UAE Implements New Mental Health Law: Fines Up to Dh200,000 and Imprisonment for Violations

In a significant move towards prioritizing mental health, the UAE Government has introduced a Federal Law that imposes strict penalties for violations. The law, effective immediately, sets out fines ranging from Dh50,000 to Dh200,000 and possible imprisonment for those found guilty of breaching its regulations and provisions.

Ensuring Patient Rights

A vital feature of the new legislation is the establishment of dedicated monitoring committees in each emirate. These committees are tasked with safeguarding the rights of psychiatric patients, reflecting the government’s commitment to ensuring the highest standards of mental healthcare.

The law, designed to align with the latest advancements in mental healthcare practices, emphasizes protecting patients’ rights and providing optimal physical and psychological care. By regulating the relationships between psychiatric patients and involved parties, the law aims to establish comprehensive guidelines for mental health facilities and related institutions.

Focus on Patient Dignity and Social Integration

One of the law’s primary objectives is to preserve the rights and dignity of psychiatric patients. By doing so, it aims to mitigate the adverse effects of mental conditions not only on the patients themselves but also on their families and society at large. The overarching goal is to enhance social integration for individuals dealing with mental health challenges.

Comprehensive Applicability

The scope of the law encompasses all aspects of mental health, including the definition of mental health and psychiatric patients. Notably, it extends its jurisdiction to mental health facilities and relevant institutions within the country, even those in free zones. The law reflects contemporary practices and concepts in the ever-evolving mental health field.

Upholding Patient Rights and Confidentiality

The legislation strongly emphasizes patients’ rights, ensuring they receive full explanations of their rights within mental health facilities. Patients have the right to submit grievances and complaints and must receive care and treatment in environments that respect their civil rights. Job retention without restrictions, protection from exploitation, and confidentiality of patient information are integral components of the law.

Post-Discharge Care and Protections for Minors

Upon discharge from mental health facilities, patients are entitled to a comprehensive mental and social care plan. The law encourages obtaining medical insurance, facilitates access to education and recreational activities, and allows patients to choose representatives for advocacy. For minor psychiatric patients, age-specific health guarantees are in place, ensuring their right to education and providing accommodation separate from adults’ spaces.

Dedicated Committees for Oversight

Dedicated monitoring committees will be established in each emirate to ensure the effective implementation of the law. These committees will oversee compulsory admissions, supervise mental health facilities, and address complaints and objections. Additionally, within each health facility, a committee will protect patients’ rights and resolve complaints.

Types of Admission and Treatment Regulations

The law defines various types of admission to mental healthcare facilities, outlining regulations for voluntary admission for substance or psychotropic substance treatment. It addresses obligations in cases of patient escape or death within the facility and provides guidelines for psychological restraint, isolation, and patient transfers.


The UAE’s new mental health law marks a significant step toward prioritizing the well-being of individuals dealing with mental health challenges. By establishing stringent regulations and dedicated oversight committees, the government is committed to ensuring psychiatric patients’ rights, dignity, and optimal care. This comprehensive approach reflects the nation’s dedication to keeping pace with evolving mental healthcare practices.


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Ahammed Jouhar
Ahammed Jouhar
Authorized Content Writer in News Gulf Online News Portal Website Since 2019.

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