New Abu Dhabi centre to combat bullying and gaming addiction among emirate’s youths

Centre will raise awareness of consequences of antisocial behaviour

An education centre will be set up in Abu Dhabi to act as a preventive tool against antisocial behaviour and gaming addiction among the emirate’s youths.

President Sheikh Khalifa issued a law on Sunday to establish Abu Dhabi Community Legal Awareness Centre.

The centre, named Masouliya, meaning responsibility, will be managed by Abu Dhabi Judicial Department.

Judges will be granted powers to refer minor cyber-crime offenders to the centre for rehabilitation.

People could also voluntarily seek help from the centre to address problems such as gaming addiction.

Other antisocial behaviour the centre aims to tackle includes bullying, defamation and inciting violence.

Awareness programmes and meetings with young people and parents will also be part of a wide-ranging project to support the next generation and instil positive ethics and principles.

“Abu Dhabi Community Legal Awareness Centre will work as a preventive tool, with its top priority to ensure awareness among youth, parents and guardians about the legal consequences of antisocial or irresponsible behaviour, particularly on social media platforms and when gaming,” said Yousef Al Abery, undersecretary of the department.

Authorities in recent years sought to address reckless and offensive actions on social media platforms which tarnish Emirati culture.

This year, an Emirati influencer was ordered to pay Dh300,000 by the Criminal Court for using Emirati currency – a dirham – to burn incense.

When the video circulated online, influencer K K was accused of insulting the local currency.

In another case, an Emirati couple were summoned by Fujairah Police after a video was posted online showing them dancing at their engagement party.

The video was considered disrespectful to UAE traditions.