UAE: 9 reasons why films could get banned or suspended in the Emirates

Recently, a new federal law was issued in which the National Media Office would be responsible for developing the country's media sector

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Published: Sat 27 Jan 2024, 5:00 PM

Last updated: Sat 27 Jan 2024, 11:00 PM

Occasionally, certain films in the UAE will have a delayed release or be banned from being screened in the country.

Often, this can be because the film content may be in “violation of the country’s media content standards”.

Recently, a new federal law was issued in which the National Media Office would be responsible for developing the country's media sector at the national level. It also works to enhance the UAE’s status as a key media hub regionally and internationally.

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Films and other media content in the UAE must be published according to a certain set of guidelines and rules in order to be screened.

Standards of media content

In what cases can films be refused screening rights in the UAE? Films can face bans or suspensions in the UAE if they do not:

  • respect Islamic and other religious beliefs
  • respect the UAE's sovereignty, symbols and institutions
  • respect the policies and decisions of the UAE at an international level
  • refrain from any actions that may hurt the UAE’s foreign relations
  • respect the culture and civilisation, national identity and values of the UAE community
  • refrain from displaying information that may offend or compromise national unity or social cohesion, incite violence or hatred or propagate a spirit of discord in the society, and the UAE’s legal and economic system
  • ensure that justice and security are not exploited or abused
  • respect privacy rules and individuals' private lives
  • refrain from broadcasting rumours, false and misleading news or any matter that may constitute instigation to commit crimes

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