Drugs law changes shifted focus to rehabilitation rather than punishment

The federal anti-narcotics law was changed late last year so that the mandatory four-year jail sentence for drug possession was reduced to two.

Changes also included power given to judges to send a drug offender for treatment rather than a court date. Options for first-time offenders now include sending them to a rehabilitation centre, giving them a maximum fine of Dh10,000, or community service.

President Sheikh Khalifa issued the update to the original 1995 law and it now means that drug use is no longer a felony.

If a drug user is handed over by their family to a rehabilitation centre, police or prosecutors, they face no penalty and will remain in treatment until the centre decides they can be released. Previously this was only the case if the drug user turned themselves in.

No figures are available for the overall number of drug addicts in the UAE but the increase in drugs seizures gives some indication of the growing problem.

The number of narcotic pills seized in the UAE rose by nearly 290 per cent, from 11 million in 2015 to 42.5 million last year.

In March, the head of anti-narcotics at the Ministry of Interior, Lt Col Saeed Al Suwaidi, said the production of Captagon and crystal methamphetamine in the GCC had gone through the roof in recent years because of political turmoil and security challenges that created loopholes in which criminals flourish.

“The number of people arrested [in the UAE] in relation to drugs – smugglers and users – rose from 173 in 2015 to 391 in 2016, so there is a clear targeting of the Gulf. It’s a challenge we are enduring,” he said.


Director: Alexander Payne

Starring: Paul Giamatti, Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Dominic Sessa

Rating: 4.5/5


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The years Ramadan fell in May






Produced: Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Rajkumar Hirani

Director: Rajkumar Hirani

Cast: Ranbir Kapoor, Vicky Kaushal, Paresh Rawal, Anushka Sharma, Manish’s Koirala, Dia Mirza, Sonam Kapoor, Jim Sarbh, Boman Irani

Rating: 3.5 stars

Quick facts on cancer
  • Cancer is the second-leading cause of death worldwide, after cardiovascular diseases 
  • About one in five men and one in six women will develop cancer in their lifetime 
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  • Genetic mutations play a role in 5 per cent to 10 per cent of cancers 
  • Up to 3.7 million lives could be saved annually by implementing the right health
  • The total annual economic cost of cancer is $1.16 trillion



Director:Assad Al Waslati

Starring: Omar Al Mulla, Badr Hakami and Rehab Al Attar

Streaming on: ADtv

Rating: 3.5/5

Tips for newlyweds to better manage finances

All couples are unique and have to create a financial blueprint that is most suitable for their relationship, says Vijay Valecha, chief investment officer at Century Financial. He offers his top five tips for couples to better manage their finances.

Discuss your assets and debts: When married, it’s important to understand each other’s personal financial situation. It’s necessary to know upfront what each party brings to the table, as debts and assets affect spending habits and joint loan qualifications. Discussing all aspects of their finances as a couple prevents anyone from being blindsided later.

Decide on the financial/saving goals: Spouses should independently list their top goals and share their lists with one another to shape a joint plan. Writing down clear goals will help them determine how much to save each month, how much to put aside for short-term goals, and how they will reach their long-term financial goals.

Set a budget: A budget can keep the couple be mindful of their income and expenses. With a monthly budget, couples will know exactly how much they can spend in a category each month, how much they have to work with and what spending areas need to be evaluated.

Decide who manages what: When it comes to handling finances, it’s a good idea to decide who manages what. For example, one person might take on the day-to-day bills, while the other tackles long-term investments and retirement plans.

Money date nights: Talking about money should be a healthy, ongoing conversation and couples should not wait for something to go wrong. They should set time aside every month to talk about future financial decisions and see the progress they’ve made together towards accomplishing their goals.

Brief scoreline:

Burnley 3

Barnes 63', 70', Berg Gudmundsson 75'

Southampton 3

Man of the match

Ashley Barnes (Burnley)

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