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Dubai Theft Case – Filing A Theft Case In UAE

How To File A Theft Case If You Are In Dubai UAE?

Theft is a type of crime that is committed when a movable property is taken permanently from its owner without his or her consent. Dubai theft cases involve acts of stealing a movable property, obtaining goods through pretentious methods or accepting property that was stolen by another person.

According to Federal Law Number FEDERAL LAW NO. 3 of 1987, anything that can be taken under custody is considered a property. Hence, stealing goods from shops, breaking into private places to steal items or embezzling money are all considered theft.

If theft is committed within the UAE, the provisions of Federal Law Number 3 of 1987 of the UAE Penal Code are applied.

Types of Theft

The two categories of theft defined in the UAE Penal Code are aggravated theft and simple theft.

Theft crimes are classified as either “aggravated” or “simple” based on two main factors namely mental intent (“mens rea”) and criminal act (“actus reus”). However, the involuntary possession of stolen goods can also be considered as theft.

Articles 381 to 398 of the Penal Code provide the details of the punishments regarding these types of theft.

Simple theft is a misdemeanor that can lead to a minimum of 1 year imprisonment and/or monetary penalty. It is often categorized based on the place where the crime is committed, how the crime was done or who the victim is. Some cases of simple theft are those committed…

  1. In one of the worship places.
  2. In one of the inhabited or habitable places or its annexes.
  3. In one of the transport means or in a station, harbor or airport.
  4. Through climbing over the fence, breaking from outside, use of duplicated or genuine keys without their owners’ consent.
  5. By a person impersonating a public attribute or pretending that he is performing or in charge of a public service.
  6. By two or more people.
  7. On a wounded person during wartime.
  8. On property owned by a public authority and employees of ministries and government departments.
  9. On cattle or on carrying or riding animals.


Other circumstances of simple theft not falling under the above categories include:

  1. Interruption of information transmission or provision of any government service such as the misuse of telecommunication services or the removal of the power source of any device used to carry out such services.
  2. Use of vehicles such as cars or scooters belonging to another person without his or her consent. The corresponding punishment for such act would be a minimum of one year jail time and a fine not exceeding AED 10,000.
  3. Coercing a person to sign or cancel an agreement or a deed.

Aggravated Theft

Aggravated theft involves the use of deadly weapons and refers to acts that lead to felony such as murder.

For example, a person commits aggravated theft when he or she uses weapons and threats to force another person to surrender his or her property. Other cases are when a person falsely presents himself or herself as a public service agent, illegally enters a private property or engages in any other unlawful method to obtain a property belonging to another person.

Perpetrators of aggravated theft will face imprisonment and the duration varies depending on the type of crime committed. Some examples are given below:

  1. Maximum of 15 years imprisonment:
    • Use of weapons resulting in an injured victim
  2. 2 to 7 years or life imprisonment
    • Theft committed during the night
    • Use of arms
  3. 5 to 7 years imprisonment
    • Theft done by an employee during the term of his or her employment
  4. Life imprisonment
    • Involvement of 2 or more individuals

For assistance in filing a theft case in Dubai, contact us.


Dubai Theft Case – Filing A Theft Case In UAE