Abu Dhabi and UAE Laws

Making sure you are aware of the UAE Laws to which we are all accountable, is sensible. Whether you are moving to Abu Dhabi, or simply visiting on holiday, it's smart to know the rules.

The emergency telephone number is 999

There are essentially three types of juditial or legal areas - Federal UAE Law which applies across the UAE, Local Law which applies only to the emirate in question and Sharia Law (Islamic Law).

One of the most common reasons for expats 'enjoying' the life in Abu Dhabi is its general 'safety' and low crime rate. Crime does, however, still exist and there are a number of laws that will be different to your country of origin and are worth being aware of.

Below are a few laws and their punishments that you may want to keep in mind whilst in the UAE.



Abu Dhabi Laws Worth Noting...

Here are the laws that are probably of interest to most expats.

Jaywalking - crossing the road at an unauthorised point could result in a 200 aed fine.

Driving under the influence of alcohol - possible prison sentence and or fine, There is zero tolerance, which means you can't have any alcohol in the system. Especially important to consider if driving the morning after a night out.

Alcohol License - You must have an alcohol license if you are resident in Abu Dhabi and wish to drink alcohol, at home or in a licensed venue.

Bounced Cheque - It is illegal to be overdrawn or draw on funds that are not there, by writing a cheque that cannot be banked. A prison sentence is likely.

Banned Medications - Certian substances, such as codeine and temazapan are illegal substances in Abu Dhabi. Do not bring them into the country in your first aid kit from 'back home'.

Unmarried Cohabitation - It is illegal for men and women to live together if they are not related or married.

Inappropriate Affection in Public - Kissing and cuddling in public is frowned upon and extreme cases of PDA are likely to get you arrested. See an example here.

Ramadan - It is illegal to eat drink or smoke in public during Ramadan fasting hours.

Mobile Phone Use when Driving - It is illegal to drive and hold your mobile phone, 200 aed fine.

Drinking in Public - Consuming alcohol in public view, outside of a licensed premises is illegal.

Illegitimate Baby - It is illegal to give birth without posessing a marriage certificate. 

Running a Red Light - Getting caught driving through a red light will lead to 15 days vehicle impoundment, a fine and points on your license. Repeat offenders could get a prison sentence.

Children In the Front Seat - It is illegal for children under 10yrs of age to travel in the front seat of a vehicle, fine of 400 and black points.

Black Points Table, Driving - Visit the black points table to view driving violations and their punishments.

Stickers on your Car - You can be fined 200 aed for writing phrases or placing stickers on vehicle without permission.


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