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Federal Decree-Law on Countering Rumors and Cybercrimes

The last update on this law was listed on 04 Apr 2024

Related legislations

Date of enactment of the legislation

20 Sep 2021

Effective date

02 Jan 2022

Publication date in the official gazette

26 Sep 2021

Official Gazette No

712 (ملحق)

Legislation State

Active

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to produce an accurate and complete English version of this website/ legislation. However, for the purpose of their interpretation and application, reference must be made to the original Arabic text. In case of conflict, the Arabic text will prevail

Index

Index

Section One: Crimes Against Information Technology

Chapter One: Crimes Against Information Technology

Chapter Two: Crimes Relating To Content And Spread Of Rumors And False New

Chapter Three: Special Provisions Concerning The Penalties

Section Two: Procedural And Final Provisions

Article (1) Definitions

For applying the provisions of this Decree-Law, the following words and expressions shall denote the meaning ascribed thereto respectively, unless otherwise required by the context:
UAE: The United Arab Emirates
Government Entities: Any federal or local government entity, or any company or establishment in which any of these entities holds at least 25% of its capital.
Competent Authorities: The federal or local authorities concerned with electronic and cyber security inside the UAE.
Information Technology (IT): All forms of technologies used for creating, processing, storing, exchanging and using electronic information systems (ISs), information programs, websites, information network, and any means of information technology equipment (ITE).
Cyber: Everything relating to computer networks, the internet, and the various information program as well as all the services they perform.
Data or Information: An organized or unorganized package of data, facts, concepts, instructions, views, or measurements taking the form of digits, characters, words, symbols, images, videos, signals, sounds, maps, or any other form, and which are interpreted, exchanged or processed by persons or computers, so that after being processed or circulated, they produce what is called "the information".
Government Data and Information: Electronic data or information pertaining or belonging to any of the government entities and are not made available to the public.
Personal Data and Information: Information or data pertaining to natural persons whenever these information or data are relating to their private lives or personal identities, or whenever linking these information or data, whether directly or indirectly, would lead to revealing the person's identity.
Confidential Information and Data: Any information or data that are not permitted to be accessed by or disclosed to Third Parties, without prior permission of the person who has the power to grant this permission.
Route Data: The data of an information technology means produced by an information system to show the source of communication and its transmitter and receiver interfaces, time, date, size, and duration, and the type of the service.
Website: A virtual space or domain on the information network that depends on smart software which enables its users to make available, exchange, or disseminate any content, whether text, audio, visual or data content. This includes social media websites, networks and platforms, personal pages and accounts, weblogs, e-services and etc.
Electronic Information System (IS): An information program or collection of information programs that are designed to process, manage or store electronic information that can execute the instructions or commands using the information technology equipment, including the applications and the like.
Information Technology Equipment (ITE): Any magnetic, optical or electrochemical electronic equipment or any other tool used for processing electronic data, or performing logical and mathematical processes or storage functions, including any tool that is connected or linked to it, directly or indirectly, and which enables this tool to store or communicate the electronic information to others.
Electronic Account: Any account created with an information network broker in order to use the services of this broker.
Content: The electronic information, data, and services that provide value to its receivers in specific contexts.
Illegal Content: The content whose subject constitutes one of the crimes punishable by law, or whose publication, circulation or recirculation inside the UAE would compromise the UAE's security, sovereignty or any of its interests, the public health, or public peace assurance, or the friendly relations between the UAE and other countries, or would affect the results of elections of members of the Federal National Council (FNC) or of the Consultative Councils of the emirates of UAE, or would incite hostility and hatred among different groups of persons, or would decrease the public's confidence in any of the government authorities' or entities' performance of any duty or task or exercise of any powers.
False Data: The rumors and data which are false or misleading, in whole or in part, whether by itself or within the context where they appear.
Electronic Robot (E-robot): an electronic program that is created or modified for the purpose of running automated tasks efficiently and quickly.
Electronic Document (e-document): An informational record or statement that is created, stored, extracted, copied, sent, communicated or received by electronic tool on a medium.
Hacking: The unauthorized access, access in violation of the provisions of the license, or illegal access to or stay on an information system (IS), or a computer, or operating system (OS) of a device, machine, vehicle or information network and the like.
Leakage: The deliberate disclosure or revelation of information or data without the knowledge or authorization of the owner of the system. Such data may be classified as sensitive, private or confidential.
Interception: Viewing, monitoring, or acquiring data or information for the purpose of eavesdropping, disrupting, storing, copying, recording, circumventing, or altering the content, or for misusing, rerouting or redirecting for illegal and unlawful reasons.
Cyberattacks: Every deliberate and planned targeting of ISs, infrastructure, electronic networks, or ITE that reduces the capabilities and functions of any of them, whether for personal purposes or for the purposes of intercepting, intruding, hacking, leaking, or exposing data or information to risks, or for disrupting the operations and the like.
Encryption: Converting information or information systems or tools into a form that is unreadable or unidentifiable unless returned to their original form using a password or the encryption tool involved.
Electronic: Everything relating to electromagnetic, optical, digital, automated or photogenic technologies or the like.
Electronic media: Every physical medium used for storing and circulating electronic data and information, including compact discs (CDs), optical discs, electronic memory, or the like.
Digital Evidence: Any electronic information having a probative force or value and is stored, transmitted, extracted or derived from computer sets, information networks and etc. It may be gathered and analyzed using special technological devices or applications.
Information Network: A connection between two or more information programs and information technology equipment that allow users to get access to and exchange information.
Internet Protocol (IP) Address: A digital identifier assigned to each information technology equipment on the information network and is used for connection purposes.
Information Network Broker: Every person providing any information network brokerage services including social networking services, search engines, collecting the contents transmitted through the information network, sharing videos ...etc.
Service Provider: Every public or private natural or legal person providing users with IT-based access to the information network.
Financial, Commercial or Economic Establishment: Any establishment that acquires its financial, commercial or economic standing under the license granted to it by the competent authority inside the UAE.
Child: Every person under the age of eighteen calendar years.
Child Pornography: Producing, displaying, disseminating, possessing or circulating a photo, movie, or a drawing through any means of communication, social networks, or any other means or tool that shows the child involved in a dishonorable situation in a sexual act or show whether real, fictional or simulated.
Electronic Advertisement: Every advertisement through an electronic means that aims to promote the sale of a product or the provision of a service, directly or indirectly.
Misleading Advertisement: Advertising any goods or a service based on the provision of deceptive information or omission of essential or basic information related to the goods or the service involved, and which would affect the consumer's decision and motivate them to seek to acquire it; so that the consumer would not have acquired the same had it not for that information.
Data or Information Processing: Performing or carrying out a single process or a group of processes involving the data or information, whether such information and data are pertaining to natural or to legal persons. This includes collecting, receiving, recording, storing, modifying, transmitting, retrieving and deleting that information.
User: Every natural or legal person using or taking advantage of IT services in any form.
Writs of correction and removal of false data: The notices issued by the competent authorities to one or more persons for correcting, removing or deleting illegal content, or to correct, remove or delete false information or data in the form or manner those authorities deem appropriate during the period stated in the notice.
Disable order: The notices issued by the competent authorities to an information network broker through which illegal content or false data is published. The broker is required under this notice to disable, in the form or manner deemed appropriate by these authorities, the users' access to the said content or data within the period stated in the notice.
Access Blocking Orders: The orders issued by the competent authorities to the service provider inside the UAE in case of failure to perform the other instructions mentioned in this Decree-Law in order to take actions to disable users' access in the UAE to the website or electronic account.

Section One: Crimes Against Information Technology

Chapter One: Crimes Against Information Technology

Article (2) Hacking

1. Whoever hacks a website, an electronic IS, an information network or a piece of ITE shall be punished with imprisonment and/ or a fine of not less than (AED 100,000) one hundred thousand dirhams or more than (AED 300,000) three hundred thousand dirhams.
2. If the hacking results in damages, destruction, or interruption of work; or disruption of a website, an electronic IS, an information network or a piece of ITE, or cancellation, deletion, destruction, disclosure, damage, alteration, copying, dissemination, re-dissemination, or acquiring any data or information, or loss of confidentiality of data and information, the penalty shall be imprisonment for at least (6) six months and/ or a fine of not less than (AED 150,000) one hundred fifty thousand dirhams or more than (AED 500,000) five hundred thousand dirhams.
3. If the hacking is committed for acquiring data or information for illegal purposes, the penalty shall be imprisonment for at least one year and/ or a fine no less than (AED 200,000) two hundred thousand dirhams or more than (AED 500,000) five hundred thousand dirhams.

Article (3) Hacking the Government Entities' Information Systems

1. Whoever hacks a website, electronic IS, information network or a piece of ITE belonging to the government entities shall be punished with temporary imprisonment and a fine of not less than (AED 200,000) two hundred thousand dirhams or more than (AED 500,000) five hundred thousand dirhams.
2. If the hacking results in damages, destruction, or interruption of work, or disruption of a website, electronic IS, information network or a piece of ITE, or cancellation, deletion, destruction, disclosure, damage, alteration, copying, dissemination, or re-dissemination of any data or information or loss of their confidentiality, or if crime is committed as a result of a cyberattack, the penalty shall be imprisonment for at least (5) five years and a fine of not less than (AED 250,000) two hundred fifty thousand dirhams or more than (AED 1,500,000) one million and five hundred thousand dirhams.
3. If the hacking is committed for acquiring data or information of the entities mentioned in Para. (1) of this Article, the penalty shall be temporary imprisonment for at least (7) seven years and a fine of not less than (AED 250,000) two hundred fifty thousand dirhams or more than (AED 1,500,000) one million and five hundred thousand dirhams.

Article (4) Causing Harm to Information Systems

1. Whoever willfully causes harm, destruction, interruption or disruption of a website, electronic IS, information network or a piece of ITE, shall be punished with imprisonment for at least one year and/ or a fine of not less than (AED 500,000) five hundred thousand dirhams or more than (AED 3,000,000) three million dirhams.
2. If the harm is inflicted upon a banking, media, health or scientific entity, if the harm is intended for achieving an illegal purpose, or if the crime is committed as a result of a cyberattack, the penalty shall be temporary imprisonment and a fine of not less than (AED 500,000) five hundred thousand dirhams or more than (AED 3,000,000) three million dirhams.

Article (5) Harm to Information System of Government Entity and Critical Facility

Whoever willfully causes harm, destruction, interruption or disruption of a website, electronic IS, information network or a piece of ITE belonging to one of the government entities or critical facilities shall be punished with temporary imprisonment and a fine of not less than (AED 500,000) five hundred thousand dirhams or more than (AED 3,000,000) three million dirhams.
If the crime is committed as a result of a cyberattack, this shall be deemed an aggravating circumstance.

Article (6) Infringement of Personal Data and Information

1. Whoever acquires, possesses, modifies, destroys, reveals, leaks, cancels, deletes, copies, disseminates, or re-disseminates any personal electronic data or information using the information technology or any ITE without permission shall be punished with imprisonment for at least (6) six months and/ or a fine of not less than (AED 20,000) twenty thousand dirhams or more than (AED 100,000) one hundred thousand dirhams.
2. If the data or information aforementioned in Clause (1) of this Article are related to examinations, diagnosis, medication, healthcare, medical records, bank accounts, or e-payment information and data, this shall be deemed an aggravating circumstance.
3. Whoever receives, keeps, or stores the data and information referred to in Clauses (1) and (2) of this Article, or accepts to handle or use them despite knowledge of the illegality of acquiring them shall be punished with imprisonment and/ or a fine.

Article (7) Infringement of Government Data and Information

1. Whoever acquires, possesses, modifies, destroys, reveals, leaks, cancels, deletes, copies, disseminates, or re-disseminates any government confidential data or information without permission shall be punished with temporary imprisonment for at least (7) seven years and a fine of not less than (AED 500,000) five hundred thousand dirhams or more than (AED 3,000,000) three million dirhams.
2. If the acts stipulated in Clause (1) of this Article cause harms to the UAE, or results in loss of confidentiality of the operation of electronic systems and software pertaining to military and security facilities and concerning the communication and transmission of confidential information, the penalty shall be temporary imprisonment for at least (10) ten years and a fine of not less than (AED 500,000) five hundred thousand dirhams or more than (AED 5,000,000) five million dirhams.
3. Whoever receives, keeps, or stores the data and information referred to in Clause (1) of this Article, or accepts to deal with or use them despite knowledge of the illegality of acquiring them shall be punished with temporary imprisonment.

Article (8) Infringement of Data of Financial, Commercial or Economic Establishments

Whoever acquires, possesses, modifies, destroys, reveals, leaks, cancels, deletes, alters, copies, disseminates, or re-disseminates any confidential data or information pertaining to any financial, commercial or economic establishment without permission using the information technology or any ITE shall be punished with temporary imprisonment for at least (5) five years and a fine of not less than (AED 500,000) five hundred thousand dirhams or more than (AED 3,000,000) three million dirhams.

Article (9) Unauthorized Acquisition of Third Party's Codes and Ciphers

1. Whoever acquires the PIN code, cipher, or password or the like pertaining to a website, information system, information network or ITE without permission or authorization of the person concerned shall be punished with imprisonment and/ or a fine of not less than (AED 50,000) fifty thousand dirhams or more than (AED 100,000) one hundred thousand dirhams.
2. If the person who acquires the PIN code, cipher, or password and the like without permission or authorization of the person concerned accesses or enables third parties to access the website, information system, information network or the ITE with the intent to commit a crime, he shall be punished with imprisonment for at least (6) six months and/ or a fine of not less than (AED 300,000) three hundred thousand dirhams or more than (AED 500,000) five hundred thousand dirhams.

Article (10) Circumventing the Information Network with the Intention of Committing a Crime

Whoever circumvents an IP Address through the use of an IP address of others or any other means with the intention of committing or to preventing detection of a crime shall be punished with temporary imprisonment and/ or a fine of not less than (AED 500,000) five hundred thousand dirhams or more than (AED 2,000,000) two million dirhams.

Article (11) Creating Fake Emails, Websites, and Electronic Accounts

1. Whoever creates a fake website, an account or an email and attributes it falsely to any natural or legal person shall be punished with imprisonment and/ or a fine of not less than (AED 50,000) fifty thousand dirhams or more than (AED 200,000) two hundred thousand dirhams.
2. If the offender uses or enables third parties to use the fake account, email or website in a matter offensive to the person affected shall be punished with imprisonment for at least (2) two years.
3. If the fake website, account or email is attributed to one of the government entities, the penalty shall be imprisonment for not more than (5) five years and a fine of not less than (AED 200,000) or more than (AED 2,000,000) two million dirhams.

Article (12) Illegal Interception and Disclosure of Information

1. Whoever obstructs or intercepts the access to an information network, website, or electronic IS or any electronic connection, information or data shall be punished with imprisonment and/ or a fine of not less than (AED 150,000) one hundred fifty thousand dirhams or more than (AED 500,000) five hundred thousand dirhams.
2. If the offender discloses or leaks the information, data or purport of the communication obtained through the interception shall be punished with imprisonment for at least one year and fine of not more than (AED 1,000,000) one million dirhams.
3. If the interception involves the communication, information or data of one of the government entities, the penalty shall be temporary imprisonment.

Article (13) Collecting and Processing Personal Data and Information in Violation of the Legislation

Whoever uses the information technology or ITE to collect, save, or process personal data and information of nationals and residents of the UAE in violation of the legislation in force in the UAE shall be punished with imprisonment and/ or a fine of not less than (AED 50,000) fifty thousand dirhams or more than (AED 500,000) five hundred thousand dirhams.

Article (14) Forging E-documents

1. Whoever forges an e-document belonging to any of the federal or local government or the public federal or local authorities or entities shall be punished with temporary imprisonment and a fine of not less than (AED 150,000) one hundred fifty thousand dirhams or more than (AED 750,000) seven hundred fifty thousand dirhams.
2. If the forging involves documents belonging to entities other than those mentioned in Clause (1) of this Article, the penalty shall be imprisonment and/ or a fine of not less than (AED 100,000) one hundred thousand dirhams or more than (AED 300,000) three hundred thousand dirhams.
3. The penalty prescribed for forgery crime shall be imposed on whoever knowingly uses the forged e-document.

Article (15) Hacking E-Payment Instruments

Whoever forges, clones or copies any credit card, debit card, or any e-payment instrument, or captures its data or information using any of the ITE ISs shall be punished with imprisonment and/or a fine of not less than (AED 200,000) two hundred thousand dirhams, or more than (AED 2,000,000) two million dirhams.
The same penalties shall be imposed on whoever:
1. Makes or designs any ITE or software with the intention of facilitating any of the acts stipulated in Para. (I) of this Article.
2. Uses without authorization any credit, electronic, or debit card or any other e-payment instrument, or any of its data or information with the intention of obtaining for himself of for third parties any funds or properties of others, or to utilize the services made available to third parties by these cards or instruments.
3. Accepts using these forged, fake, or copied cards or e-payment instruments or data seized or obtained illegally despite being aware of their illegality.

Article (16) Using Electronic Systems to Commit Crimes and to Conceal Evidence

Whoever possesses, obtains, prepares, designs, produces, imports, makes available or uses any information program, ITE, passcodes or codes, or uses encryption with the intention of committing any of the crimes stipulated in this Decree-Law or concealing its evidence or traces, or preventing detection of the crime shall be punished with imprisonment for at least (2) two years and/ or a fine of not less than (AED 200,000) two hundred thousand dirhams or more than (AED 500,000) five hundred thousand dirhams.

Article (17) Crimes Committed by Administrator of Website or Electronic Account

Whoever manages, creates or uses a website or account on an information network with the intent to commit or to facilitate the commission of a crime punishable by law shall be punished with imprisonment for at least one year and/ or a fine of not less than (AED 300,000) three hundred thousand dirhams or more than (AED 500,000) five hundred thousand dirhams.

Article (18) Tampering with Digital Evidence

Everyone responsible for managing a website or an account on an information network, an e-mail, or an IS and conceals or tampers with digital evidence pertaining to any of the crimes stipulated in this Decree-Law with the intent of impeding the work of the searching, investigations, and interrogations teams or other competent authorities shall be punished with imprisonment for at least (6) six months and/ or a fine of not less than (AED 200,000) two hundred thousand dirhams.

Article (19) Dissemination of Data or Information Not Compliant with Media Content Standards

Everyone responsible for managing a website or an electronic account that has posted on any of it any content, data or information that does not comply with the media content standards issued by the authorities concerned shall be punished with imprisonment for not more than one year and/ or a fine of not less than (AED 30,000) thirty thousand dirhams or more than (AED 300,000) three hundred thousand dirhams.

Chapter Two: Crimes Relating To Content And Spread Of Rumors And False New

Part One: Content Crimes: Article (20) Inciting the Suspension of the Provisions of the Constitution and Laws

Whoever creates, manages, or supervises a website or publishes information, programs or thoughts that include, aim to or instigate overthrowing the ruling regime change or seizure of power in the UAE, or to suspend the provisions of the Constitution or Laws in force in the UAE, or to protest against the basic principles of the UAE's regime using the information network or any ITE, shall be punished with life imprisonment.
the same penalty shall be imposed on everyone who promotes, incites to, or facilitates any of the aforementioned acts.

Article (22) Dissemination of Information to Harm the Interests of the UAE

Whoever uses information network or ITE and provides to any organization, institution, body, person or entity any information, data, reports or documents that are not authorized to be published or circulated and would harm the interests of the UAE or its government agencies, or would harm its reputation, prestige or dignity, shall be punished with temporary imprisonment.

Article (23) Incitement to Harm the Security of the UAE and to Assault Judicial Officers

Whoever creates, manages, or supervises a website or uses information on the information network or on the ITE with the intention of inciting actions, disseminating or broadcasting information, news, cartoons or any other images which would endanger the security of the UAE and its higher interests, or would harm the public order, or incite assaulting the judicial officers or law enforcement officers shall be punished with temporary imprisonment and a fine of not more than (AED 1,000,000) one million dirhams.

Article (24) Promoting Sedition and Harming the National Unity

Whoever uses of information network or any ITE to create, manage, or supervise a website or to disseminate information, programs or thoughts that include incitement, promotion or advocation of sedition, hatred, racism, or sectarianism in a manner which would harm the national unity, social peace, public order, public morals or would endanger the UAE's interests shall be punished with temporary imprisonment and a fine of not less than (AED 200,000) two hundred thousand dirhams or more than (AED 1,000,000) one million dirhams.

Article (25) Mockery and Tainting the Reputation of the UAE and its Public Figures

Whoever publishes information, news, data, visual images, visual or optical materials or rumors on a website, any information network or ITE with the intention of mocking or damaging the reputation, prestige, or dignity of the UAE, any of its authorities, institutions, any of its founding leaders, the UAE's flag, currency, peace, coat of arms, or national anthem, or any of its national public figures shall be punished with imprisonment for not more than (5) five years and a fine not exceeding (AED 500,000) five hundred thousand dirhams.

Article (26) Unauthorized Call for and Promotion of Demonstrations

Whoever creates, manages, or supervises a website or uses information on the information network or the ITE in order to plan for, organize, promote, or call for demonstrations, marches, or similar acts without obtaining permit from the competent authority shall be punished with imprisonment and/ or a fine of not less than (AED 200,000) two hundred thousand dirhams or more than (AED 1,000,000) one million dirhams.

Article (27) Incitement to Disobedience of the Legislation

Whoever calls for or incites to disobedience of the legislation in force in the UAE through dissemination of information via the information network or any ITE shall be punished with imprisonment and/ or a fine of not less than (AED 100,000) one hundred thousand dirhams or more than (AED 500,000) five hundred thousand dirhams.

Article (28) Offending a Foreign Country

Whoever disseminates information or data on the information network or any ITE which include offending of foreign countries shall be punished with imprisonment for at least (6) six months and/ or a fine of not less than (AED 100,000) one hundred thousand dirhams or more than (AED 500,000) five hundred thousand dirhams.
In respect of the crimes set out in this Article, the legal proceedings shall be instituted only by the Attorney General of the UAE.

Article (29) Trafficking in and Promotion of Firearms, Ammunition or Explosives

Whoever creates, manages or supervises a website or publishes information on an information network or ITE with the intention of trafficking in or promoting firearms, ammunition or explosives in cases other than those authorized by law shall be punished with imprisonment for at least one year and/ or a fine of not less than (AED 500,000) five hundred thousand dirhams or more than (AED 1,000,000) one million dirhams.

Article (30) Transfer, Possession, Use or Acquisition of Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs)

Without prejudice to the provisions of the Anti-Money Laundering Law, whoever willfully commits any of the following acts through the use of any information network, IS, or any ITE shall be punished with imprisonment for not more than (10) ten years and a fine of not less than (AED 100,000) one hundred thousand dirhams or more than (5,000,000) five million dirhams:
1. Transferring, transporting or depositing IFFs with the intention of concealing or disguising their illegal source.
2. Concealing or disguising the truth, source, movement, rights associated with or ownership of the IFFs.
3. Acquiring, possessing or using IFFs despite knowledge of the illegality of their source.
The same penalties shall be imposed to whoever creates, manages, or supervises a website or disseminates information or data on the information network or ITE to facilitate or incite the commission of any of the acts abovementioned in this Article.

Article (31) Trafficking in and Promotion of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances

Whoever creates, manages, or supervises a website or disseminates information or data on the information network or ITE for the purpose of trafficking in or promoting narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances and etc., or how they are used, or to facilitate trading in them in cases other than those authorized by law shall be punished with temporary imprisonment and/ or a fine of not less than (AED 500,000) five hundred thousand dirhams or more than (AED 1,000,000) one million dirhams.

Article (32) Creation and Management of a Website for Trafficking in Human Beings

Whoever creates, manages, or supervises a website or disseminates information or data on the information network or using a piece of ITE with the intention of trafficking in human beings or organs or illegal trading in them shall be punished with temporary imprisonment and/ or a fine of not less than (AED 500,000) five hundred thousand dirhams or more than (AED 1,000,000) one million dirhams.

Article (33) Incitement to Immoral Acts and Prostitution

Whoever incites or tempts third parties to commit prostitution or immoral acts, or assists him/her to do so through the use an information network or any ITE shall be punished with temporary imprisonment and a fine of not less than (AED 250,000) two hundred fifty thousand dirhams or more than (AED 1,000,000) one million dirhams.
In the event that the victim is a child, the penalty shall be temporary imprisonment for at least (5) five years and a fine of not more than (AED 1,000,000) one million dirhams.

Article (34) Disseminating Obscene Materials And Violating the Public Morals

Whoever creates, manages, or supervises a website, or broadcasts, transmits, disseminates, re-disseminates or displays through the information network any obscene materials and everything which would violate the public morals shall be punished with imprisonment and/ or and a fine of not less than (AED 250,000) two hundred fifty thousand dirhams or more than (AED 500,000) five hundred thousand dirhams.
The same penalty shall be imposed on everyone who produces, prepares, designs, transmits, or stores any obscene materials and everything which would violate the public morals through the use of the information network with the intention of making use of, distributing or displaying the same to third parties.
If the subject of the obscene content is a child, or if the content is designed to seduce children, the offender shall be punished with imprisonment for at least one year and/ or a fine of not more than (AED 500,000) five hundred thousand dirhams.

Article (35) Engaging Children in Creating Pornographic Materials

1. Whoever incites, seduces, or assists a child to broadcast, createor transmit obscene material using the information network or the ITE shall be punished with imprisonment for at least (2) two years and/ or a fine of not less than (AED 250,000) two hundred fifty thousand dirhams or more than (AED 1,000,000) one million dirhams.
2. In the event that the subject of this obscene materials prepared or transmitted is this child, the penalty shall be temporary imprisonment and a fine not exceeding (AED 1,000,000) one million dirhams.
3. The victim child shall not be held criminally accountable for the acts he commits as a result of the incitement and seduction.

Article (36) Possession of Child Pornographic Materials

Whoever willfully possesses any child pornographic materials using the electronic IS, information network, website, or any ITE shall be punished with imprisonment for at least (6) six months and a fine of not less than (AED 150,000) one hundred fifty thousand dirhams or more than (AED 1,000,000) one million dirhams.

Article (37) Blasphemy and Condoning the Sin

Whoever uses information network, any ITE, or a website to commit any of the following crimes shall be punished with imprisonment and/ or a fine of not less than (AED 250,000) two hundred fifty thousand dirhams or more than (AED 1,000,000) one million dirhams:
1. Offending any of the Islamic sanctities or rituals.
2. Offending any of the sanctities or rituals established in other religions whenever these sanctities and rituals are inviolable in accordance with the provisions of Islamic Sharia.
3. Insulting one of the recognized monotheistic religions.
4. Condoning, inciting to or promoting sins.
If the crime involves an insult to the Divine Essence or to the Messengers and Prophets, or if it is in opposition to the Islamic religion, breaches the foundations and principles upon which Islam is based, violating or breaches the rituals and rulings of the Islamic religion which are known as necessity, or humiliates Islamic religion, preaches to another religion, advocates, recommends or promotes a doctrine or thought that involves any of the foregoing, the penalty shall be temporary imprisonment for not more than (7) seven years.

Article (38) Promotion of Gambling Activities

Whoever creates, manages or supervises a website, or uses information network to broadcast, transmit, disseminate, re-disseminate, or promote practicing of gambling activities in the cases other than the authorized shall be punished with imprisonment and/ or a fine of not less than (AED 250,000) two hundred fifty thousand dirhams or more than (AED 500,000) five hundred thousand dirhams.

Article (39) Illicit Trafficking in Antiquities and Works of Art

Whoever creates, manages or supervises a website or uses an information network or any ITE with the intention of trafficking in antiquities and works of art in cases other than those authorized by law shall be punished with imprisonment and/ or a fine of not less than (AED 500,000) five hundred thousand dirhams or more than (AED 1,000,000) one million dirhams.

Article (40) Internet Fraud

Whoever illegally seizes for himself or for third parties a movable asset, a benefit or a document or signs this document through the use of any of the fraud techniques, or through taking an alias or false impersonation through the information network, IS or any ITE shall be punished with imprisonment for at least one year and/ or a fine of not less than (AED 250,000) two hundred fifty thousand dirhams or more than (AED 1,000,000) one million dirhams.

Article (41) Unauthorized Fundraising

Whoever calls for or promotes a contest or electronic currency, or creates or manages a fictitious portfolio or company with the intention of receiving or raising funds from the public for the purpose of investing, managing, employing or increasing these funds without a license from the authorities concerned shall be punished with imprisonment for not more than (5) five years and/ or a fine of not less than (AED 250,000) two hundred fifty thousand dirhams or more than (AED 1,000,000) one million dirhams. The court shall order the refund of the illegally seized funds.

Article (42) Cyberextortion and Cyber Threats

1. Whoever uses an information network or any ITE to extort or threaten another person to force the latter to act or to refrain from acting shall be punished with imprisonment for not more than (2) two years and/ or a fine of not less than (AED 250,000) two hundred fifty thousand dirhams or more than (AED 500,000) five hundred thousand dirhams.
2. In the event that the person is threatened to commit a crime or to commit dishonorable acts, and this is accompanied by an explicit or implicit request to act or refrain from acting, the penalty shall be temporary imprisonment for not more than (10) ten years.

Article (43) Defamation and Slander

Whoever uses an information network, ITE, or an information system and insults another or attributes a quality to him that would make that person subject to punishment or contempt by third parties shall be punished with imprisonment and/ or a fine of not less than (AED 250,000) two hundred fifty thousand dirhams or more than (AED 500,000) five hundred thousand dirhams.
In the event that any of the offences abovementioned in Para. (I) of this Article is committed against a public official or a person entrusted with a public service during or because of performance of his work, that shall be deemed an aggravating circumstance of the crime.

Article (44) Revealing Secrets and Invasion of Privacy

Whoever uses an information network, an IS, or any ITE with the intention of invading the privacy or sanctity of private or familial life of someone without his consent in cases other than those authorized by law through committing any of the following actions shall be punished with imprisonment for at least (6) six months and/ or a fine of not less than (AED 150,000) one hundred fifty thousand dirhams or more than (AED 500,000) fiver hundred thousand dirhams:
1. Eavesdropping, intercepting, recording, transmitting, broadcasting, or revealing conversations, communications or audio or visual materials.
2. Taking photos of third parties in any public or private place, or preparing, transferring, disclosing, copying or keeping electronic photos.
3. Publishing news, electronic photos, images, scenes, comments, data or information, even if it is true and genuine, with intention of harming the person.
4. Taking, transmitting, or publishing photos of the injured, the dead, or the victims of accidents or disasters without permission or consent of the parties concerned.
5. Tracking, monitoring, revealing, transmitting, disclosing, copying or keeping the geographic location data of third parties.
Moreover, whoever uses an IS or ITE to modify or process any record, photo or scene with the intention of defaming or insulting another person shall be punished with imprisonment for at least one year and/ or a fine of not less than (AED 250,000) two hundred fifty thousand dirhams or more than (AED 500,000) five hundred thousand dirhams.

Article (45) Disclosure of Confidential Information at Work

Whoever discloses any confidential information obtained at or because of his work or by virtue of his job or profession using one of the ITE without being authorized to disclose it, or without permission from the person concerned to disclose or use the secret shall be punished with imprisonment for at least (6) six months and/ or a fine of not less than (AED 200,000) two hundred thousand dirhams or more than (AED 1,000,000) one million dirhams.
If the offender uses said information to gain benefits for himself or for third parties, this shall be deemed an aggravating circumstance.
 

Article (46) Calling for and Promoting the Collection of Donations Without a License

Whoever creates, manages, or supervises a website or disseminates information on the information network or any ITE to call for or promote collection of donations without a licence approved by the competent authority or in violation of the conditions of this licences shall be punished with imprisonment and/ or a fine of not less than (AED 200,000) two hundred thousand dirhams or more than (AED 500,000) five hundred thousand dirhams.

Article (47) Conducting Statistical Surveys or Questionnaires Without a License

Whoever uses an information program, information network, or ITE to conduct statistical surveys or questionnaires without permit from the competent authority shall be punished with imprisonment and/ or a fine of not less than (AED 100,000) one hundred thousand dirhams or more than (AED 500,000) five hundred thousand dirhams.
In the event that offender intends to affect or harm the interests of the UAE, the penalty shall be temporary imprisonment.

Article (48) Advertisements and Promotions Misleading the Consumers

Whoever uses an information network, any ITE, or a website to commit any of the following acts shall be punished with imprisonment and/ or a fine of not less than (AED 20,000) twenty thousand dirhams or more than (AED 500,000) five hundred thousand dirhams:
1. Promote a good or service through a misleading advertisement or technique which include inaccurate data.
2. Advertise, promote, mediate, or deal in any form or encourage dealing with a virtual or digital currency, a stored unit of value, or any payment unit that is not officially recognized in the UAE or without obtaining a license from the competent authority.

Article (49) Promoting Medical Products without License

Whoever creates, manages, or supervises a website or publishes information on an information network or any ITE to promote or sell unlicensed medical products, or copies of licensed medical products shall be punished with imprisonment and/ or a fine.

Article (50) Unlawful Use of Communication Services or Broadcast Channels

Whoever uses or helps third parties use communication services of audio or video broadcast channels unlawfully through the use of information network or any ITE shall be punished with imprisonment for at least one year and/ or a fine of not less than (AED 250,000) two hundred fifty thousand dirhams or more than (AED 1,000,000) one million dirhams.

Article (51) Cyberbegging

Whoever commits the crime of begging using any ITE through mendicity or any other form or means shall be punished with imprisonment for not more than (3) three months and/ or a fine of not less than (AED 10,000) ten thousand dirhams.
The same penalty shall be imposed on whoever uses any ITE to request assistance from federal or local government entities or one of their officials in an offensive manner or contrary to the truth.

Part Two: Crimes Of Spreading Rumors and False News: Article (52) Spreading Rumors and False News

1. Whoever uses the information network or any ITE to announce, disseminate, re-disseminate, circulate, or recirculate false news or data, or false, tendentious, misleading or erroneous rumors or reports, or rumors or reports contrary to what has been announced officially, or broadcasts any provocative advertisements that would incite or provoke the public opinion, disturb the public peace, spread terror among people, or cause harm to the public interest, the national economy, the public order, or the public health shall be punished with imprisonment for at least one year and a fine of not less than (AED 100,000) one hundred thousand dirhams.
2. If any of the acts abovementioned in Clause (1) of this Article results in incitement and provocation of the public opinion against any of the UAE's authorities or entities, or is committed during epidemics, crises, emergencies or disasters, the penalty shall be imprisonment for at least (2) two years and a fine of not less than (AED 200,000) two hundred thousand dirhams.

Article (53) Making Available and Refraining from Removing Illegal Content

Whoever uses a website or electronic account to commit any of the following acts shall be punished with a fine of not less than (AED 300,000) three hundred thousand dirhams or more than (AED 1,000,000) one million dirhams:
1. Stores, makes available or publishes illegal content and does not remove it or prevent access to this content within the period specified in the orders issued to him as stipulated in this Decree-Law.
2. Refuses to comply, in whole or in part, with any of the orders issued to him and stipulated in this Decree-Law without an acceptable excuse.

Article (54) Creating or Modifying E-robots To Disseminate False Data inside the UAE

Whoever creates or modifies an e-robot with the intention of disseminating, re-disseminating, or circulating false data or news inside the UAE, or enabling third parties to disseminate, re-disseminate or circulate it shall be punished with imprisonment for not more than (2) two years and/ or a fine of not less than (AED 100,000) one hundred thousand dirhams or more than (AED 1,000,000) one million dirhams. The punishment shall be augmented in the event that there are multiple offenders.

Article (55) Obtaining a Gift in Return for Spreading Illegal Content or False Data

Whoever requests, accepts or takes, directly or indirectly, or is promised of a materialistic of non-materialistic gift or benefit, whether inside or outside the UAE, in return for publishing or re-publishing illegal content or any of the false data in the UAE using any ITE shall be punished with temporary imprisonment and a fine of not more than (AED 2,000,000) two million dirhams. A judgment shall be made to forfeit the material gift or benefit obtained by him. In the event that it is not possible to seize the same, a fine equal to the value of what has been requested, offered, or accepted shall be imposed.
Whoever manages, or supervises, rents or purchases advertising space on an offensive account or website shall be punished with the same penalty.
The competent authorities may consider a website or an electronic account offensive if the authority verifies that it has repeatedly published false data or content in violation of the law.
 

Chapter Three: Special Provisions Concerning The Penalties

Measures Forfeiture Penalty: Article (56)

Without prejudice to the rights of bona fide third parties, in the event of being convicted, the devices, programs, or means used in committing any of the crimes stipulated in this Decree-Law, or the funds obtained from it shall be forfeited and the information or data shall be deleted.

Article (57) Penalty for Attempted Misdemeanor

Attempted misdemeanors stipulated in this Decree-Law shall be subject to half of the penalty prescribed for the committed crime.

Article (58) The Penalty for the Person Responsible for De Facto Management of the Legal Person

The person responsible for the actual management of the legal person shall be punished with the same penalties prescribed for the acts committed in violation of the provisions of this Decree-Law if it is proven that he was aware of them and that his failure to comply with of the duties imposed on him by that management has contributed to commission of the crime. The legal person shall be jointly liable to pay the fines or compensations imposed if the violation was committed by one of its employees in the name and for the benefit of the legal person.

Article (59) Punitive Measures

Upon rendering a judgment of conviction of any of the crimes stipulated in this Decree-Law, the court may decide to take any of the following measures:
1. Order that the convict be placed under electronic supervision or monitoring, be deprived of using any information network, IS, or ITE, or be placed in a treatment shelter or rehabilitation center for the duration the court deems appropriate.
2. Close down the violating site completely or partially whenever this is technically feasible.
3. Block the violating site completely or partially for the duration decided by the court.
Whoever violates any of the measures awarded shall be punished with imprisonment for not more than one year or a fine of not more than (AED 5,000) five thousand dirhams, and the court may order a prolongation of the measure for a period not exceeding half of the sentenced period and, in any case, not more than (3) three years. Otherwise, the court may replace it with any other measure from among the aforementioned measures.

Article (60) Aggravating Circumstances

In implementation of the provisions of this Decree-Law, the following shall constitute aggravating circumstances:
1. The offender commits any of the crimes stipulated in this Decree-Law during or due to the performance of his job.
2. The offender uses the information network, any IS, website, or ITE to commit any crime that is not provided for in this Decree-Law.
3. The offender commits any of the crime stipulated in this Decree-Law for the account or interest of a foreign country, any hostile group, terrorist group or illegal organization.

Article (61) Exemption from Punishment

1. At the request of the Attorney General, the court may reduce or exempt from the punishment if the offender provides the judicial or administrative authorities with information related to any of the crimes stipulated in this Decree-Law whenever this information leads to the detection of the crime and its offenders, or to proving their involvement, or the arrest of one of them.
2. In respect of crimes affecting the security of the UAE, the Attorney General of the UAE alone may request the court before which the case is heard to apply the provisions of the preceding paragraph in cases other than those stipulated in the preceding paragraph if the request is related to the supreme interest of the UAE or any other national interest. If a judgment is rendered in the case, he may submit the request to the court that has rendered the judgement before or during its execution.

Article (62) Writs to Correct, Interrupt, Disable and Block Access

In respect of the crimes stipulated in Article (71) of this Decree-Law, the competent authorities may, either sua sponte or at the request of the Prosecutor-General, issue any of the writs stipulated in this Decree-Law if they have verified the dissemination, re-dissemination, or circulation of illegal content or content containing false data.
The writs provided for in this Decree-Law shall be issued by the competent authorities using the available methods including electronic methods.
The writs shall be sent, according to their nature, to the person concerned or to whomever this person appoints or selects to receive them on his behalf.
The procedures stipulated in this Article do not prejudice the authority of the Public Prosecution to take any actions it deems appropriate regarding the criminal case in accordance with the law.

Article (63) Grievance and Appeal Against Orders

Any person against whom any of the writs stipulated in this Decree-Law have been issued may file a grievance against them through filing of a grievance with the competent authorities within (3) three working days from the date on which he became aware of issuance of the writ, and the competent authority shall decide on the grievance within one week from the date of filing it. Passage of this period without a response shall be deemed a rejection of the grievance.
If the grievance is rejected, this person may file an appeal against the decision before the Federal Court located in the headquarters of the UAE's capital within one week from the date of the rejection or the passage of the period for deciding on the grievance.
The appeal shall be filed by submitting a Statement accompanied by the evidence and documents to the case management department at the court before which the appeal is filed.
The court shall consider the appeal in camera and shall decide on it within (7) seven days by making a decision either to revoke those writs in whole or in part, or to reject the appeal after hearing the litigants' requests, and its decision shall be final.

Article (64) Cases of Non-Absence of Criminal Liability

In implementation of the provisions of this Decree-Law, the following shall not be considered as grounds for absence of criminal liability:
1. The person is subject to a duty under any legislation, legal rule, contract or code of conduct that restricts or prevents him from complying with any part of the writs set forth in this Decree-Law.
2. The person concerned or his representative submits a grievance or an appeal, as applicable, against these writs in accordance with the provisions of Article (63) of this Decree-Law.

Section Two: Procedural And Final Provisions

Article (65) Probative Force of Evidence

The evidence derived or extracted from electronic devices, equipment, media, or drives, information system, computer programs, or from any ITE shall have the same probative force of physical forensic evidence as a criminal evidence.

Article (66) Powers of the Attorney General

1. In the cases where the criminal case lapses due to amicable settlement or compromise in accordance with the provisions of this Decree-Law, the Attorney General may order that the accused be placed under supervision or monitoring or be deprived of using any information network, IS. or any other ITE, or undergo a rehabilitation program for the duration he deems appropriate.
2. Whenever there is an evidence that a website broadcasting from inside or outside the UAE has displayed any phrases, numbers, photos, films, or any advertising materials or etc. which constitute one of the crimes stipulated in Article (71) of this Decree-Law, or constitutes a threat to the national security or endangers the security of the UAE or its national economy, the Attorney General may order the blocking of the website(s) subject of the broadcast whenever it is technically feasible, or may issue any of the orders stipulated in this Decree-Law.

Article (67) Amicable Settlement

Either the court or the Public Prosecution, as the case may be, may accept amicable settlement with the person accused in the crimes stipulated in Articles (13), (19), (24), (25), (26), (27), (28), (47), (48), (49), (50), (51), (52) and (53) of this Decree-Law as follows:
1. Amicable settlement may take place before the criminal case is referred to the court, against paying an amount that is not less than half the minimum fine or more than half the maximum fine prescribed for the crime.
2. Amicable settlement may take place after the criminal case is referred to the court but before a final judgment is rendered, against paying an amount that is not less than double the minimum fine prescribed or more than two-thirds of the maximum fine.
3. Amicable settlement shall give rise to lapse of the criminal case and shall not affect the rights of the victim of the crime, if necessary.

Article (68) Invoking Amicable Settlement with the Victim

In the crimes stipulated in Articles (2) Clause (1), (6) Clause (1), (9) Clause (1), (11) Clause (1), (42) Clause (1), (43), (44) and (45) of this Decree-Law, the accused may invoke the amicable settlement taking place with the victim or his representative either before the public prosecution or the court, as the case may be, irrespective of the status of the criminal case but before the judgment becomes final. The same shall be made in accordance with provisions of penal reconciliation stipulated in the Criminal Procedure Code abovementioned.

Article (69) Entry into Force

Without prejudice to the provisions of the aforementioned Penal Code, the provisions of this Decree-Law shall apply to everyone who commits any of the crimes stipulated in this Decree-Law outside the UAE in the following cases:
1. If the crime involves an IS, an information network, a website, or ITE whether relating or belonging to one of the government entities.
2. If the crime was prepared, planned, directed, supervised or financed inside the UAE.
3. If the crime affects the security of the UAE whether at home or abroad, or affects any of its interests, or harms any of its nationals or residents.
4. If the offender is found in the UAE after the crime had been committed and was not extradited.

Article (70) Judicial Officers

The employees, upon whom the capacity of judicial officers is conferred pursuant to a resolution by the Minister of Justice or the head of the local judicial entity, as applicable, may detect and detect the acts committed in violation of the provisions of this Decree-Law. The local authorities inside the Emirates shall provide these employees with necessary facilities to enable them to discharge their duties.

Article (71) Crimes against the security of the UAE

The crimes mentioned in Articles (3), (5), (7), (11) Clause (3), (12) Clause (3), (13), (19), (20), (21), (22), (23), (24), (25), (26), (27), (28), (47) Para (II), (52), (53) and (55) of this Decree-Law shall be classified as crimes against UAE's security.
In addition, any crime stipulated in this Decree-Law shall be classified as a crime against the UAE's security if it is committed for the benefit or interest of a foreign country, terrorist group, gang, or illegal organization or entity.
 

Article (72) Imposition of the More Severe Punishment

Imposition of the penalties stipulated in this Decree-Law shall not prejudice any more severe penalty stipulated in the Penal Code or any other law.

Article (73) Repeals

The Decree-Law No. (5) of 2012 on Combating Cybercrimes is hereby repealed. In addition, any provision shall also be repealed to the extent that they contradict or contravene with the provisions of this Decree-Law.

Article (74) Publication and Entry of the Decree-Law into Force

This Decree-Law shall be published in the Official Gazette and shall enter into force as of 02 January, 2022A.D.

Translated in cooperation with