United Arab Emirates: Bribery & Corruption

This country-specific Q&A provides an overview of Bribery & Corruption laws and regulations applicable in United Arab Emirates.

  1. What is the legal framework (legislation/regulations) governing bribery and corruption in your jurisdiction?

  2. Which authorities have jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute bribery in your jurisdiction?

  3. How is ‘bribery’ (or its equivalent) defined?

  4. Does the law distinguish between bribery of a public official and bribery of private persons? If so, how is ‘public official’ defined? Are there different definitions for bribery of a public official and bribery of a private person?

  5. What are the civil consequences of bribery in your jurisdiction?

  6. What are the criminal consequences of bribery in your jurisdiction?

  7. Does the law place any restrictions on hospitality, travel and entertainment expenses? Are there specific regulations restricting such expenses for foreign public officials? Are there specific monetary limits?

  8. Are political contributions regulated? If so, please provide details.

  9. Are facilitation payments regulated? If not, what is the general approach to such payments?

  10. Are there any defences available to the bribery and corruption offences in your jurisdiction?

  11. Are compliance programs a mitigating factor to reduce/eliminate liability for bribery offences in your jurisdiction?

  12. Who may be held liable for bribery? Only individuals, or also corporate entities?

  13. Has the government published any guidance advising how to comply with anti-corruption and bribery laws in your jurisdiction?

  14. Does the law in your jurisdiction provide protection to whistle-blowers?

  15. How common are government authority investigations into allegations of bribery? How effective are they in leading to prosecutions of individuals and corporates?

  16. What are the recent and emerging trends in investigations and enforcement in your jurisdiction? Has the Covid-19 pandemic had any ongoing impact and, if so, what?

  17. Is there a process of judicial review for challenging government authority action and decisions? If so, please describe key features of this process and remedy.

  18. Are there any planned developments or reforms of bribery and anti-corruption laws in your jurisdiction?

  19. To which international anti-corruption conventions is your country party?

  20. Do you have a concept of legal privilege in your jurisdiction which applies to lawyer-led investigations? If so, please provide details on the extent of that protection.

  21. How much importance does your government place on tackling bribery and corruption? How do you think your jurisdiction’s approach to anti-bribery and corruption compares on an international scale?

  22. Generally how serious are organisations in your country about preventing bribery and corruption?

  23. What are the biggest challenges enforcement agencies/regulators face when investigating and prosecuting cases of bribery and corruption in your jurisdiction?

  24. What are the biggest challenges businesses face when investigating bribery and corruption issues?

  25. What do you consider will be the most significant corruption-related challenges posed to businesses in your jurisdiction over the next 18 months?

  26. How would you improve the legal framework and process for preventing, investigating and prosecuting cases of bribery and corruption?