New Regulations in Dubai for Outdoor Advertising

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, passed a new law relating to the manner in which outdoor and public space advertising is approved and displayed in the Emirate. Decree No. 06 of 2020 regarding the regulation of advertisements in the Emirate of Dubai was passed into law on 20 February 2020. Decree 6 of 2020 is limited in scope to the various forms of outdoor and physical advertising that can be placed within the Emirate.

The law repealed an earlier Local Order from the Dubai Municipality (Local Order No 6 of 1986) that applied to the same activity. The differences between the Local Order and Decree 6 of 2020 are minimal, but may prove to be important.

Key changes

  • The addition of a ‘manual’, which will be created by the Dubai Municipality. This will include the practical matters that apply to the placing of outdoor advertising in the Emirate.
  • The definition of Advertising has been slightly altered and two new definitions have been included. These relate to the medium and the locations of the outdoor advertising. Importantly, media specifically excludes “newspapers, magazines, periodicals, websites, broadcast and TV in addition to displays in cinemas”.
  • Arabic language must still be used but there is an addition that it must be “accurate and sound”.
  • The decree formalises the role played by authorities other than Dubai Municipality.
  • There is a new restriction on the placement of advertising on “residential building facades” and “balconies of buildings”. In addition, the previous prohibition on “parks and trees” has been limited to just “trees”.
  • There is now a requirement “every person exercising any economic activity … shall put an advertisement on the facade of the store … to refer to his business and commercial name according to … the manual.”
  • Content of any advertising must “be accurate, objective and credible”.

The new decree includes clarifications of the penalties for non-compliance (up to AED 15,000), which can be multiplied in the case of repetition of offences.

The above provisions will apply from 20 August 2020.

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