UAE nightlife may seem attractive on the outside yet dangerous on the inside. Similar to the whole world, UAE is also agonizing which the social peril called consumption of illegal drugs. Nevertheless, the country has zero-tolerance towards usage of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. UAE Narcotic and psychotropic law (Federal Law Number 14 of 1995) impose rigorous punishments for import, export, transportation, consumption, possession and storage of narcotic drugs and other illegal substances. Criminal Lawyers of Dubai, every now and then encounter innumerable cases in relation to trading of illegal drugs and substances, yet experience hardships in establishing accused’s innocence beyond any reasonable doubt. Hence, through this article, I wish to enlighten all our readers to avoid the succumb to consume recreational drugs not only due to legal repercussion but also because of its detrimental impact.

Having said that, it is pertinent for all foreign expatriates visiting the country to be assured that the medical drugs possessed by them are allowed in the country or to keep their prescription handy, as ignorance of the law is not an excuse. UAE Drugs Law criminalizes the sale, purchase or exchange of narcotic drugs for instance hashish, marijuana, khat, tramadol, cocaine, heroin and another similar kind of drugs mentioned in the list provided under the Drugs Law. By criminalization, I mean, life imprisonment, the death penalty, deportation and hefty fines.

Despite stricter punishments for possession and consumption of drugs, UAE government in order to safeguard the interest of society has apparently undergone numerous amendments in the Drugs Law, wherein establishment of Addiction Treatment Unit under the supervision of Treatment Supervision Committee has proven to be the right step in positive and healthy society. The Treatment Unit is alike a rehabilitation centre, where drug-addicted patients are treated to assist them in the advancement of their recovery and integration. The accused will only be referred to the treatment Unit upon a voluntary submission to either the Public Prosecutor or the Committee. As declared by the Committee, the treatment unit offers three types of programs along with the necessary treatment plan, considering the gender, age and group of the patient. The foregoing programs include psychological and physical treatment for drug addicts, upon completion of which the addict will become an outpatient for another 16 weeks, including a regular follow-up test.

Import, export and transportation of narcotic drugs invite much stricter penalties as compared the possession and consumption of drugs for personal use. Though, both the acts will still invite deportation to the home country along with a permanent travel ban. Imprisonment of life shall be imposed on those who traffic and promotes usage of drugs along with a fine of not more than AED 200,000. UAE is among very few nations that impose capital punishment for drugs offenders. Although, in most cases, death penalties are substituted with life imprisonment, yet a person may be charged for the death penalty in cases of drug trafficking. Until now, numerous offenders have been sentenced to the death penalty for consuming illegal drugs, yet remains a moot discussion due to predominant foreign population. Nevertheless, UAE explicitly forbids offenders regardless of their age and gender, involved in drug dealing or trafficking.

In conclusion, I advise you to review the guidelines issued by the UAE health department pertaining to the drugs allowed and restricted in the country in order to prevent hefty fines, punishments and deportation.