Is there a drug issue in the United Arab Emirates?

Is there a drug issue in the United Arab Emirates?
Because of its closeness to drug-producing nations in Southwest Asia, the United Arab Emirates is a drug transshipment country. In the United Arab Emirates, drug trafficking is a significant crime, and the country maintains a zero-tolerance stance for illegal drug usage.

Does Dubai have a drug problem?
Over the past two decades, illegal drugs have emerged as a growing social problem in the Arab Gulf countries. Dubai is no exception, despite its reputation as an economic success story.

Dubai has been affected in two ways: through increased use of hard drugs, particularly heroin, especially among its citizens; and through the role of transnational organized crime in the movement of illegal drugs through the emirate's sovereign space and then into the wider market.

Despite this growth,  authorities have been slow to respond. Where policy development takes place, he emphasizes the supply side, where he favors law enforcement. There is a zero-tolerance approach on the demand side, which is only now starting to soften at the margins. State provisions for detoxification and rehabilitation are clearly inadequate.

The wider society is to some extent complicit in this reality, as Emiratis tend to disapprove of such "weaknesses".

What is the punishment for drugs in Dubai?
The UAE has a strict zero-tolerance policy when it comes to drug trafficking.  Federal law no. 14 of 1995 concerning "control of narcotic and psychotropic drugs and their amendments which are commonly referred to as the "Narcotics Law" criminalizes the production, import, export, transportation, purchase, sale, storage, and possession of narcotics and psychotropic substances in the UAE. Section 39 of the UAE Drug Act,

"Anyone who abuses it in any way, has with the intention of abusing or personally using it under any circumstances other than the permitted narcotic or psychotropic substances as referred to in lists 1, 2, 4 and 5 attached here sentenced to a maximum imprisonment  of two years.“The court may, in addition to this sanction, impose a fine of at least ten thousand dirhams. 

Is there a death penalty in Dubai?
When narcotic or psychotropic drugs are categorized under the United Arab Emirates drug law's categories 3, 6, 7, or 8, the penalty under Article 40 can range from 6 months to two years in jail and a fine of up to 10,000 dirhams. Article 40 (1) of the UAE Narcotics Law states that “Any person who abuses in any way has with the intention of abusing or personally using under circumstances other than those authorized by any narcotic or psychotropic substances regulated in lists 3, 6, 7 and 8 herein attached shall be punished by a minimum imprisonment of six months to a maximum of two years. In addition to the aforementioned penalty, the court may impose a fine of at least ten thousand Dirhams.'

What is the Punishment for Foreign Drug Offenders
If the offender is a foreigner,  additional expulsion will also take effect after the sentence is completed. This is in accordance with article 63 of the law, which states: "In addition to the sanctions provided for in it, foreigners convicted of one of the crimes mentioned therein are expelled by judicial provisions". 
Drug misuse can result in life imprisonment or the death sentence in the UAE, depending on the seriousness of the offense. When a victim dies or suffers irreparable injury as a result of drug trafficking or other deliberate conduct in violation of drug regulations, UAE courts may impose the death sentence.

This is a key point to understand is that  UAE courts establish drug trafficking offenses when a person is guilty of drug possession. As set out in the decision of the UAE Court of Cassation, the drug tracing offense stipulates whether the defendant is found guilty of possession and supply of drugs, regardless of whether the defendant took the drugs or not. This was sufficient evidence for the detention of the accused, and therefore any defense against using drugs was found to be irrelevant in court.

The UAE police have a special department to deal with drug issues. In recent years, the UAE has taken many progressive steps to manage drug abuse in society. The most progressive steps include amendments to Article 43 of the UAE's drug law created in 2016, which stipulates that no criminal proceedings will be initiated against a drug addict when the person voluntarily surrenders himself to the investigative authorities and seeks treatment.

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