Under the UAE’s new penal law, carrying knives, blades, hammers or any sharp tools is a crime unless required in certain professions.

The new provision comes as part of the Federal Decree Law no. 31 of 2021, effective since January 2, 2022.

Dr. Hasan Elhais, legal consultant at Al Rowaad Advocates, said previously, people found in possession of sharp weapons did not face a criminal offence unless the tools were used to commit a crime.

The new law, however, criminalises carrying sharp objects that may pose a threat to public safety. The only condition where it is permissible to carry sharp tools is if the holder’s profession requires their use. Such professions include butchery, carpentry and plumbing.

Article 405 of the Penal Law stipulates that people caught in possession of a tool that injures, cuts, pierces, smashes, punctures or stabs without a reason related to their professional activity shall face jail and/or fine for posing a threat to public safety.

Elhais said the new law provision will increase the sense of security and help reduce crime.

Under the new law, Elhais said, those who commit a crime using sharp objects can face double charges for the crime itself and for carrying the weapon.

“Having sharp tools in hand can inevitably increase the risk in crime. In a moment of fight or anger, people can reach out to such tools and cause someone’s injury,” noted Elhais.


He added, “a law was needed to regulate the use and possession of sharp tools, which is a natural progress of the country’s legal environment that reflects comprehensive efforts to balance between flexibility and public safety.”

“Questioning a person carrying sharp objects will make people think twice before using them for any purposes other than work,” noted Elhais.


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