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Grave Mistakes: 12 Violations to be Avoided During Burial Procedures in the UAE

Major infractions during the burial process that could result in fines of up to Dh500,000

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Pavitra Shetty

Published on March 26, 2024, 08:50:32


uae, grave, burial, penalty

Saying goodbye to a loved one is always the most challenging part of dealing with their passing. Given the United Arab Emirates' diverse population, with people from various faiths and cultures, each family may have its unique burial traditions.

According to Federal Law regulations, deceased individuals must be interred exclusively in cemeteries officially designated by competent authorities.

The funeral rites and procedures following the passing of a loved one are particularly challenging moments. Given the UAE's diverse population, consisting of individuals from various ethnic backgrounds and religious beliefs, funeral customs may vary among residents.

In addition to streamlining a concise five-step protocol for post-mortem formalities within the country, the Emirates has instituted stringent legislation and substantial penalties concerning burial and funeral practices, aiming to ensure uniformity and safety.

These measures not only facilitate families in bidding farewell to their departed loved ones peacefully but also uphold legal compliance and respect for the deceased.

Here are 12 infractions during the burial process that could result in fines of up to Dh500,000, which you may not be aware of:

Fine Range of Dh10,000 to Dh50,000

1 Illegally transferring a body, remains, or organs within the country without a permit.

2 Unauthorised photography of a deceased person for purposes other than legally permitted.

3 Erecting structures or additions within a cemetery.

4 Conveying the deceased in a vehicle not designated for this purpose, excluding ambulances.

5 Using unofficial means to transport corpses within the country.

6 Misusing cemeteries for purposes other than burial.

Heavier Penalties

7 Burial in an undesignated cemetery within the UAE may result in up to one year of imprisonment, along with a fine ranging from Dh10,000 to Dh100,000.

8 Conducting a burial within the UAE or transferring a deceased individual out of the country without the required permits could lead to imprisonment for up to one year and fines ranging from Dh100,000 to Dh500,000.

Desecration Offenses

9 Desecrating a cemetery, grave, or storage area for the deceased incurs a fine between Dh100,000 and Dh200,000, along with a prison term of up to one year.

10 Unauthorised exhumation of a grave to remove a person or organ results in fines ranging from Dh100,000 to Dh200,000, coupled with imprisonment for four years or more.

11 If desecration occurs during the process of exhumation, the penalty escalates to imprisonment for over five years.

Import and Export Regulations

12 Importing or exporting deceased bodies, organs, or remains without proper permits in the UAE attracts fines between Dh50,000 to Dh100,000 and imprisonment for less than a year.

To ensure a respectful and lawful burial process in the UAE, individuals must follow regulations and avoid violations.

By respecting diverse cultural and religious backgrounds, while upholding legal standards and honouring the deceased, families can bid farewell peacefully and with dignity.

For any enquiries or information, contact ask@tlr.ae or call us on +971 52 644 3004Follow The Law Reporters on WhatsApp Channels.