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Tolerance Bridge over Dubai Canal reflects the UAE's regional and global model for tolerance. Picture used for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Shiju Zacharia/Gulf News reader

Whether it is the workplace, a public setting or even an online interaction, discrimination is against the law in the UAE. The country has taken several major steps to promote tolerance in society, from creating a Ministry of Tolerance and Coexistence to organising conferences, programmes, and sports tournaments promoting the idea of tolerance and establishing a National Tolerance Programme.

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The UAE’s law against discrimination
Federal Decree Law No. 34 of 2023 concerning Combating Discrimination, Hatred and Extremism prohibits contempt of religions, discrimination and hatred against one another and extremism of views.

It prohibits and penalises:
• attacks on religious beliefs, rituals and sacred elements
• distortion, damage, desecration and insult of the holy books
• disrespectful behaviours towards prophets, places of worship, cemeteries, graves and their associated spaces.

The law prohibits actions or any form of expression that could lead to discrimination.

It penalises acts intended to incite hate speech, tribal conflicts, or disturb public peace through any means of expression.

This law mentions that freedom of opinion and expression cannot justify statements or actions that incite contempt or harm towards religions.

It defines extremism as any action carried out by individuals or groups driven by ideologies, values or principles that disrupt public order or show contempt of religions or discrimination or the incitement of hate speech.

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UAE authorities have also made it extremely easy for people to report any cases of discrimination if they face them. Here are some of the authorities that you can reach out to:

- UAE police

You can file a case with the UAE police across the country, by visiting a police station in your area, or going online to report it.

- File a lawsuit through judicial authorities.

You also have the right to seek justice through the UAE’s courts by filing a court case. If you are unable to afford the cost of seeking legal recourse, the UAE also helps with financially distressed individuals, by providing free legal advice and covering court fees. To know more, click here.

- Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation

If the incident occurred in your workplace, you could reach out to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) if you work in the private sector and the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources (FAHR), if you work in the government sector.

- Human Rights Office - Judicial Department –Abu Dhabi

You can also fill out a petition with the Human Rights Office of the Judicial Department in Abu Dhabi, if your case fulfils the following requirements:

• The subject of complaint / petition must be related to Abu Dhabi Judicial Department and within its jurisdiction.
• Available remedies must be exhausted first, that is the complaint or petition must be submitted to the relevant authorities. If not solved, higher authorities are sought.
• It must be written in Arabic or English.
• Supporting documents, including proof of identification, must be attached.

You can fill out the form here: and email it to:

- Community Development Authority (CDA)

In Dubai, you can also contact the CDA on the toll-free number 8002121 or email at

- Ministry of Tolerance and Co-existence

You can also contact the Ministry of Tolerance and Co-existence in the UAE to share any discrimination issues on 02 2088 222 or email at: