Beach photo
Photo for illustrative purposes Image Credit: Social media

Dubai: Before taking pictures of their beach outing, residents and visitors should be careful of who else is in the frame as Dubai Police have warned that “filming or taking photos of others without their consent is punishable by law”.

The force gave the advice for beachgoers on its Twitter handle on Saturday, a weekend in the UAE when many people head to the beach for leisure time.

The rule on taking pictures or video of others applies to other places as well, but can be especially sensitive at the beach, where most people are only clad in swimwear. Last year, almost 290 offences were recorded related to people photos of women without their consent at Dubai’s beaches.

The punishment can vary from a fine to jail time, depending on the nature of the violation and how the picture was used.

Separately, Dubai Police on Saturday raised awareness about local laws, including on photographing people, at a community forum for Filipinos organised jointly with the Philippines consulate in Dubai. The forum came as part of ongoing community outreach programmes by Dubai Police for various expat groups.

During the forum, attendees were also advised against taking pictures of people in public and posting them on social media — which may not be a crime in their home country.

Lieutenant Abdul Razaq, addressing the forum about cybercrimes, had said taking pictures of people, especially women, without their consent is not allowed in the UAE.

“The best thing to do is to ask. If you have a doubt, ask. So many people are involved in cases in which they didn’t know that what they were doing was a crime. Taking pictures of people and putting them online is a privacy issue. You have to protect a person’s privacy,” Lt Abdul Razaq said.