The E-Commerce Law in the UAE: Navigating the Regulatory Landscape


The UAE has embraced the digital era with the enactment of Federal Decree-Law No. 14/2023 on Trading by Modern Technological Means. This innovative law aims to regulate and reorganize e-commerce activities, fostering a favourable environment for digital trade. In this article, we will delve into the key provisions of this e-commerce law.

Overview of Federal Decree-Law No. 14/2023

Article 1 of decree law provides a comprehensive set of definitions for key terms such as Trading by Modern Technological Means and E-signature. Trading by Modern Technological Means involves buying and selling goods, services, and data through platforms like websites and applications, covering e-commerce and social commerce.

Modern Technological Means include various electronic methods like digital, biometric, AI, and blockchain for trading, whether paid or free. An E-signature is a technologically enabled signature using letters, numbers, or symbols for identity verification, sent via text to designated emails and mobile numbers.

Scope and Objectives of the Decree-Law

Article 2 defines the scope of the decree law, encompassing various sides of modern technological trade within the UAE and those received from abroad. Notably, the law extends its jurisdiction to free zones, ensuring a comprehensive regulatory framework for e-commerce even in specialized economic zones.

Additionally, the law emphasizes the need for a legislative and regulatory environment that promotes fair, secure, and efficient e-commerce practices. The law seeks to protect consumer interests, ensure data privacy, and establish secure digital payment methods, contributing to the overall growth of the digital economy.

Role of the Ministry of Economy

The Ministry of Economy plays an essential role in formulating and enforcing policies related to modern technological trading. This includes proposing comprehensive strategies and ensuring tax compliance.

Additionally, the Ministry establishes rules for digital merchants, ensuring they meet specific standards. These standards include having the legal capacity to trade and providing a secure environment for online services. These provisions collectively aim to ensure the effective implementation of the law, protect consumer interests, and promote a reliable and secure digital marketplace.

Protection of Consumer Rights and Return Policies

Articles 6 to 10 of the E-Commerce Law in the UAE outline the rights consumers have when engaging in online transactions, including the right to secure purchases, transparent advertising, and accessible ways to resolve complaints.

Additionally, Article 7 specifies the situations in which consumers can return goods or services, ensuring a clear understanding of consumer rights and providing a mechanism for resolving issues. This provision aims to establish a fair and secure environment for consumers participating in e-commerce activities.

Risk Management and Accountability

Articles 11 to 15 of the UAE’s E-Commerce Law address various aspects of modern technological trading. It mandates insurance coverage for digital sellers and entities involved in logistics and digital payments to manage risks such as cyber threats.

The law emphasizes responsibility for all parties involved, treating activities related to online trading with the same importance as traditional methods. This requires adherence to specified terms and conditions. Digital sellers are authorized to provide logistics services, subject to conditions outlined by the Competent Authority.

Additionally, standards for digital payment methods focus on adherence to obligations, providing continuous services, and restrictions on additional fees. These provisions promote transparency, fairness, and accountability in the UAE’s evolving e-commerce landscape.

Enforcement Measures

Articles 16 to 20 of the UAE’s E-Commerce Law establish mechanisms for supervision and control, assigning responsibilities to the Ministry and the Competent Authority to oversee the law’s implementation and address violations.

The introduction of the Judicial Police authorized to control and investigate violations within their jurisdiction, conduct inspections, and collaborate with relevant authorities, highlights the commitment to enforcement. The importance of coordination between the Ministry and Competent Authorities in creating an effective technical system for supervision and control is emphasized.

Article 19 details administrative penalties for violations, prepared collectively by the Ministry and the Competent Authority. Article 20 grants the Cabinet the authority, in coordination with the Minister, to issue necessary regulatory decisions for the law’s implementation.


The E-commerce Law in the UAE marks a significant step in establishing a secure, transparent, and efficient digital marketplace. Its comprehensive approach, including aspects like consumer protection, logistics, and digital payment opportunities, is poised to stimulate and support the growth of e-commerce trading in the UAE.


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