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    Thread: What is illegal in the UAE


    1. #1

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      What is illegal in the UAE

      I was just reading through an article and thought it was very interesting, I had no idea that cuddling your partner in the street was illegal or that giving someone the two finger salute could lead to being deported.
      Here is a list of do's and don't from the embassy website:


      Traditions
      The UAE is built on generations of Islamic traditions which are rooted firmly in its culture and tribal heritage. These traditions have been passed down from generation to generation and form the very cornerstone of every day life for an Emirati family. The Emiratis are friendly people who show tolerance and an open minded approach to visitors in their country; but their culture and values should always be respected.

      Expat Community
      In the last 30 years, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and the other Emirates have gone through a total transformation from small Arab trading ports into modern cities.
      Over 150 nationalities (including an estimated 100,000 British expats) contribute to the UAE’s modern society. The streets, shopping malls and business areas are alive with numerous languages and cultures. Do keep in mind that you will probably meet many people with different values and opinions.

      Social Ethics
      The culture and laws in the UAE are designed to ensure that everyone is respectful of each other regardless of their faith and nationality. Visitors and residents alike should avoid types of improper conduct and behaviour which can otherwise lead to fines, imprisonment and deportation.

      Alcohol consumption
      is allowed only by non-Muslims in licensed restaurants, pubs, clubs, private venues, and at home (for residents who have acquired an alcohol licence). For those living in the UAE a special licence must be obtained before purchasing alcohol from the exclusive, specialised, licensed stores. This licence is only a permit for buying alcohol. It does not give any immunity for alcohol related criminal offences. It is an offence to carry alcohol in your car if you do not hold the special alcohol licence. If you come to the attention of the police you may be arrested, even though you may have purchased the alcohol legally. You need to be 21 or over in order to drink alcohol legally in the UAE (18 in Abu Dhabi). Alcohol is not available in Sharjah .

      Drugs are strictly forbidden, even a residual amount. Consuming or carrying drugs, even if you are transiting through the airport from one country to another, can result in a standard 4 year imprisonment and deportation. Buying or selling narcotics is considered a serious crime which can result in life-imprisonment. Some medicines (accepted in the UK) containing psychotropic substances are also forbidden, so check out our website for further information. If you are using prescribed drugs it is advisable to carry a doctor’s note. If you are bringing prescription drugs into the UAE you may need to seek prior agreement from the authorities. You should check with the nearest UAE Embassy or Consulate before you travel.

      Sexual relationships outside of marriage are illegal, irrespective of any relationship you may have with your partner in the UK. Cohabiting, including in hotels, is also illegal. If you become pregnant outside of marriage, both you and your partner face the possibility of imprisonment. There are also legal ramifications when registering the birth with the local authorities.

      The UAE has a zero-tolerance policy towards drinking and driving. You can be charged and imprisoned if you are caught with even the smallest amount of alcohol in your system. Tailgating, speeding, racing, lane jumping and using a mobile phone while driving are all against the law. There are numerous speed cameras on the roads and motorways. Fines in the UAE are heavy. If you are caught you may also face the possibility of having your car impounded. Wearing a seatbelt is mandatory. Jay walking is also illegal and the police, particularly in Abu Dhabi, have launched a campaign against jay walking. If you are caught committing this offence you could be subject to a fine.

      Bouncing a cheque is illegal in the UAE. If a cheque is presented without adequate funds to cover the amount, you will face criminal and civil charges. After you have served your jail sentence you will not be able to leave the country until the funds have been paid in full.

      Dancing is allowed in the privacy of your home or at licensed clubs. But dancing in public is classed as indecent and provocative.

      Sexual harassment or randomly addressing women in public, or taking their photos without permission, is strictly frowned upon.

      Offensive language, spitting and aggressive behaviour (including hand gestures) are viewed very seriously and can result in imprisonment and deportation. This includes “road rage”.

      Holding hands for married couples is tolerated but kissing and hugging are considered offences against public decency. Open displays of affection are generally not tolerated.

      Smoking is forbidden in government areas, offices and shopping malls. There are however many designated areas where smoking is allowed.

      Working without the proper visa is illegal. You cannot partake in any kind of paid employment without first obtaining a work visa. If caught, you will face imprisonment.

      A word of warning
      The UAE is a relatively safe country from a crime perspective. Nevertheless, when you are out and about, take the necessary precautions to stay safe just as you would do if you were in the UK. If you are going to visit pubs and clubs, do not accept drinks from strangers, and never leave your drink unattended. While rare, having your drink spiked in the UAE can happen.

      Dress code
      Emiratis dress conservatively in traditional dress and can be offended when people dress inappropriately or not in accordance with Islamic values.
      In public places such as shopping malls, restaurants and parks, you are encouraged to dress appropriately. Clothing should not be transparent, indecently expose parts of the body or display offensive pictures or slogans. Be aware that if you enter one of these areas dressed inappropriately you may be asked to leave (most of the larger shopping malls display signs warning respectable clothing should be worn). Any form of nudity is strictly forbidden, including topless sunbathing. Swimwear should not be worn in any other area outside the beach, water parks, or swimming pools.

      Respect for religion
      Islamic religious values are greatly respected in the UAE. Showing any disrespect towards religious beliefs or practices is considered deeply offensive and very likely to result in a heavy fine and/or imprisonment. Other religions are respected and can be followed by the expatriate community.

      Follow a few simple rules of respect:

      * Muslims pray five times a day. You will notice that the Mosques call people to pray through a speaker system. At this time you will also notice public music is turned off as Muslims perform their daily prayers.
      * Be aware that drivers who are not close to a Mosque, may stop at a convenient lay-by to pray privately.
      * During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn to sunset. Throughout this month eating, drinking, smoking, playing loud music and dancing in public places during daylight hours are strictly forbidden and punishable by law, including for non-Muslims.
      * Every evening during Ramadan, Muslims celebrate the breaking of their fast with an evening meal called Iftar. You will find many hotels and restaurants throughout the UAE who provide Iftar buffets.

      In summary
      The vast majority of British expatriates and visitors have a trouble free and enjoyable time while staying in the UAE. Foreign & Commonwealth Office research shows that the majority of difficulties that British nationals find themselves in abroad can be avoided. Respecting local laws and customs can help you avoid getting into trouble.
      Have a great time in the UAE, but make the necessary preparations to ensure you are well-informed and know what is expected of you as a visitor to this country.

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    3. #2
      Thehatandswag
      Yep, this is exactly so, one thing they fail to remind you is that Emirates Airlines withhold all local laws naturally, if you are caught coming off the plane drunk it is an imprisonable offence.

      If you are not married and check into a hotel this is also against the law.

      There is a very comprehensive list of forbidden medications to be brought into the land.
      Last edited by Thehatandswag; 28-02-2011 at 03:41 AM.

    4. #3

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      I wonder if they make allowances for tourists as a lot of people will have no idea.

    5. #4
      Thehatandswag
      Ktee likes this.

    6. #5

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      Oh my that's terrible. I understand if a country has a law and you want to live there then you have to fit in, but surely if you are on holiday, allowances have to be made.
      Thehatandswag likes this.

    7. #6
      Thehatandswag
      Fair Trials abroad which was started by Stephen Jacobie have seen many cases in Duabi which is a good example.

      Rasta in jail for a speck of weed in dubai

      One man has even been jailed for possession of three poppy seeds left over from a bread roll he ate at Heathrow Airport. Painkiller codeine is also banned.

      Meanwhile a Big Brother TV executive has so far been held without charge for five days after being arrested for possessing the health supplement melatonin.


      Whilst I agree with most laws of the land, I think Dubai has taken it too far, particularly as it is a relatively new country accepting millions of travellers.

      I always urge extreme caution with my family when they are travelling.
      Ktee likes this.

    8. #7

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      Aldo is on a distinguished road
      Not being funny but who in their right mind would want to live voluntarily in an Arab country? Asking for trouble if you ask me.

    9. #8

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      Oh I don't know I would love to live in Dubai although not sure about all these laws lol x I want to go For a holiday when that huge theme park is finished

    10. #9
      Thehatandswag
      Quote Originally Posted by Ktee View Post
      Oh I don't know I would love to live in Dubai although not sure about all these laws lol x I want to go For a holiday when that huge theme park is finished
      We have holidayed there en route for our honeymoon and had a great time, I think if you have a good all expenses ex pat life it could be bearable, I think there are worse countries to live in personally lol

    11. #10

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      Quote Originally Posted by Ktee View Post
      Oh I don't know I would love to live in Dubai although not sure about all these laws lol x I want to go For a holiday when that huge theme park is finished
      Are you talking about Ferrari World in Yas Island? If so, this was completed last October and the roller coaster is absolutely awesome. I knew it went quickly but OMG when you experience it first hand, it is literally breathtaking.......
      Trueblue likes this.

     

     
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