You have up to 48 hours to report lost or abandoned property that you found in the UAE or you might face legal action
14 April 2015| Last updated on 8 October 2017
Ever wondered what happens to an item you've lost in Dubai? Be it a purse, phone or a piece of jewellery. Well now, due to the implementation of a new law, you can ensure that if it is found, there's a great chance you'll get it back. Because now, thanks to the new Law No (5) of 2015 implemented by Rule of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, finders of any lost item that is not of their belonging have up to 48 hours to return the item to Dubai Police or risk facing criminal liability.
Basically, Article (2) of the new law defines that "lost property" includes the monies and properties that are acquired by law and has a value - meaning, you've bought it rightfully and legally with your own money. If it is lost, that means you've lost it without deliberate intention or by accident. Whereas, abandoned monies and properties that are acquired by law means when their lawful owner actually deliberately abandoned them. So if you purposely threw that very expensive watch over your back fence, that's considered abandonment.
Thus pursuant to the law, if you were to find a lost and/or abandoned item or property, you are legally obliged to hand it over to the Dubai Police within 48 hours of finding it, and you won't be able to claim it's yours. Violation of this big will land you in trouble, and subject to criminal liability! The police will then issue a report including the detailed description of the item or property and any other relevant information that is applicable to help find the lawful owner of the lost item.
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To implement this, the Dubai Police have a responsiblity to activate these rules across the Emirate, and are entirely responsible for receiving, preserving and investigating any lost and/or abandoned property.
Want to know the best bit? If you're a finder of a lost item and return it within the specific time frame, you'll be entitled to receive a 10 per cent reward from the total value of the lost and/or abandoned item - there is a limit of course, which is AED 50,000. And the reward is payable whether original owner claimed the property or otherwise! And if you're the finder of an item that is not claimed within one year of it being found by the original owner, you may claim the property. So let the inner magpie within yourself be free, and get searching for lost property across Dubai! Afterall, you're just being a great fellow resident.
The aim of all these new rules aim to regulate the procedures applied to lost and/or abandoned property within Dubai, and to encourage the public to submit these properties to their lawful owners. Be a good samaritan today!
This new law, Law No (5) of 2015 overwrites any existing legistlation that may contradict with its articles.