UAE: Causing harm to national security, spreading rumours; full list of fines for breaking social media rules

Face up to Dh500,000 fines for photographing people without permission


Sherouk Zakaria

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Published: Thu 27 Jan 2022, 12:35 PM

Last updated: Wed 19 Oct 2022, 7:31 AM

Online users in the UAE are urged to refrain from posting or sharing unofficial news or information from unauthorised sources on social media to avoid hefty penalties, legal experts have warned.

Mohammad Al Dahbashi, Managing Partner of ADG Legal, said the new cybercrime law places a responsibility on users to verify the source and credibility of information before sharing on social media.

“The law is clear in stating that a person will be penalized when sharing any content that contains rumors, fake news, unofficial news or anything that disrupts national security,” said Al Dahbashi.

When can you take pictures and videos of people without permission?

Under no circumstances can the public post, publish or share videos they have filmed of violations or illegal actions in the UAE.

The only case where people are permitted to snap photos or record videos of crimes or violations of any kind without the permission of the other party is for the purpose of sharing with authorities as documentation of evidence.

The advice comes after the UAE Public Prosecution urged the public to avoid sharing content that may harm national security and cause panic after a video showing UAE defence forces intercepting Houthi terrorist attacks was circulated on social media.

Here are the full list of penalties and fines for committing social media violations

  • Information that agitates public opinion, causes panic or harms national security and affairs — one year in prison and Dh100,000 fine
  • Fake news, rumours, misleading or inaccurate information that contradicts official announcements— one year in prison and Dh100,000 fine
  • Fake news during pandemics, emergencies or crises — two years in prison and Dh200,000 fine
  • Photos or videos of other people without their consent — six months in prison and/or Dh150,000-Dh500,000 fine
  • Photos or videos of accident or crisis victims, whether dead or injured — six months in prison and/or Dh150,000-Dh500,000 fine
  • Comments, news, photos or information about a person, even if true, that may cause harm — six months in prison and/or Dh150,000-Dh500,000 fine
  • Misleading or inaccurate ads — prison term and/or Dh20,000-Dh500,000 fine
  • Information or data that defames a foreign country — six months in prison and/or Dh100,000 - Dh500,000 fine
  • Pornography or indecent content — prison term and/or Dh250,000 - Dh500,000 fine
  • Content that contains blasphemy and defames religions - prison term and/or Dh250,000 - Dh1 million fine
  • Content for collecting donations — prison term and/or Dh200,000 - Dh500,000 fine
  • Content that promotes unlicensed medical products — jail term and/or fine


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