UAE: Up to Dh500,000 Fine for Misleading Residents with Fake Advertisements

False advertising and promotions that mislead customers in the UAE have been strongly warned against. That way, people won't be able to utilize technology to spread false information about products and services.

The UAE has issued a firm warning against the dissemination of false advertisements and promotions, emphasizing strict penalties for offenders under Article 48 of Federal Decree-Law No. 34 of 2021 on Combating Rumours and Cybercrimes. Offenders could face imprisonment and fines of up to Dh500,000.

The UAE Public Prosecution underscored the severity of misleading consumers through a video shared on its social media platforms. According to the law, individuals utilizing information networks, information technology solutions, or online platforms to spread misleading information about goods or services may be subject to imprisonment and fines ranging from Dh20,000 to Dh500,000, or both.

This measure is intended to discourage individuals from using technology to propagate deceptive information about goods or services.

Advertising regulations in the UAE have also been established to safeguard the public from marketing fraud and fake news, promote economic development, and uphold public morals. These guidelines, implemented in October 2018, apply to all media platforms in the UAE and cover the entire advertising sector, including print, audio, and visual media organizations, online firms, and licensed social media influencers.

The guidelines stipulate that individuals and firms should refrain from harming the state's economic system, spreading rumors or biased and misleading news, publishing content that violates public morality, and infringing upon intellectual property rights. Additionally, advertisements must adhere to ethical codes of conduct, maintain standards of honesty, and avoid vagueness, ambiguity, false or misleading claims, falsified images, and endorsements of criminal activity.

Advertisements on social media, websites, and blogs must be clearly identified and independent from editorial and informative content. Any payments for online ads must be disclosed. Certain social media activities, such as charitable endeavors and non-commercial advertising, are exempt from licensing requirements. Violators face fines of Dh5,000, which may be doubled for repeat offenses within one year.

Read also: NCM warns of heavy rain and thunderstorms throughout the UAE

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