Fireworks are great for celebrations and festivities, but they are heavily regulated in Dubai
22 November 2018| Last updated on 31 March 2019
Whether it’s for NYE, Diwali or Eid… Fireworks are a great way to add a bang to any celebration!
But what a lot of UAE residents don’t realise is that buying and selling fireworks in Dubai is in fact strictly regulated and illegal.
In fact, importing and selling illegal fireworks in the UAE is a problem – one which authorities try to curb with awareness initiatives such as the Fireworks Danger Awareness Campaign from recent years.
Despite efforts, there are residents who continue to buy fireworks in Dubai for special events and occasions illegally.
Here’s our complete guide to buying and selling fireworks in Dubai, and the laws you need to be aware of.
Where can you buy fireworks in Dubai?
Simply put – you shouldn’t.
There are underground, hidden stores in particular areas of Dubai that with a little exploring, you’ll find someone selling them illegally. But residents are urged not to purchase these fireworks and fire-crackers as they risk being penalised if caught by authorities.
For parents of older children or teenagers, be vigilant with monitoring their online activity – as some vendors can and do sell fireworks in Dubai online or via WhatsApp and/or Facebook.
What is the penalty for having fireworks in Dubai?
In Dubai, anyone caught selling fireworks can be jailed for up to six months, or handed down fines of up to AED 10,000.
Residents caught using fireworks or in the possession of fireworks are dealt with in the same way as individuals who are in possession of explosives.
The importation and possession of a weapon is governed by UAE Federal Law No. 3 of 2009 regarding Weapons, Ammunition and Explosives.
Who can buy fireworks in Dubai?
Only licenced companies with the skills, training and safety procedures in place are able to handle fireworks and fireworks displays legally in Dubai and UAE.
Event organisers must have the permission of the Dubai Police and Dubai Municipality before using fireworks. The use of fireworks in Dubai is considered an activity that affects airspace – and thus the correct approvals need to be obtained.
More information about getting this permit from the General Civil Aviation Authority can be found here.
The dangers of illegal fireworks in Dubai
Ongoing efforts from authorities and Dubai Police occur each year, as the public are reminded of the dangers of fireworks and penalties illegal importers face.
Residents are urged to alert authorities if they know of a company or individual selling fireworks illegal.
After all, if used incorrectly – people risk potentially serious injury to themselves or others if fireworks are set off in an incorrect way or unsafe environment.
Where to watch fireworks in Dubai
While fireworks for personal use are illegal, Dubai and the UAE do arrange community events that the public can attend and enjoy fireworks displays.
Especially for events like New Year’s Eve, Eid, Diwali and UAE National Day – the all-encompassing, multi-cultural nature of the city means that events are regularly held that cater to all cultural norms and traditions for the many different nationalities living here.
Some of the best places to watch fireworks in Dubai include The Beach at JBR, Al Seef, La Mer, Dubai Festival City Mall and of course, Downtown Dubai and Burj Khalifa for the huge annual NYE show.