Social Media Rules & Cybercrime Law in the UAE

In Dubai, it is important that we are aware of specific laws and tips especially when we post pictures and messages online. Because you cannot just post whatever you wish online.

Social media is a global gathering place, accessible by everyone. Its existence in cyberspace has made it convenient for transferring data and information. More so as a very accessible mode of communication for a lot of us. However, we need to make sure that we follow certain guidelines when posting content/photos/messages online. Here we share some important rules.

Also Read: How to Legally Blog in the UAE – Getting an NMC License

To guide people of becoming responsible users of social media, government officials have taken action and set rules and laws that address the situation within the cyberspace. UAE is one of the countries that declared a firm establishment of these rules, indicating the kind of posts that go against the law and the charges equivalent to breaking them.

social media rules uae

Using Social Media and Cybercrime Law in the UAE – Penalties & Fines

Today we will tackle some social media rules every UAE resident and internet users must be aware and abide. The following tips will guide you to what are these rules and the underlying penalties/fines they bring.

  1. Do not post unsolicited pictures.

Photography is one of the main activities when visiting a new place, while this rule sounds disheartening, there are still designated places where capturing photos are approved; Signs and indications of these areas can be seen to give awareness to everyone.

Exemption to the rule:

  • The photo was from a public event.
  • The people involved are public figures.
  • You got approved by the management of the designated area to take pictures.

Penalties:

  • Imprisonment of not more than months
  • Fine of AED 150,000 to 500,000

2. Do not publicize confidential information.

Posting personal details of a person or a company’s private information without consent online is not accepted.

Penalties:

  • 5-years imprisonment
  • AED 500,000 to AED 2,000,000

3. Do not spread false information.

UAE’s rules against cybercrime doesn’t tolerate the spreading of false information to social media. Publishing harmful and hateful posts are also subjected to punishment under the law.

Penalties:

  • Six months imprisonment
  • Fine of AED 250,000

4. Do not use illegal communication services and applications (Skype, WhatsApp, Viber Calls are Banned)

It is illegal to use communication applications with audio and video broadcasting functions without approval and the right facilities to accommodate both.

Penalties

  • 1-year imprisonment
  • AED 250,000 to AED 1,000,000

4. Do not Insult the sanctities and rituals of a religion.

Publishing content containing any of the following will not be tolerated and shall be given an equivalent punishment of imprisonment and fine payment.

  • Insulting the Islamic sanctions and rituals.
  • Insulting any of the sanctities or rituals of other religions.
  • Provoking or promoting a sin.

Penalties

  • Sentenced of at least 1-year imprisonment
  • AED 250, 000 to AED1,000,000

5. Do not post content that offends the values and morals of Islamic religion.

Posting images of people naked, smoking and drinking or any form of images and videos promoting or showing other types of vices that breaches the values and morals of Islam is prohibited.

Penalties:

  • Imprisonment
  • AED 250, 000 to AED 500,000

Do not conduct collecting illegal donations

It’s forbidden to run a website, post, or publish to promote donations of any form without proper legal procedures approved by an accredited competent authority.

Penalties:

  • Imprisonment
  • AED 200,000 to AED 500, 000

If you wish to view other implemented laws regarding the usage of social media, you may head to the Federal Law 5 of 2012 and learn more about the cybercrime law of UAE.

Please make sure we follow these rules. Remember that while the internet may be free for all, we cannot just post whatever we want. The UAE is quite strict in implementing these guidelines. Avoid getting fined and be on the right side of the law.

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