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Technology Policy Hub

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  • Developing a more proactive public policy strategy
  • Solving an urgent policy problem you have
  • A regulatory structure for an entirely new industry
  • Taking on entrenched interests stifling innovation

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Regulators and Policy Stakeholders

Telecom Regulatory Authority

Regulates the telecommunications and information technology industries

Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future

Federal ministry charged with developing forward-looking plans to position the UAE as a global technology leader

Ministry of Interior

Involved in online safety, security, and protection through regulatory influence over Ministry of Justice and enforcement mandate

National Media Council

Regulates press, media, and online content

The Regulations Lab

Works with regulators, the private sector, innovators and business leaders to create legislation which fosters innovation

Smart Dubai

Tasked with delivering citywide smart transformation of public and private services

National Rehabilitation Center

Provides psychiatric and substance abuse counseling to individuals and their families

Ministry of Interior Child Protection Center

Online safety of children and educating children about internet dangers is a focus

TRA Computer Emergency Response Team (aeCERT)

Implements online security awareness programs and investigates cybercrimes

Family Development Foundation

Has several programs that focus on online safety for children and educating parents about youth internet safety

Social Support Centers Department Abu Dhabi Police

Specialized unit that operates helpline and provides counseling and shelter in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, and Western Region

Shelters for Victims of Human Trafficking

Operates helpline and shelters for human trafficking victims

Dubai Foundation For Women and Children

Provides a helpline, emergency shelter, and support services to physically, sexually, and emotionally abused women and children victims in Dubai

Dubai Police Women and Children Protection Department

Specialized unit within the Human Rights Department that combats violence against women and children and provides referrals to support organizations

Child Protection Section, Community Development Authority

Operates Child Protection Center and toll-free helpline that provides counseling support for children and families

Sharjah Social Services Department

Operates a helpline to assist children at risk which offers crisis intervention, information, and referrals to emergency and support orgs.

National ICT Policies

UAE Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

National strategy to position the UAE as a global leader in 4IR technologies

Emirates Blockchain Strategy 2021

The UAE’s strategy for leveraging blockchain to streamline government transactions

UAE Strategy for Artificial Intelligence

The region’s first national strategy to employ AI to enable growth in key economic sectors and enhance government service delivery

National Strategy for Advanced Innovation

National framework setting out how the UAE will build its innovation ecosystem in priority economic sectors such as energy, transport, and health

National Cybersecurity Strategy

Aims to create a resilient cybersecurity framework and infrastructure in the UAE in order to empower businesses to thrive

Dubai e-Commerce Strategy

Seeks to develop the Dubai e-commerce ecosystem in order to position itself as the leading hub in the region for eCommerce enterprises and investment

Dubai 3D Printing Strategy

Seeks to regulate the 3D printing industry around the 3 verticals of construction, medical products and consumer products

Dubai Autonomous Transportation Strategy

Targeting 25% of all modes of transportation in Dubai to autonomous by 2030

COVID-19 Stimulus Packages

Summarizes the key fiscal and monetary measures to mitigate the economic and public health fallout of the Coronavirus pandemic

National Space Strategy 2030

Establishes framework to ensure that the UAE is a global leader in space exploration and research by 2030 and  features 79 projects in the field of space science and research, manufacturing, and testing.

Digital Economy regulations

E-Commerce Laws

Promotes secure digital payment systems by creating a licensing and compliance regulatory scheme for electronic payment service providers in the UAE. This law establishes categories of Payment Service Providers (PSPs) which have tailored regulatory requirements. In addition to creating a licensing framework, this law creates comprehensive consumer protection measures for PSPs to comply with.

Protects the rights of persons doing business electronically, determines obligations of various parties, and encourages and facilitates electronic transactions and communications by means of reliable electronic records.

Defines consumer’s rights and obligations and outlines protection measures against monopolistic pricing, overpricing, and fraudulent commercial activities against consumers, including the right to have multiple options of goods and services at competitive prices and quality.

Cyber Security Laws

Addresses and imposes penalties on criminal activities that misuse IT systems, as well as inappropriate behavior online, including hacking, fraud, defamation, national security threats, religious intolerance, and other antisocial acts.

Amends Article 9 of Law 5 of 2012 on Combating Cybercrimes by criminalizing the use of VPNs/proxies/third-party IP addresses for the purpose of committing crimes or preventing its discovery. Penalties can include imprisonment and/or a fine between 500,000 AED to 2,000,000 AED.

Online Content Laws

Explicitly criminalizes discrimination on the basis of religion or ethnic identity and acts that trigger religious hatred, insults religion, or promotes discrimination. This law also targets groups or entities which provoke hatred and outlaws meetings or conferences which encourage discrimination or hatred. Penalties include fines from 50,000 AED to 2 million AED and/or imprisonment from six months to a maximum of ten years. 

Targets internet-based service providers and outlines the criteria for prohibited content and illegal activities that providers must block from their platforms.

Follows the Electronic Media Regulations and provides a comprehensive overview and guidance on the regulations governing advertising and media in the UAE. Social media is an area of emphasis in the guide. It notes that ads on social media should be clearly presented with no ambiguity. 

Establishes licensing requirements, content standards for media outlets, including digital media. Prohibits the creation and dissemination of content deemed disrespectful to the UAE and religion, spreading fake news, defamation, invasion of privacy.

Published by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), this white paper offers "do's" and "don'ts" of social media use in the UAE. This white paper emphasizes that posting images or videos of people without their consent is illegal and can be punished with a prison sentence of six months and/or a fine of AED 500,000.  

These regulations require entities wishing to conduct certain electronic media activities to have a license. This licensure requirement applies to all electronic media activities carried out in the UAE, including the free zone. Notably, any advertising activities on social media platforms, including by influencers, requires a license from the National Media Council. 

Data Privacy Laws

Assures access to government data and includes data protection requirements for personal or commercially sensitive data. 

Focuses on establishing data protection rules related to health data and information in the UAE. This law creates a regulatory framework to ensure health data is protected in accordance with international norms. In addition to requiring healthcare data to be held confidentially, it prohibits the transfer, storage, generation or processing health information abroad without permission from the Ministry of Health. Online content related to healthcare is also governed by this act. It provides the Ministry of Health the authority block website which violate the UAE's standards for healthcare advertising. 

Emerging Tech Laws

Restricts provision of VoIP services to licensed entities and permits licensed telcos to block VoIP services over their networks. 

Establishes regulations, standards, permitting processes for operating limousine and private hire car services in Abu Dhabi. 

Provides the Public Transport Agency the power to regulate the franchising and operation of taxis in Dubai, as well as authority to authorize the operation of on-demand passenger transport services. 

These regulations assign Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) the authority to regulate the holiday home rental market. These regulations outline the classification criteria of holiday home rentals and their respective requirements for registration.

Establishes the regulatory environment to achieve the objectives of the UAE’s National Space Policy. Requires all individuals and entities engaged in space-related activities to obtain a permit and regulates the launch, operations, and removal of space objects.