A comprehensive guide to the laws concerning Defamation, Insult, and Disclosure of Secrets in UAE


In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the law comprehensively explains the penalties, punishments, and repercussions of reputation, defamation, insult, and the disclosure of secrets. This matter is taken quite seriously in the UAE, like other modern and developed parts of the world. This article further simplifies the legal framework surrounding these matters, including defamation, insult, disclosure, and disrespect. It also explains them in detail for the readers. This article will discuss how name-calling, abuse, disrespect, and the revelation of secrets are highlighted under UAE law. We strongly recommend that you consult top Emirati Lawyers and Legal Consultants first. 

It also discusses the legal consequences resulting from such events. All the matters concern the perpetrators’ and victims’ rights and protections. Understanding the terms Defamation, Slander, Libel, disrespect, and Insult:

  • Defamation is when someone communicates a false statement about another person that damages its reputation. On the other hand, slander refers to a piece of incorrect information that impairs an individual’s goodwill. At the same time, libel involves publishing a false statement that gives people a wrong opinion or perspective of someone. Insult and disrespect are the same. It is treating someone with disrespect, indignity, or contempt. Under the UAE law, all such actions have legal consequences and severe impact.
  • Victims of defamation, slander, disrespect, and insult in the UAE have the rights. They enjoy the right to seek legal action under specific laws and regulations. Federal Law Concerning the Criminal Procedural Law is one fundamental law to address the matter. This law allows victims or their legal representatives to file a complaint against any such activity. They are permitted to register a complaint within three months. The time begins once a person becomes aware of the crime and its perpetrator. 
  • Nevertheless, this allows them to pursue criminal action against those who have insulted, slandered, disrespected, or defamed them. Perpetrators of defamation, slander, disrespect, and insult can face severe legal consequences. It is outlined in the UAE Penal Code and Laws Combating Cyber Crimes. Besides, these consequences include penalties like imprisonment. The jail sentence can go up to seven years. Whereas the charges and fines of up to five hundred thousand dirhams.

Let us dig in further and further simplify the breakdown of the relevant articles in the UAE Penal Code:

  • Article 372 of the law imposes a jail sentence and a hefty fine. It can lead to imprisonment of up to two years. On the other hand, it is also charged with a heavy fine of up to twenty thousand dirhams. This results from attributing false facts to someone by using public means.
  • Article 373 reveals that the Punishes insults publicly. This leads to an imprisonment of up to one year in jail. A hefty fine of up to twenty thousand dirhams is charged alongside the jail sentence for the culprit.
  • Article 374 sets penalties for libel or insult through different means. As a result, it leads to facing the victim, using a letter to insult, disrespect, or blackmail.
  • Article 375 explains the provided exceptions for defamation. It discusses when the fact is actual or related to a person’s employment.
  • Article 376 permits defamation or insult in the course of legal proceedings. The legal process should be within the limits of the right to defense.
  • Article 377 talks about the protection of individuals. The individuals and victims can report matters in good faith to the judicial or the relevant administrative authorities.
  • Article 378 explains the Criminalizing the violation of someone’s private or familial life. This may include eavesdropping and unauthorized recording or transmission of conversations and images.

Laws Combating Cyber Crimes addresses insults and slander. It is committed through computer networks or information technology means. As a result, the perpetrators can face imprisonment and fines. It can range from two hundred fifty thousand dirhams to five hundred thousand dirhams for severe offenses.

Disclosure of Secrets:

The UAE also has a set of laws that address the disclosure of secrets. Victims of secret exposure can seek legal action under Federal Law related to the Criminal Procedural Law and relevant articles in the UAE Penal Code and Laws Combating Cyber Crimes.

Here is a simplified explanation of the critical articles in the UAE Penal as a result Code:

Article 379 explains the punishments for those who divulge secrets entrusted to them or use them for personal or others’ interests. They are given a jail sentence of one to five years. Moreover, they are charged with at least a fine of twenty thousand dirhams.

Article 380 addresses the disclosure of the contents of letters, cables, or conversations without consent. This results in damage to others. This includes the Penalties, including a minimum jail term of three months. This also results in heavy fines of at least five thousand dirhams.

Laws Combating Cyber Crimes also deal with the unauthorized disclosure of confidential information obtained through work-related activities. 

As an outcome, the offenders may face imprisonment or hefty charges. This will result in a jail sentence of at least six months—the acceptable ranges from five hundred thousand dirhams to one million dirhams.

Protection of Reputation and Privacy:

Protecting an individual’s reputation and addressing harm caused by defamation, insult, disrespect, or secret disclosure under the law is significant. This holds that anyone causing damage to another person, even if they are not legally responsible adults, is liable to compensate for the damage caused


In the UAE, defamation, insult, and the disclosure of secrets are taken seriously per the law. There is a robust legal framework to protect individuals from disdain, denigration, disrespect, and disclosure of secrets.

Nonetheless, the victims also have legal rights and avenues to seek justice and fair trial. On the flip side, the perpetrators may face significant legal consequences and repercussions if found guilty.

Henceforth, being cautious with speech, language, and words is crucial. Alongside this, respecting privacy and honor agreements while residing in the UAE is imperative. It is a significant way to avoid running afoul of these laws and rules of the land.


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