New UAE draft law: Up to Dh1m fine for forging education certificates

Ismail Sebugwaawo /Abu Dhabi Filed on February 16, 2021
Wam file photo used for illustrative purpose

The law covers offences like submitting bogus education certificates to secure jobs in the UAE.

A new law is set to introduce stiffer penalties and jail terms for people who are caught using fake university degrees and academic certificates in the UAE.

The Federal National Council (FNC) on Tuesday passed the federal draft law, laying down the penalties that include: Fines ranging from Dh30,000 to Dh1 million and imprisonment from three months to two years.

Consisting of 11 articles, the law covers offences like submitting bogus education certificates to secure jobs in the country or for certification or approval by competent authorities.

It also prohibits the publication of an academic certificate issued by an unauthorised body in one of the media establishments in the UAE.

According to the new regulations, it is also a crime to participate in the issuance of an educational certificate from an unauthorised institution in any way.

The law prohibits advertising or promoting of any unauthorised institution that issues fake academic certificates from inside or outside the country.

FNC members approved the new law in the presence of the Minister of Education, Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi.

Shatha Saeed Al Naqbi, FNC member and member of the committee on education, culture, sports and information affairs, said the new law would address the trend of using fake certificates which had seen a spike in the country in recent years.

The authorities had earlier reported that as many as 143 forged academic certificates were detected in the UAE in 2018.

“The phenomenon of using fake certificates has recently increased in the country. The new regulations aim to crack down on the people’s use of fake degrees and education certificates to get jobs at government agencies and private firms, or for any other purposes,” said Al Naqbi.

“The new law regulates work in dealing with these forged certificates. Tougher penalties have been introduced to combat the phenomenon of forging university degrees.”

The FNC committee on education, culture, sports and information affairs — which presented the law to the council for approval — had suggested that a specialised governmental body be established and given the mandate to verify whether an education certificate was issued by a genuine institution or not. It added that these papers should be attested by competent authorities from the country of origin.

The draft law will be presented to the UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, for approval before being enforced into a law.


Ismail Sebugwaawo

A professional journalist originating from Kampala, Uganda, Ismail is a happy father with strong attachment to family and great values for humanity. He has practiced journalism in UAE for the past 13 years, covering the country's parliament (FNC) and crimes, including Abu Dhabi Police, public prosecution and courts. He also reports about important issues in education, public health and the environment, with a keen interest in human interest stories. When out of reporting duties, he serves the Ugandan community in Abu Dhabi as he wants to see his countrymen happy. Exercising and reading are part of his free time.

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