Types of criminal offences in Dubai and their penalties

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Anandi Katiyar

Published on August 19, 2023, 14:56:19


UAE emirate judicial system results

In the UAE, each emirate has its judicial system that results in varying penalties and punishments across the country. The penalties and punishments may vary, but crimes can be broadly divided into dogmatic, punitive, reprehensive and blood money crimes as laid down by the UAE Penal Code. Following are criminal offences as recognised in Dubai and their subsequent penalties.

 A crime is determined by the penalty or punishment provided by the law. The Penal Code divides criminal offences based on the severity of the punishment they are:

  1. Felony
  2. Misdemeanour
  3. Contravention

 A felony, as given in Article 28 of the UAE Penal Code, is punishable by capital punishment, temporary incarceration, life imprisonment or Diyat, the payment of blood money.

According to Article 29, a misdemeanour is punishable by imprisonment, blood money or a fine of more than AED 1000. Fines paid by the offender as imposed by the Court are not payable to the victim but to the government of UAE. The exception comes when the victim is paid compensation in cases of blood money claims.

 A contravention is an act punishable by any one or more of the given penalties by Article 30 of the UAE Penal Code:

  1. A detention for not less than 24 hours, not exceeding 10 days.
  2. A fine that does not exceed 1000 dirhams.

The Penal Code also provides for Principal Penalties that can be imposed given the nature of the crime.  Article 66 of the UAE Penal Code, penalties can be charged in cases where the conditions set by the Sharia Law are not met for the application of dogmatic and chastisement penalties as well as blood money. These repressive penalties include capital punishment, life imprisonment, fine, detention and term imprisonment.

 The law classifies these offences according to the punishment that is required. However,  crimes can also be defined according to their intent, organisation, structure, and nature. These offences can be divided into personal, property, financial, and statutory crimes—as well as those that involve obstructing the administration of justice.  Apart from the Principal Penalties prescribed, the UAE Penal Code also provides for accessory and complimentary penalties that are applied to the Principal Penalties imposed.

  For any legal queries or information, contact ask@tlr.ae or call us on +971526443004