A Dubai reader asks: I have been working for a year on a work visa. I went for a vacation and was not able to come back because I fell sick due to the nature of my job. So I sent my passport for cancellation of my visa and I found out that I had been banned for a year. I'm now on my husband's visa and back in Dubai. Can I apply for work? What is the duration of a ban six months or a year? How did my previous employer give me a year's ban?
Failure to report to work after the permitted period of the vacation is a violation of the Labour Law, according to article No 120. This offence gives the employer the right to terminate the employee's services without notice. The employee will be banned from entering the country, which is an administrative action taken against the worker by the Naturalisation and Residency Department. If the employee breaks the terms of the job contract, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and the Naturalisation and Residency Department may not grant an employment visa during the ban period. Only after the expiration of the ban period can a work or visit visa be granted.

Bernadette Falcon, in Dubai, asks: Is there any law protecting the rights of people against verbal harassment, ie, threats? What should a person do about it?
The reader has to submit a report to the police station against the person who is harassing her and asking for protection.

Under the UAE Penal Code, a person who commits an indecent act on a girl or boy younger than 15 years of age will be punished with a prison term of not less than one year, even if the act is not committed in a public place.

If a person commits an indecent act on a female, either verbally or by any action in a public place or anywhere else, he will be punished with a prison term of not more than one year, or a fine of Dh10,000 or both. The same punishment will be handed to men disguised as women, or wearing women's clothes to enter places frequented by women only, or a place where men are not allowed to enter at that time.
Acts also punishable by law:

  • Saying or shouting something indecent in public
  • Indecent gestures, body movements or other shameful acts in any place
  • Writing, drawing, taking pictures, making films or signals and any other way of expression of an indecent act.

A US reader asks: I am an American citizen and I wish to marry a foreign resident of Dubai. He is an Indian who has a work visa and has worked and resided for the last 12 years in Dubai. I wish to come to Dubai on a visit visa, and we would like to get married there. We are both Muslims. I am a Muslim, and my US passport shows my religion as such. I would like to know the procedure to do this, both for a civil ceremony and a religious marriage. What certificates need to be filed if we have to seek specialised forms or information from the Indian and American consulates? I do not believe that I need to have permission from my father or elder brother as both are deceased and both my fiancé and I are older than 40. Can you give me more information on the marriage laws in Dubai that govern the marriage of two foreign nationals in Dubai, one that is working and living in Dubai - and if his working visa covers me as his wife?

Conditions and requirements for the marriage contract:

  • The presence of both wife and husband and the wife's guardian (or apparent legal person) with two Muslim witnesses
  • If the father is dead, the wife should produce the father's death certificate
  • Original and copies of passports of husband and wife
  • In case of expatriates, the couple should hold a residence visa from the UAE
  • If the wife is a divorcée or widow, evidence of this should be submitted

If the wife is Muslim and the guardian is non-Muslim, submission of letter from the embassy or consulate of the wife's country stating there is no objection to the marriage. The social status of the wife (single, divorcée, widow) and the name of the groom with the authentication letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the legal Arabic translation. The translation should be attested from the Ministry of Justice.

Mouna Gassan, in Dubai, asks: I would like to have a maid. Is it necessary for her to be on my sponsorship or can she be on a local sponsorship or recruitment agency sponsorship?
A housemaid should be sponsored by the reader. The monthly salary of the sponsor should be at least Dh6,000 and the maid should be paid a monthly salary of Dh400 at least and the sponsor should be a resident with his family in the UAE.

Linda Ramadan, in Dubai, asks: Can you please tell me the procedure to change the middle name of a child born in Sharjah in 1989. On our son's birth certificate, his name reads Tamer Tommy Sa'ad A. we would like to change it to Tamer Sa'ad.
Change of name is done legally as per the nationality of the name holder. If the person changing his name is a UAE national, he is requested to submit an application to the Ministry of Interior. If he is an expatriate, he should follow the laws of his home country.

Compiled by Samir Salama