There are several well-known laws to consider in Dubai or this kingly surrounding emirate. You will be glad to know about some very unusual, unique, less famous restrictions which people miss to know about. There are extraordinary ways to get arrested, fined, or even expelled from the country, from Dubai to Abu Dhabi. Some are funny but strict enough to get you a hefty fine and jail time. 10 most controversial laws of the UAE are as follows:

10 Most Controversial Laws of the Uae

1) Dressing code in UAE.

In Dubai, men and women should cover themselves from shoulders to knees. Women should wear a hijab or headscarf in public places, while men should wear long pants and shirts to protect their bodies. Shorts are not allowed for both genders. This rule extends even to children’s attire. Women are prohibited from wearing skirts above the knee or showing their hair, while no bikini tops. Men have fewer clothing restrictions: tank tops are fine for them but not for women. These laws exist because the UAE is a very conservative kind of country. Wearing exposed clothes or engaging in a PDA (Public Display of Affection) is a crime. Hugging or kissing in public places is considered a crime. If you’re visiting Dubai as a tourist and want to do some PDA while there but not get arrested or deported, try avoiding crowded areas and public parks where many people are around to witness your act.

2) Eating or drinking on public transport.

Eating or drinking while you are on public transport is illegal in Dubai. The fine applies to both passengers and drivers. If you’re a gum-chewer, keeping your habit under wraps in Dubai is best. Chewing or spitting out gum publicly can get you fined or even sentenced to prison. If your gum is stuck on the streets or sidewalks of Dubai, the municipality will fine you for littering. According to Dubai Municipality rules and regulations, gums harm the environment.

3) Fundraising.

Raising money for charitable causes close to your heart is tricky in the UAE. Fundraising must get approval from the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department (IACAD); otherwise, publicizing the fundraiser and appealing for donations with permission breaches the UAE’s charity laws. This can lead to imprisonment, fines of 250,000 and 500,000 dirhams (£53,928 and £107,855), and even deportation. Fundraising is illegal in Dubai. If caught hosting a fundraising event, you can even face jail time. Approval of IACAD is essential to monitor the event and ensure that the money collected from the fundraiser is going for charitable purposes. So, without the permission of IACAD, collecting donations and hosting fundraising events is illegal.

4) Swearing on WhatsApp.

Article 373 of the UAE Penal Code states that using the F-word in public is illegal because it “disgraces the honor or the modesty” of a person. Swearing in public is completely forbidden in the UAE. The UAE has strict regulations on the use of abusive comments. It also includes using offensive words online on social media apps such as WhatsApp. The TRA says they will take strict legal action against the ones who use such comments on social media platforms like the famous WhatsApp, Twitter, and Facebook. With our advanced technology, Dubai police will immediately track you down if you use abusive words online; strict action and you will get charged with a massive fine.


5) Carrying foods containing poppy seeds.

Since they contain opium, poppy seeds are illegal in the United Arab Emirates. A jail sentence results if you possess poppy seeds, which is a severe criminal offense. You should be aware that it is prohibited in the UAE if you travel to Dubai and intend to bring food products with poppy seeds. Pastries, bread, and other foods all contain poppy seeds. The use of poppy seeds is not allowed in Dubai. If you are a tourist, you should ensure that you are not bringing along any food item containing poppy seeds, or else you may get arrested at the airport, and Dubai police will take strict action against you. You may even get deported immediately.

6) Having a dirty car.

It sounds funny, but having an unclean car in the UAE can get you into trouble. There are many sandstorms, so it gets challenging to keep your car clean, but if you don’t, the Dubai municipality will tow your car away and leave you with a big fine. Dirty cars don’t look good and are considered an embarrassment to the country’s beauty. An unclean vehicle can get you into trouble, as can washing your car in public. In UAE, you are prohibited from washing your car in public areas, or even employing laborers to clean your vehicles can get you into trouble. Instead, you must take your car to a proper car washing facility since washing cars in public is considered hazardous to the environment and pollutes the streets or the beach.

7) Checking other’s messages and photos.

In the UAE, checking someone’s messages or photos without permission is illegal. You cannot even check your family member’s phone without their consent. In a case from 2016, Ajman’s wife accused him of beaching her husband’s privacy after transferring photos from his cellphone to hers via WhatsApp. She later accused him of having an affair. As well as being fined 150,000 dirhams (£32,363), the woman was deported.

8) Taking photos of people without their permission.

Taking photos of people or their personal property without their permission is not legal in the UAE.

9) Making and spreading rumours.

Possibly the most ambiguous offense that stands on this list. Anything labeled as a rumor is a punishable crime under UAE law. Making and spreading rumors is considered a crime in Dubai. Dubai brought this to light after the occurrence of the 2016 floods. This happened when photos and videos of the damage caused by the heavy rain and strong winds circulated worldwide on social media platforms. These were rumors, and discussing the storm and sharing negative photos was illegal.

10) No flushing after 10 pm.

It is not a joke! You cannot flush the toilet after 10 p.m. in Dubai. It saves water, and netizens here say it is essential for peaceful sleep. Next time you visit here, do not flush after 10 p.m.

Wrapping up 

These are all controversial but very serious crimes in the UAE, and not following them can get you into serious trouble. Certain laws may leave you with the thought, does your country also have some such laws you are unaware of?