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Anti-Corruption Risk Map – United Arab Emirates

Anti-bribery legislation and enforcement

UAE Federal Law No. 3 of 1987 (Penal Code)

Prohibits bribery of domestic public officials and certain private persons

Investigating and prosecuting bodies: Public Prosecutor


Bribing Public Officials and Private Persons ( Art. 234 and 236 (bis))

A person is guilty of an offense if:

  • a bribe conferring a benefit on a public or private sector employee is received; and
  • the bribe is extended with the intent to influence such employee to act in a way that violates the duties assigned to his or her function, or for the purpose of committing or abstaining from doing an act.

Corporate liability arises under the Penal Code whereby a corporate entity is liable for any criminal act committed, for its account or in its names by its representatives, directors or agents.

Bribery of Foreign Public Officials: There are no local laws prohibiting or regulating the corruption of foreign public officials. The United Arab Emirates is a signatory of the United Nations Convention against Corruption and does abide by its rules.

Penalties – Criminal and/or Civil liability

For public officials: A fine equivalent to the benefit accepted, confiscation of the actual benefit accepted; and depending on the circumstances of each case, imprisonment ranging from five years to a maximum of 10 years. In addition, individuals who offer or assist with offering a bribe would be subject to imprisonment for a maximum of 10 years. (Art. 234, 235, 236, 237 and 238)

For an individual in the private sector: A fine equivalent to the benefit accepted, confiscation of the actual benefit accepted, and imprisonment not exceeding five years (Art. 236 (bis))