UAE Imposes Up to Dh500,000 Fine for Violations During Burial Process

Having to say goodbye to a loved one is the hardest aspect of dealing with their death. Because the United Arab Emirates is home to people of many different faiths and cultures, each family may have its own unique burial traditions.

As per Federal Law regulations, deceased individuals must be interred exclusively in cemeteries officially designated by competent authorities. The funeral rites and procedures following the passing of a loved one are particularly challenging moments. Given the UAE's diverse population, consisting of individuals from various ethnic backgrounds and religious beliefs, funeral customs may vary among residents.

In addition to streamlining a concise five-step protocol for post-mortem formalities within the country, the Emirates has instituted stringent legislation and substantial penalties concerning burial and funeral practices, aiming to ensure uniformity and safety. These measures not only facilitate families in bidding farewell to their departed loved ones peacefully but also uphold legal compliance and respect for the deceased.

According to Federal Law 10 governing cemeteries and burial procedures, it is mandated that deceased bodies, remains, or human organs be laid to rest solely in cemeteries officially designated by competent authorities. A comprehensive list of penalties accompanies the burial process, with violations potentially resulting in fines ranging from Dh10,000 to Dh50,000.

These penalties encompass various infractions such as unauthorized transportation of bodies or remains within the country, improper photography of deceased individuals, unauthorized alterations to cemetery structures, and the inappropriate use of vehicles for transporting the deceased, among others. The law strictly prohibits any unauthorized use of cemeteries beyond their intended purpose of interment.

Moreover, stringent penalties are enforced for individuals seeking to conduct burials outside the country or bring deceased persons into the UAE without proper permits. Conducting burials in undesignated cemeteries can result in imprisonment for up to one year in addition to fines ranging from Dh10,000 to Dh100,000.

Failure to obtain permits for burials within the UAE or for transferring deceased individuals outside the country incurs severe penalties, including imprisonment for up to a year and fines ranging from Dh100,000 to Dh500,000. Desecration of cemetery sites or graves carries penalties of fines ranging from Dh100,000 to Dh200,000 and imprisonment for up to a year.

Similarly, grave exhumation or desecration warrants fines ranging from Dh100,000 to Dh200,000, accompanied by imprisonment for four years or more. In cases where desecration results from exhumation, the penalties escalate to imprisonment for more than five years. Import or export of deceased bodies, organs, or remains without permits incurs fines ranging from Dh50,000 to Dh100,000 and imprisonment for less than a year.

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