UAE Fuel prices Petrol pump in Sharjah
A petrol pump in Sharjah. Image Credit: GN Archives

Dubai: A new rumour has surfaced online, leading the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) to tackle the fake news head-on.

Social networking sites in the UAE claimed that customers will allegedly no longer pay for premium services during the months of July and August between 7am and 9am.

The alleged promotion also triggered a mix of delight and doubt among customers unsure about the validity of the summer offer.

“Please be advised that no special offer had been officially announced by Adnoc. Any offers will be announced on our official pages of social networking sites or through Adnoc distribution stations,” announced the company.

In June 2018, Adnoc launched its premium service for a small fee. Motorists are required to pay an additional Dh10 if they want a petrol-station attendant to fill their vehicles with gasoline at Adnoc petrol stations. Motorists also have the option to use the self-serve, which is free.

Jail and Dh1m fine

Spreading malicious rumours on the internet is a crime in the UAE, and can be punishable by imprisonment and a fine not exceeding Dh1 million.

Under Federal Legal Decree No 5 for 2012 on combating cybercrimes, spreading rumours “damaging social peace and public order” and causing damage to “national peace” empowers the state to prosecute concerned individuals.

Recently, the UAE Telecommunications and Regulatory Authority (TRA) reiterated its warning on spreading fake news across social media platforms.

“The UAE law for combatting cybercrimes stipulates the punishment of whoever publishes information, news statements or rumours on a website, or any computer network or IT means, with intent to make sarcasm of the state flag, the national peace, its logo, national anthem or any of its symbols,” tweeted the TRA.