealing too much of their skin. Clothes must be in appropriate lengths.
  • Smoking is only allowed in designated areas. You are not allowed to smoke in malls, shops, or offices.
  • Taking photos of people without permission is prohibited. This gets worse when photos of women and families are taken without consent.
  • Dancing and playing loud music in public areas are forbidden. This includes the park, residential areas, or beach. Bars and clubs must acquire a dancing permit or license before they can allow their customers to dance.

These are only a few of the criminal laws and penal codes that must be remembered. The list just consists of the obvious and common crimes that expatriates must be aware of.

Being Charged with a Criminal Offense in Dubai

The easiest way for you to avoid criminal charges is not to commit them in the first place.

Respect the law, follow the dress code, and know what you can and cannot do in UAE.

Be aware of your actions even if it means having to get permission from someone before doing anything.

But what if despite your best efforts, you get charged with a criminal offense? How will this affect your life in Dubai, UAE?

First, your presence in the UAE will be closely monitored by the authorities. You can also expect that they will start an investigation on you and even go as far as asking for a DNA test to prove you guilty of committing such crimes.

If you fail to attend interrogations or if it is found out that you are guilty of violating laws, you will be detained. This is true for all citizens, residents, and tourists of the UAE.

Once convicted on criminal charges, your sentence will depend on what offense you have committed.

Since Sharia law is used by the Dubai courts, it will automatically be assumed that you are guilty due to a lack of evidence or witnesses to prove your innocence.

If you are found innocent, your criminal record will be deleted and cleared.

If you fail to attend interrogations or if it is found out that you are guilty of violating laws, you will be detained. This is true for all citizens, residents, and tourists of the UAE.

A Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help You

Having a criminal record in the UAE can affect your life. This is why hiring a criminal defense lawyer to represent you is highly recommended.

A good Dubai Criminal Lawyer will not only defend you against false accusations but will also be there to guide you throughout the proceedings and follow up on your case as well as remind you of your payment deadlines.

Whether you’re part of the Dubai Expatriate Community, part of Dubai’s general population or a tourist, the skilled team at our firm of Advocates and Legal Consultants are on hand to help you resolve your problems.

For more information on what to do when charged with a crime in Dubai, call us now on 971506531334 or +971558018669, or drop us an email at

4 thoughts on “Know more about the Criminal Law of Dubai”

  1. Avatar for meena

    Dear sir /mam,
    I am working since 11 years in Indian High school Dubai as a music teacher suddenly they issued a memo on 15th Feb accusing me of false allegations -in result of that I felt very humiliated and asked them to terminate me .I also complained to ministry abut the termination as they have terminated me on wrong grounds ,yesterday they have sent me my final dues which Is 1 month salary and gratuity which is beyond my understanding .

    I am a sincere dedicated teacher so many years [28yrs] teaching in India and here never got bad name today they have questioned my teaching after 11 yrs feeling so bad .how come any one continue in any organization for such along time if she or he is not good please advice what shld I do ?

  2. Avatar for Beloy

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    i am working in company for 7 years . after my resignation and completed my 1 month notice period. when i came back to settle my cancellation, the company informed me verbally that they filed a criminal case agaist me which is not true. and that happens during my vacation. they refused to show me the details of the criminal case and told me that they will hold my cancellation and they will escalate this to my new employer. can i also file a case against them for False accusation. please advise on what should i do?

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