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Sep 04 19, 8:54 pm

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‘Kala mo okay lang?

by | EDITOR’S CHOICE, Feature, TOP STORIES

Sep. 04, 19 | 8:54 pm

DUBAI: Working in another country is both personally and professionally rewarding. Meeting new people, culture and tradition abroad leads to a life-changing experience. And for many Filipinos, it is an ideal way to seek greener pasture for their families. But these perks also come with responsibilities and rules to follow.

In particular, there are acts that may only be considered trivial in other parts of the world but could seriously land you in legal and financial trouble in the UAE that strongly observes moral ethics, which means upholding the highest standards of decency and preserving one’s dignity and privacy.

As anywhere in the world, authorities here always uphold an important legal principle that says “ignorance of law excuses no one”, especially that familiarizing oneself with the Code of Conduct is just a click away on the Internet.

It outlines the rules, proper behavior, conduct and ethics that need to be observed, especially in public places.

As the adage goes, “Respect house rules of the host,” in this case, of the UAE, as we are guests granted the privilege to stay.

And here are the rules:


Jaywalking

Back home, not even a screaming billboard, asking people to use pedestrian lanes or they die, could stop most Pinoys from going ahead and making that perilous run to the other side.

Matter of fact, authorities say a sizeable number of road accidents are being caused by unruly pedestrians.

But that’s home.

Here in the UAE, no one can get away after crossing at undesignated areas. A plainclothes police coming to you, smiling, saying hi, while flashing his ID: you just got caught!

He’ll take your Emirates ID and you’d be duty-bound to retrieve it at a police station for a fine worth crying about.

What the law says: The UAE Traffic Law endows offenders a Dh400 fine.


Public Display of Affection (PDA)

The UAE observes strict regulations against public display of affection. This includes mere holding hands. Other more obvious forms are kissing, hugging, or petting in public. The Code of Conduct covers married and unmarried couples.

What the law says: Couples caught will be subject to fines, jail time, and/or deportation.


Eating or drinking in public transportation

There is a reason the metros and buses in the UAE remain clean no matter how many commuters use them on a daily basis, and it’s because of the strict policies the government enforces concerning public transportation.

What the law says: The Roads and Transport Authority issues a Dh100 fine for those caught eating and drinking (even water) inside buses, metros, and trams.


Shooting photos or recording videos indiscriminately

Sure, the UAE offers so many picture-perfect spots, but that doesn’t mean you can just take photos or record videos at will. Be mindful of unintentionally getting others in the frame without their knowledge, as well as taking pictures or videos of road accidents and places where it is explicitly stated that they are prohibited.

What the law says: According to the UAE Cybercrime Law, people caught taking photos of others without permission are subject to a fine of between Dh150,000 and Dh500,000. In addition, the UAE Copyright Law states that those taking videos of other people or road accidents can be fined an amount of between Dh5,000 and Dh500,000. Photographs and videos published may also land offenders in jail for not more than six months.


Offensive and insulting behavior in public

Careful with losing it in public, as the consequences are much heavier than the satisfaction you might get for insulting someone could land you in jail or get you fined.

What the law says: Article 374 of Federal Law No. 3 of 1987, in accordance with the Penal Code of the UAE, states that those who committed insults over the phone or in person (in the presence of a third party) can be jailed for not more than six months and fined a maximum of Dh5, 000.


Spitting in public

Spitting is considered an ugly sight in the UAE, so make sure not to throw that gum you’re chewing, or even that tea you’re drinking.

What the law says: The UAE law imposes offenders a fine not exceeding Dh1,000 for spitting on the road and in public spaces, as well as a fine of Dh500 for spitting out gum.


Smoking in public places like malls

Smoking in public has been banned for almost a decade now, and this includes lighting cigarettes, pipes, and even vapes and e-cigarettes at the mall entrances and public indoor areas.

What the law says: The UAE Federal Law imposes a fine not exceeding Dh2,000. In Dubai, motorists caught flinging cigarette butts from cars are fined Dh1,000.


Invading someone’s privacy through technology

It’s easy to get cyberbullied in any other parts of the world—the main reason a lot of lives get ruined and a lot of people get depressed. The UAE wants to avoid that predicament through its strict cybercrime law. This includes taking a screenshot of someone’s private conversation with you and sending it to someone else, disclosing someone’s private life or secrets using technology, and even saving photos of someone on your gadgets without their consent.

What the law says: UAE Cybercrime Law No. 5 of 2012, which was issued by the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the penalties vary depending on the severity of the offense. Offenders may face fines ranging from Dh50,000 to Dh3 million, jail time of up to six months, and possible deportation.


Not paying transportation fees accordingly

The act of “1,2,3” or evading fare payment on buses and jeepneys will surely not be tolerated in the UAE. In Dubai, the Road Transport Authority has a system that cracks down commuters who don’t tap their Nol cards when riding the bus. Earlier this year the RTA has successfully caught over 800 violators of this offense, so make sure you don’t add yourself to the list.

What the law says: As per the UAE Traffic law, violators caught not tapping, using somebody else’s, and using invalid and expired Nol cards will pay a fine of Dh200. Those who use counterfeit cards, meanwhile, will face a fine of Dh500.

Flashing the dirty finger

Many of us, whenever anger gets the better of us, tend to resort to flipping the birdie. While it’s not a big deal in other countries, it’s a grave and deportable offense in the UAE. Several expats have already been jailed and deported for doing for this, as it is considered an act against public decency, and the country considers it a grave offense to one’s honor and dignity.

What the law says: According to UAE Federal Law Penal Code Article 121, those proven to have flicked the finger off another person will face jail time ranging from three months to three years. They may also pay a hefty fine of up to Dh20,000 and/or deportation..


Crossdressing

Crossdressing is classified as an act against public decency and doing it will result in jail time and deportation.

What the law says: According to UAE Penal Code Article 358, those caught crossdressing will be jailed for up to 10 years. They may also pay a fine ranging from Dh5,000 to Dh10,000 and face deportation.


Littering

The leave-no-trash policy in the UAE cannot be stressed enough—as it should also be in other places around the world. In Dubai’s Waste Management Department, littering is considered a top violation and doing so will result in hefty fines and warnings. Just keep your trash until you find a chute. How hard can it be?

What the law says: Those caught littering and dumping waste on the road and public spaces in Dubai face a fine ranging from Dh500 to Dh50,000. In the other emirates, it could be up to Dh100,000.


Urinating in public places

Men should keep their zippers up, because while they can treat any other place in the world as a urinal, they can face severe punishments if they do it in the UAE.

What the law says: Offenders in Dubai will be fined ranging from Dh500 to Dh1,000, as per Dubai Municipality’s regulation.

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THE FILIPINO TIMES is the biggest and most trusted Filipino newspaper in the UAE.

It has a print run of 60,000 copies and 250,000 readership per week; bolstered by 2.5 million visitors to its website every month. It also has an e-newsletter sent to its 250,000 subscribers every day.

The Filipino Times is FREE and has the widest targeted circulation across the 7 emirates of the UAE.

With more than 2,500 strategic distribution spots, TFT is available where the Filipinos are - at Smart Bus Shelters, Metro Stations, restaurants, supermarkets, schools, airport lounges, Emirates and Etihad Philippine-bound flights, churches, Filipino community events and many more.

THE FILIPINO TIMES. We are where the Filipinos are.

FOLLOW US

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