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UAE Penalties for Breaching Business Secrets Include Huge Fines and Prison

The unauthorized acquisition, use, or disclosure of such secret information by others in a way inconsistent with honest commercial practices is viewed as an unfair practise and a violation of the trade secret protection.”

Trade secrets in UAE

There is no separate federal trade secret legislation in the United Arab Emirates. The following federal statutes offer a patchwork collection of protections and remedies for trade secrets instead:

Federal Law No. 2 of 2015’s Commercial Companies Law, Federal Law No. 5 of 1985’s Civil Code, Federal Law No. 3 of 1987’s Criminal Code, and Federal Law No. 2 of 1987’s Industrial Regulation and Protection of Patents, Industrial Drawings, and Designs Law are all updated versions of existing laws (Federal Law No. 31 of 2006).

Due to this, there is no agreed-upon legal description of what a trade secret is onshore in the UAE, and the laws are silent regarding the kinds of information that can be protected as trade secrets as well as the prerequisites for such protection. However, each legislation specifies the specific sanctions for stealing a trade secret.

Non-Disclosure Accords (NDA)

Although there is some protection for trade secrets under the federal laws listed below in the UAE, there will always be some ambiguity regarding the kinds of information that can be protected as trade secrets, what requirements must be met for that information to qualify for protection, and what constitutes an unlawful disclosure.

As a result, parties in possession of trade secrets ought to think about establishing a non-disclosure agreement with any third parties to which it desires to divulge any private information. NDAs are usually upholdable in UAE courts.

The legislation does not specify the content that must be included in an NDA, so two or more parties are free to include any clauses that they deem appropriate. Due to their adaptability, NDAs can be created by parties working with Dubai-based lawyers or champions to protect their confidential information and intellectual property.

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Although the NDAS’s content is undefined, it usually consists of the following components:

Parties to the Pact

The NDA should specify the names of the divulging and receiving parties. The parties’ legal statuses must also be made clear in the contract so that it is clear who is providing and getting sensitive information, whether they are individuals, partnerships, or corporations.

Specifics of the private material

The parties to the contract should be identified, along with whether the NDA is unilateral or mutual, before describing the specifics of the private information. There are times when startups are hesitant to include sensitive information in a document that could be viewed by a third party. In that situation, the parties may concur that the NDA’s content is also confidential.

The majority of NDAs outline the duration of their validity. Until their product is released, a startup, for instance, can execute an NDA that forbids other parties from disclosing sensitive information. In contrast, a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) can be written to bind two or more parties for an extended period of time. To learn what would perform best in a specific case, it is crucial to consult with legal consultants in Dubai.

Liberties and obligations

Each party’s rights and obligations with respect to sensitive information must be expressly and completely stated in the agreement. The NDA might stipulate whether and to what extent the receiving party’s contractors have access to secret information.

Breaking the deal

What occurs if one of the parties inadvertently divulges sensitive information to a third party is one of the most important clauses in an NDA. It’s also important to discuss the possible penalties for breaking the contract.

What happens if someone divulges private company information?

Anyone who divulges confidential information from their place of work runs the risk of being imprisoned and subject to fines of up to Dh1 million, according to the UAE Public Prosecution.

The Public Prosecution states that it is illegal for people to “disclose sensitive information which they have obtained in the course of or because of their job” by using any computer network, website, or information technology without permission. Infringers will receive a minimum six-month prison term in addition to a fine of 500,000 to 1,000,000 DH.

Non-disclosure agreements, which forbid employees from disclosing or making use of trade secrets, data, or other proprietary information, are needed for all UAE workers.


Every organization, business, and company should adhere to secrecy management, employee-employer contracts, and non-disclosure agreements, and take all necessary precautions to protect trade secrets. Internationally, nations have made progress in the protection of trade secrets and confidential information, keeping them in front of other nations in terms of an effective business.


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