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Up to Dh100,000 fine: New UAE law on burial passed by FNC

Abu Dhabi - Full list of fines as federal law regulating cemeteries and burial procedures is approved by FNC.

Illustrative image (Alamy.com/ae)
Illustrative image (Alamy.com/ae)

By Web Report/Wam

Published: Wed 17 Mar 2021, 11:39 AM

The UAE’s Federal National Council (FNC) has approved a draft federal law regulating cemeteries and burial procedures.

The new draft federal law lays down the procedures for transporting, bathing and burying bodies.

It also defines penalties for the violators and regulations for the authorities concerned regarding monitoring, inspection and guarding burial grounds.

The draft law lays bare the competencies of the authorities in regulating cemeteries. The authorities are tasked to determine the areas and places suitable for graves for the burial of martyrs, and to bury those people who had died of infectious diseases.

Besides, specific areas need to be marked out for burial of human organs, newborns and young people; methods of disposing bodies; laying down ground rules and etiquettes for visiting graves; types of stones placed on graves etc.

The council has come up with four distinct categories: Burying women; what constitutes archaeological cemeteries; preparing ground rules for cemeteries which lack space for burials; and coordinating with authorities to establish procedures for burials in cases of emergency, crises and disasters.

The council has created an "electronic database", which called for keeping records of all deaths, human organs and remains, which are buried in cemeteries.

The draft law prohibits the transfer of bodies, human organs and remains inside or outside of health facilities by any mode of conveyance. It also stipulated that transportation costs should be incurred by an individual if the person wants to transport body or human organs/remains abroad.


The authorities are empowered to impose a penalty between Dh10,000 and Dh50,000 for the following offences:

>> Transferring a corpse, human remains inside the country without obtaining a permit

>> Making any additions or erected buildings inside a cemetery

>> Transferring a corpse, human remains other than the specified transportation channels

>> Using unofficial outlets to transport a corpse, or human remains

>> Photographing a corpse in other than the legally permissible circumstances

>> Using graves for other than what they are meant for

Besides, a one-year jail term or a penalty between Dh10,000 and Dh100,000 can be imposed, or both can be enforced, for an offence related to burial of a corpse or body parts in a burial ground that is not approved by the authorities.

There is a separate penalty of a one-year jail term and a fine between Dh10,000 and Dh20,000 for an individual who prepares a place for a burial of a corpse, which has not been designated by the authorities.

A permit is required to bring a body in the country or take it abroad and any violation will attract a fine between Dh50,000 and Dh100,000.

Any bid to vandalise a grave or a cemetery will lead to an imprisonment between five and seven years, or a fine from Dh100,000 to Dh200,000, or both these penalties can be imposed by the authorities.


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