Without a doubt, the UAE is one of the best places any photographer can ask for. It’s got an eclectic mix of old and new – skyscrapers, modern architecture, mountains and vast deserts.
It is also home to diverse cultures and many different nationalities and the country has laws set in place to protect each and everyone’s security.
Here are three things you need to know about taking photos in the UAE.
1. Taking photos of people without their consent is punishable by law.
Those who take photos or videos that violate the privacy of others can face serious consequences.
Article 4.5 of The Dubai Code of Conduct says that “Photos of people - and especially photos of women and families – in public places shall not be taken without their permission. Taking photos of people is a sensitive issue in Dubai’s local culture.”
Article 378 of the UAE Penal Code (Federal Law No. 3/1987) states that “Whoever publishes news, pictures or comments related to the secrets of private or family life of persons even if they are true, shall be punished by detention for a period not exceeding one year and by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dirhams, or by one of these two penalties.”
2. Avoid taking photographs of government organizations, political buildings, and military sites.
According to The National, taking photos or shooting video in public places isn't prohibited unless explicitly stated. However, critical installations, strategic and military locations, for instance, can't be photographed for security reasons.
3. Posting photos of other people online is a punishable crime in the UAE.
In 2014, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has published a set of guidelines regarding posting of photos and videos on social media. The TRA’s guide says not to post other people’s photos or videos online without consent, and not to tag other people without their consent.
In a news published on Emirates247.com last year, Major General Mohammed Al Shareef, Assistant Police Commander for Administration said that photographing a person and posting the photo online is a punishable crime in the emirates. He said, “This crime involves a jail term of six months and a fine of Dh150,000-500,000. We need the public to know that this is a big crime in the UAE because some people do it for fun without knowing they will be prosecuted.”
So should photographers like us be worried? Of course not. The law is created to protect all of us and keep everyone safe. Always have photo/video release forms and all other necessary permits signed and ready before doing any shoot and you should be fine.
Remember, people’s minds can change (and they can quite easily), so we suggest that you put everything in writing – especially if you’re going to put photos of other people up on your website.blog comments powered by Disqus