Question: I have an Asian friend who came to Dubai on a visitor's visa but he was arrested for inhaling glue. What would the sentence be for such an offence?
Answer: Your friend could be sentenced to between one and three years in prison, in accordance with article 40 and 41 of Federal Law 14 of 1995 and its amendments. However, it needs to be established that he inhaled the substance within the UAE's jurisdiction. It should be expected that the judge would add permanent deportation to any sentence.
Question: The owner of the company I've been working at for three years gave me the authorisation to sign bank cheques for suppliers as he was not in the UAE. However, when the cheques were cashed they bounced, as our client did not pay us on time so we had insufficient funds. I want to know if the suppliers can take legal action against me personally?
Answer: You can be held liable under UAE law as it does not distinguish between individuals and businesses when it comes to bounced cheques. In accordance with article 401 of the Federal Law 3 of 1987, "detention or a fine shall be imposed upon anyone who, in bad faith, gives a draft (cheque) without a sufficient and drawable balance or who, after giving a cheque, withdraws all or part of the balance, making the balance insufficient for settlement of the cheque, or if he orders a drawee not to cash a cheque or makes or signs the cheque in a manner that prevents it from being cashed". Unfortunately, in addition to the above, you would still be liable jointly with your company in the commercial courts to pay the cheque value, as per article 606 of the Commercial Transaction Law.