The government has stepped in to say that posting images and video of plane crashes is “punishable under UAE law”.

Just one day after an Emirates plane dramatically crash landed at Dubai airport, the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has warned the country’s residents to avoid posting images and videos of “aviation accidents” on social media.

This comes after social media, as well as domestic and international media, has been flooded with images and videos from both inside and outside EK521, which had 300 people onboard. Many of the images show the aircraft bursting into flames.

The GCAA has said that sharing such images is “irresponsible and disrespectful to the victims, and is punishable under #UAE law”.


No flights took off from Dubai International Airport for six hours yesterday after the EmiratesBoeing 777 from Thiruvananthapuram to Dubai crash landed.

Everyone on board was evacuated safely, however a firefighter from Ras Al Khaimah Jassim Essa Al-Baloushi, died while working to save others during the incident.

Flights in and out of Dubai Airport are still seeing heavy delays – read more about that here.


Just last month the UAE’s Ministry of Interior warned that taking photos or videos of traffic accidents and circulating them on social media “is deemed irresponsible behaviour and shows the lack of positive spirit among the citizenry. It is also a violation of the law.”

The act of recording and posting imagery of traffic accidents is ‘contrary’ to the UAE’s Islamic concept of tolerance, and the Ministry have stated that the feelings of the relatives of the deceased and injured must be respected.

“The circulation of these images is unacceptable as it can cause psychological shock to parents when they view such images.”

People found to be guilty of circulating such images or videos on social media can face serious action for doing so.

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