‘What should I be mindful of when taking photos in the UAE?’

It is not permitted to take photos of government and semi-government buildings, certain cultural sights and people in the street without permission

There are considerations when taking photographs in the UAE and everyone should be aware of certain restrictions. Chris Whiteoak / The National
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Question: I see a lot of photographs of Dubai shared on social media but a friend who has been here for many years has warned me that I should take care when taking photographs when out and about, even if for my own Instagram account as I can get into trouble.

Do I really need to be concerned? CL, Dubai

Answer: There are considerations when taking photographs in the UAE and everyone should be aware of certain restrictions.

The first thing to be aware of is that it is not permitted to take photographs of government and semi-government buildings without specific permission.

The same applies to certain cultural sights. You will often see signs to this effect and the warnings should be taken seriously.

You should not take photographs of people in the street, or any public place, without their permission. This is especially important in respect of women.

Simply put, sharing photographs of people without their permission is seen as a serious offence.

The UAE has a law that covers copyright issues, Federal Law Decree 38 of 2021. This makes it clear that the person who took the photograph of someone else has no right to distribute or publish without the authorisation of the person(s) in the picture.

Should someone take photographs of other people without consent and post them online, they can be fined from Dh150,000 ($40,844) to Dh500,000 and/or be imprisoned for no less than six months.

The laws are about respecting individual rights, so always seek permission when taking any photographs in a public place, including in a restaurant or bar when people are in shot.

There is an exception for photographs at a public event or if a public figure or known personality who can reasonably accept that they will be photographed when going out, although good manners should prevail.

There is also an exception for publication if a photograph is deemed by the authorities to be in the public interest, but I understand that largely applies to tourist locations and buildings that promote the UAE.

One other exception is if a photograph is taken of an offence for the sole purpose of sharing with the police for the benefit of public safety.

Common sense and caution should prevail and if in doubt, always ask permission before picking up your camera or telephone.

New UAE labour laws come into effect

New UAE labour laws come into effect

Q: I have been with a company for two months but want to resign as I have heard of another job that I want.

I am in my probation period. How long do I have to stay once I tell my manager I am leaving?

Also, am I owed anything in addition to my daily salary as they told me I am building up holidays in the first year?

A colleague told me that the company doesn’t pay for any leave of an employee who quits in the first year. JL, Sharjah

A: The amount of notice required on leaving during the probation period varies, depending on whether a person is moving to another employer in the UAE or leaving the country.

JL plans to move to another employer in the UAE, so Article 9, clause 3 of UAE labour law applies.

It states: “If the worker wishes to move during the probationary period, to work for another employer in the State, he shall notify the original employer of the same in writing within not less than one month from the date of his wish to terminate the contract. Then, the new employer shall compensate the original employer for the costs of recruitment or contracting with the worker, unless otherwise agreed upon.”

Therefore, a full month’s notice is required and should be provided in writing. Note also that the new employer will incur some additional costs in accordance with the requirements of the law.

When a worker leaves service, he should receive pay for all days he has worked and is also entitled to be paid for any days of annual leave that have been accrued and not been taken
Keren Bobker

When JL leaves service, he should receive pay for all days he has worked and is also entitled to be paid for any days of annual leave that have been accrued and not been taken.

This is the case for anyone who chooses to resign at any time and applies even if one day of leave has accrued. No employer should refuse to make this payment.

The new labour law is very clear on this matter and Article 29, clause 3 states: “The employer may agree to grant the worker a leave from his annual leave balance during the probationary period, while the worker shall reserve his right to be compensated for the remainder of his annual leave balance in case he does not pass the probationary period.”

If the employer does not pay the full amount that is owed, any individual can register a case against them with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation. This can be by telephone 600 590000, the website or through the app.

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser and senior partner with Holborn Assets in Dubai, with more than 30 years’ experience. Contact her at keren@holbornassets.com or at www.financialuae.com

The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only

Updated: April 21, 2024, 5:00 AM