The change will make the process for those that face minor trouble with the law more streamlined and far quicker to resolve (and will minimise the hindrance on tourists)…

Soon, those involved in certain minor offences in Dubai will be fined rather than taken to court according to a report in Gulf News. 

From December 4, prosecutors in Dubai will be able to fine suspects involved in minor offences, including some defamation and bounced cheque cases, rather than indicting them and referring them to the Dubai Misdemeanours court to stand trial.

Gulf News reports that the bounced cheque fines start at Dhs2,000 (and go up to Dhs10,000 for cheques for Dhs100,001 to Dhs200,000); the fine for not paying rental fees for rooms or cars ranges from Dhs1,000 to Dhs2,000; the fine for defaming or cursing at someone is Dhs2,000 and the fine for disturbing or victimizing someone via telecommunications is Dhs5,000. For details on what these offences actually are you can read more from a legal expert here.

We will let you know when we find out if any other minor offences will soon fall under the fine-only umbrella.

The new decision was issued by Dubai’s Attorney-General Essam Eisa Al Humaidan, and it means that the prosecutors of the Deira, Bur Dubai and Family and Juvenile prosecution wings will be able to simply fine people for minor offences, meaning that a tourist, for instance, will not have to wait in Dubai (which can cause job loss and other distress etc) until their case is heard.

“The criminal order is an excellent step and a timely one as well. It has come to solve many hindrances and delays that litigants face,” Prosecutor-General Mohammad Ali Rustom, Head of the Family and Juveniles Prosecution, told Gulf News. “Litigants used to wait for long periods … but now the criminal order has come to save time of litigants and, remarkably, tourists.”

He goes on to explain how there have been cases in Dubai of people who have come here for a holiday but have ended up “getting stuck for weeks and months after having committed minor offences.”

This new ruling will ensure that those people will simply pay a fine if they are guilty, without waiting.

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Image: Getty