UAE: Giving or receiving bribes can be punished with a prison sentence of up to 5 years


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Dubai: UAE Public Prosecution in a series of messages and videos posted on official social media channels reiterated that giving or accepting bribes, directly or indirectly, is a punishable crime in the UAE. The violators of this rule could get a jail sentence not exceeding 5 years.

Article 237 of the UAE Federal Penal Code states that anyone who offers a bribe to a public officer or other person (who are none the less in a position to influence a public officer) is punishable by law. Under the provisions of the Code, a bribe would be anything that confers a benefit on a public or private sector employee, as the case may be, with the intent to procure that such employee acts in a way that violates the duties assigned to his function or to commit an act which falls outside such duties.

Even if the officer does not accept the bribe, the person who offered it will be punished with a prison sentence not exceeding five years. It is important to note that ‘public officers’ would still be committing an offence and be subject to prosecution under the Code in circumstances where they accept a bribe but did so without the intent to commit or omit the act required of them by the person who offered the bribe.

Any middlemen who faciliate the act of bribery will also be subject to legal punishment as per the provisions of the code.

However for the private sector Article 236 of the Code states that only the individual who accepts a bribe, in exchange for committing or omitting an act in violation of the duties of his position would be guilty of an offense. There is no provision of criminal liability for the person who offers the bribe or facilitates it in the private sector.

Individuals who have been found to have accepted bribes in the private sector would be subject to a fine equivalent to the benefit accepted by them (not less than Dh1,000), confiscation of the benefit accepted and imprisonment not exceeding five years.


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