9 Weird Laws that You Could Easily Break Accidentally in the UAE

Different places have different laws and customs that everyone must comply with, whether they are residents or merely visiting the area. But things can get tricky because there are weird laws that often do not apply in your home country but are being implemented in the place you are visiting!

Moreover, ignorance of the law excuses no one – and that is usually applied by all law enforcement teams! So, the best thing you can do, actually, is to research about the local laws if you want to make sure you don’t break any.

Here are 9 weird laws that you could easily break accidentally in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Taking Photos without Permission

People in the UAE value their privacy so much that you just can’t take photos of anyone you fancy, without their permission. This also applies to government buildings and officials.

You could be fined Dh150,000 ($40,800 or Php2.2 million) to Dh200,000 ($54,500 or Php2.95 million) for breaking this law, not to mention serving time in jail. So, even if you meet someone handsome or beautiful, don’t try to take their photos!


In the Philippines, people simply ignore the ‘No Jaywalking’ signs and readily cross busy highways even if there are lots of cars speeding along. But though you can try doing that in the UAE, they can easily catch you there. The fine is Dh400 ($110 or Php6,000).

Hand Gestures

A lot of people are used to doing hand gestures but if you do that in UAE and someone finds it offensive even if you were doing a ‘common’ hand gesture, you could land in jail.

Texting in Foul Language

Just as hand gestures might be considered as bad, texting in foul language is certainly something worse. So, even if you are really, really angry at someone, control your emotions and stay civil. Cursing them on the phone could just bring you more trouble.


In the Philippines, you could easily see people just throwing their trash anywhere – even if the trash can is just one step away! Do that in the UAE and you’ll face tough consequences.

Issuing Bounced Cheques

In the Philippines, unfunded or bounced checks could lead to hefty fines but you’ll face worse in the UAE. This could escalate really quickly, even if the amount if just small. So, keep track of all the cheques you issue – and make sure your account is always funded.

Washing Your Car in Public

Water is a very precious resource in desert nations; thus, washing your car in public places is not legal. You can still do so if you find a way to conserve water wherein it won’t drip down to the street or ground. If you don’t know how to do that, it is best to simply have your car washed at the nearby car wash.

Sharing a Secret

Privacy and confidentiality are taken very seriously in the UAE. Sharing a secret could lead to a defamation suit.

Aside from secrets of private individuals, you are also not allowed to make accusatory statements against people or an enterprise!

Raising Money for Charity

It is still possible to raise money for charity in the UAE but you have to course it through registered charity organizations. If you do it on your own, even with best interests in mind, you can get into trouble!