New UAE cybercrime law: Up to Dh500,000 fine for defaming a foreign country

Those who beg for money online will face a fine of Dh10,000

By Sherouk Zakaria

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Reuters file
Reuters file

Published: Tue 30 Nov 2021, 6:07 PM

Last updated: Wed 1 Dec 2021, 8:26 AM

Citizens or residents who use social media platforms to beg for money can face three months in prison and/or a fine of Dh10,000, according to the new UAE cybercrime law.

The Federal Decree Law No. 5 of 2021 on Combating Cybercrimes, which comes into effect on January 2, 2022, stipulates that electronic begging or seeking illegitimate help from federal or local government entities and officials through online platforms can subject offenders to three months in prison and/or a Dh10,000 fine.

Users who promote an electronic currency or create a fake company online to collect money from the public without a license for the purpose of investment face a five-year prison term and/or a fine starting from Dh250,000 and up to Dh1 million.

Defaming a foreign country on social media or any digital means can land offenders in jail for six months or a fine ranging from Dh100,000 to Dh500,000 or both.


The new decree, which covers broad areas of the internet, brings key amendments to Federal Law 5 of 2012 on Combatting Cybercrimes.

It comes as part of the largest set of legislative reforms announced on Saturday as the UAE embarks on its next 50-year journey.

The government changed 40 laws with aims to develop the legislative structure of various sectors including investment, trade and industry, commercial companies, residency, online security and social affairs.

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