Crime in the United Arab Emirates

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
UAE police vehicle

The crime rate in the United Arab Emirates is relatively low[1][2] compared to more highly industrialized nations.[2] Incidents of petty crime such as pickpocketing are low.[1] The United States Department of State states: "Crime generally is not a problem for travelers in the UAE. However, the U.S. Embassy advises U.S. citizens to take normal precautions against theft, such as not leaving a wallet, purse, or credit card unattended. Although vehicle break-ins in the UAE are rare, U.S. citizens are encouraged to ensure that unattended vehicles are locked and that valuables are not left out in plain sight".[3]


The Australian Government has advised travellers to exercise normal safety precautions, as they would do in Australia. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) of the Government of Australia has previously advised travelers "to exercise a high degree of caution in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) because of the high threat of terrorist attack". The DFAT claimed they received reports of a terrorist plan to attack Western interests in the nation.[1]


Incidents of cybercrime are increasing. In 2002, there was a 300% rise in computer hacking within six months. According to experts, the United Arab Emirates is among the top ten countries which are most vulnerable to attack by hackers.[4] White-collar crime includes embezzlement of funds, fraud and bribery.[5]


The UAE is a drug transshipment country for traffickers due to its proximity to Southwest Asian drug producing nations.[6] Drug trafficking is a major form of crime in the UAE,[7] and the nation has a zero tolerance policy towards illegal drug use. Possession of the smallest amount of illegal drugs is punishable by a minimum of four years' imprisonment[8] and a maximum punishment of death.[9]

Money laundering[edit]

The UAE is vulnerable to money laundering due to its position as a major commercial driver in the region.[6] The UAE leadership has taken several measures for combating organized crime. A law was enacted in January 2002 for the purpose of curbing money laundering.[7] However, despite government efforts to combat money laundering, regulation of banking is still developing.[6]

Washington-based Center for Advanced Defense Studies recently, released a report affirming that US sanctioned war profiteers, terror-funders and drug traffickers have been long-using Dubai's real-estate market as a money-laundering haven.[10]


According to the Global Study on Homicide, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the homicide rate in the UAE in 2012 was 2.6 per 100,000.[11] The average global homicide rate for that period was 6.3 per 100,000 population.

Human trafficking[edit]

Human trafficking is a problem which involves involuntary servitude of young boys and women.[2] In 2006, young boys were trafficked into the country for the purpose of being used as camel jockeys.[2][12] There were many camel jockeys working in the UAE under inhumane conditions, these are now slowly being replaced by robot jockeys.

Human trafficking cases in the UAE have been falling over the years. In the first half of 2014, three cases of human trafficking were received by the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children (DFWAC) compared to 12 in the same period of 2013.[13]


Women are trafficked into the country for sexual exploitation. Women from Syria, Iraq, Russia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Romania, Moldova, Transnistria, Ukraine, Ethiopia, Somalia, Uganda, Morocco, India, the People's Republic of China, the Philippines, Iran and Pakistan are reportedly trafficked to the UAE.[14]


  1. ^ a b c United Arab Emirates Archived 2008-08-29 at the Wayback Machine Government of Australia, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  2. ^ a b c d "United Arab Emirates". Archived from the original on 2015-05-29. Retrieved 2008-08-26.
  3. ^ United Arab Emirates Archived December 19, 2008, at the Wayback Machine United States Department of State
  4. ^ Lawrence M. Salinger (2004). Encyclopedia of white-collar & corporate crime. SAGE. p. 44. ISBN 0-7619-3004-3.
  5. ^ Lawrence M. Salinger (2004). Encyclopedia of white-collar & corporate crime. SAGE. p. 45. ISBN 0-7619-3004-3.
  6. ^ a b c United Arab Emirates The World Factbook
  7. ^ a b Lawrence M. Salinger (2004). Encyclopedia of white-collar & corporate crime. SAGE. p. 46. ISBN 0-7619-3004-3.
  8. ^ United Arab Emirates Archived 2008-09-01 at the Wayback Machine Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Report describes Dubai real estate as money-laundering haven". Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  11. ^
  12. ^ Richard Giulianotti, David McArdle (2006). Sport, Civil Liberties and Human Rights. Routledge. p. 15. ISBN 0-7146-5344-6.
  13. ^ "Sharp fall in human trafficking cases in UAE". Retrieved Dec 4, 2014.
  14. ^ Dubai declares war on human trafficking The Hindu

External links[edit]