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Requirements for the content of advertising materials (inoperative from February 20, 2021)

1. General Provisions

1.1. These Requirements for the Content of Advertising Materials (the «Requirements») shall be applicable to all promotional advertisements used in connection with 2GIS Products in the United Arab Emirates (the «UAE»).

1.2. The advertisements that are produced, placed or distributed within the UAE or imported into the UAE must abide by the National Media Council Resolution of Advertising Standards, Resolution No. 35 of 2012 (the «National Standards»). In addition to the National Standards, the content of all advertisements that are printed and distributed through visual media in the UAE is governed by the Publications and Publishing Law, Federal Law No. 15 of 1980 (the «Publishing Law»).

1.3. The National Standards defer the control and regulation of specialized advertising related to health, promotional campaigns, real estate, educational institutions, or securities or financial services to the respective regulatory authority of those sectors.

2. The National Standards

2.1. In accordance with Article 4 of the National Standards, the content of advertisements must:

a) not offend Islam and must respect monotheistic religions;

b) respect the ruling regime in the UAE, including the heads of state, rulers, members of the royal family, and the symbols and political institutions thereof;

c) respect the cultural and traditional heritage of the UAE;

d) not offend public discipline and national order, or incite sectarian dissension among the tribes and individuals of society;

e) respect the laws and policies of the UAE, both on a domestic level and in terms of the UAE’s relations with other countries;

f) not offend the economic stability of the UAE, or spread rumours or misleading news;

g) respect the UAE’s programs to enhance its national identity;

h) respect the ethical and honest principles, values and standards of the UAE, including the rules governing business, consumer protection, fair competition and the prohibition of commercial fraud and monopolies;

i) not be offensive to children, women or any social groups;

j) not incite hatred or violence;

k) not include obscene photos or words;

l) not promote the acts of sorcery or astrological predictions;

m) comply with the conditions and controls related to the UAE flag, national emblem and anthem;

n) respect intellectual property rights of others;

o) not advertise alcoholic beverages or narcotic substances in any way, whether directly or indirectly; and

p) not advertise tobacco or smoking of any kind or method, nor any related goods and services.

2.2. In addition, Article 5 of the National Standards requires that the language of all advertisements shall:

a) not be ambiguous, obscure or void of any clear indications;

b) not include any false or misleading claims, resort to exaggerations and/or intimidation, claim to be unique by disrespecting competitors nor resort to fraud or deception;

c) not include images that are falsified or imitated or images that violate intellectual property rights of others;

d) not lead to confusion or ambiguity with other products or activities;

e) include the spoken Emirati dialect or the classic Arabic language; and

f) clearly identify the advertiser.

2.3. All specialized advertising such as that related to medicine, drugs, food, promotional campaigns, special offers, real estate, or universities and educational institutions must obtain prior approvals from the competent authorities.

2.4. Pursuant to Article 6 of the National Standards, 2GIS must ensure compliance with the National Standards by keeping records of all the advertising material produced, printed or distributed for the previous three (3) consecutive months. Accordingly, 2GIS reserves the right to request from the advertiser documents or data to prove compliance with the National Standards, including data on obtaining licenses and mandatory certifications.

3. The Publishing Law

3.1. In accordance with Chapter 7 of the Publishing Law, the following materials are prohibited to be published:

a) criticisms made against the head of the UAE or rulers of the Emirates;

b) any work that involves any instigation against Islam or the system of ruling in the UAE or that causes harm to the interest of the UAE or the values of its society;

c) opinions that violate public discipline and order, involve insult to teenagers or call for or circulate subversive ideas;

d) material that instigates criminal activity, incites hatred or provokes actions of dissension among individuals of society;

e) confidential, official or military communications, unless permission is obtained from the proper authority;

f) conventions or treaties the government becomes a party to before they are published in the official gazette, unless permission is obtained;

g) minutes of meetings, deliberations, or court hearings published in bad faith, misinterpreted or distorted;

h) articles causing damage to the president of an Arab, Islamic or any other friendly state or any material that agitates the relations between the UAE and other Arab, Islamic and friendly countries;

i) articles defaming Arabs and their civilization and heritage;

j) news on an ongoing criminal investigation if the judge orders the investigation to be kept confidential or the public prosecution restricts such pu lication;

k) news, pictures or comments about an individual’s private life if their publication is meant to disgrace such individuals;

l) secrets that may cause harm to the reputation of a person, his property or his commercial name;

m) publications meant to coerce a person into paying money or rendering a benefit to someone else;

n) false news about a person published in bad faith, including forged or tampered documents to relate such news to the person;

o) news that causes harm to the UAE national currency or causes damage to the UAE national economy;

p) phrases, expressions or pictures that are inconsistent with public conduct or might otherwise mislead the public;

q) advertisements for medicines or pharmaceutical preparations without permission from the proper authority at the UAE Ministry of Health; and

r) offensive information about a public official, or any person occupying a post in the public prosecution or assigned to perform a public job, unless the writer can prove the information was published in good faith.

4. Health Advertisements

4.1. UAE Ministry of Health Resolution No. 430 of 2007 governs advertisements for the following products and services:

a) medicines;

b) herbal supplements;

c) medical additives;

d) beauty products;

e) medical equipment and accessories; and

f) services of medical institutions and medical practitioners using traditional or alternative medical treatment methods, collectively referred to as «Medical Products.»

4.2. Before publicizing an advertisement of Medical Products, the advertiser must obtain an advertising license from the UAE Ministry of Health (the «MoH»).

4.2.1. In order to qualify for an advertising license, the content of the advertisement must:

a) include the nature, quality and attributes of the Medical Product;

b) not breach the general laws and regulations of the UAE, including the Publishing Law, laws related to the practice of medicine or medical professions, law related to the practice of pharmacology and establishing pharmaceutical institutions, and laws related to private health establishments;

c) contain true and balanced statements, including scientific information;

d) not contradict UAE customs and traditions or Islamic principles nor cause harm to public decency;

e) not cause damage to a third party’s products or facilities;

f) avoid overstatements and exaggerations and contain text that is not misleading;

g) not create untrue expectations with regard to the Medical Product;

h) not convince a consumer with a serious illness to improperly self-diagnose himself by treating his illness with the Medical Product;

i) not suggest to consumers that serious consequences shall occur if they do not use the Medical Product;

j) not warn against a competing product licensed in the UAE;

k) not encourage excessive, unsuitable or exclusive consumption of the Medical Product;

l) not include any claim, statement or suggestion of guarantees of success, magic or miraculous treatments;

m) not contain any guarantee or suggestion that it is a safe product and will not cause any harm or side effects;

n) not target minors;

o) not offer personal incentives to pharmacist assistants or retail sales persons not qualified as a pharmacist in exchange for their recommendation of the Medical Product;

p) contain scientific expressions that are suitable and understandable to the public, and published research results should identify the researcher and the financial sponsor of the research; and

q) identify the product sponsor only if the sponsor is in the field of general health and approves being identified.

4.3. Advertising for Private Health Establishments

4.3.1. In addition to the advertisement requirements described in Article 4.2 herein, including approval by the MoH, private health establishment advertisements are restricted to the following situations:

a) opening a new medical establishment;

b) changing location or contact details of the medical establishment;

c) opening new licensed departments within the establishment; and

d) organizing workshops, symposia and conferences.

4.4. Advertising Services of Doctors and Technicians

4.4.1. In addition to the advertisement requirements described in Article 4.2 herein, doctors and technicians are restricted to advertising their services to the following situations, and the advertisement may only run for one (1) week:

a) joining a private health establishment;

b) changing working locations;

c) announcing a return after being abroad for more than one month; and

d) announcing dates of visiting doctors.

4.5. Advertisers must obtain special approvals from the MoH for advertisements regarding health events, including conferences, courses, workshops, and television or radio interviews with medical specialists within the UAE, and for publishing advertisements in the UAE for such events occurring outside the UAE.

4.6. Advertisers for medical equipment must obtain approvals by the MoH, and the equipment must be deemed safe for public use by the competent authority.

5. Advertising Promotions and Special Offers

5.1. Promotions and Raffles

5.1.1. Advertisers of promotional campaigns or raffles must obtain an advertising permit from the Department of Economic Development of the Emirate in which it is licensed to do business. Promotional campaigns are defined as activities conducted to promote a product or service.

5.1.2. The advertisements for the promotions cannot violate the National Standards.

5.1.3. The advertisements for the promotions or raffles must include:

a) the timeline for receipt of the promotional product;

b) the date of the raffle (if any); and

c) the participating locations of the promotions or raffle.

5.1.4. The prizes awarded during the promotional campaigns must be benefits, incentives or in-kind vouchers.

5.2. Discounts and Special Offers

5.2.1. Advertisers of discounts and special offers must obtain an advertising permit from the Department of Economic Development of the Emirate in which it is licensed to do business.

5.2.2. The advertisement must indicate the percentage of the discount, and in the event of a range of percentages, the low and high range of the discount.

5.2.3. Sales may not last for longer than thirty (30) days, with an allowance of an extension of one (1) week, and there must be at least a two (2) week gap in between each sale.

5.2.4. The following shall apply for weekly special offers:

a) discounts may not be less than twenty-five percent (25%) of the usual price of the goods or services; and

b) the profit rate should not exceed twenty-five percent (25%) of the cost of the goods or services.

6. Advertising for Educational Institutions

6.1. All advertisements and marketing materials for educational providers must be approved by the educational authority in the Emirate in which the provider is licensed.

6.2. All advertisements and marketing materials for educational providers based in the Emirate of Dubai must abide by the requirements of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority («KHDA»), as described in this Article 6.2.

6.2.1. The content of the material must:

a) be legal, decent, honest, and truthful, and prepared with a sense of responsibility towards Dubai’s society;

b) not be misleading, and must be amended if circumstances change that would render an approved advertisement misleading;

c) clearly explain links in ownership if the educational institution is owned in partnership with another educational institution;

d) provide evidence for any claims that are made within the material (awards, rankings, acknowledgments and collaborations), including the date and timeline of such claims;

e) not discredit or unfairly attack another educational institution;

f) include evidence of accuracy of testimonials used;

g) not include names or logos that closely resemble any other names or logos, and such logos must clearly represent the educational institution;

h) publicize accredited and approved courses/programs;

i) include information regarding any construction of the premises, including a likely date of completion;

j) include language that is appropriate and not offensive, and must state the intention of the educational institution without ambiguity;

k) not violate or contravene the principles of Islam, the national identity of the UAE or culture prevalent in the region;

l) not be racist or adversely target any community or nationality living in the UAE; and

m) comply with all laws of the UAE.

6.2.2. Schools may use the final performance rating reports in commercial advertisements for student enrollment only after all school inspection reports have been published on the KHDA website.

6.2.3. Any advertisements for university programs that are not accredited by KHDA’s University Quality Assurance International Board or another recognized accrediting body must clearly state that the program is not approved by KHDA. KHDA approvals for such advertisements are considered on a case-by-case basis.

7. Advertising for Providers of Real Estate, Securities and Financial Services

7.1. All providers of real estate services in the Emirate of Dubai must include the following in their advertisements:

a) A picture of the property;

b) A price and description of the property; and

c) The provider’s name and registration number with the Dubai Real Estate Regulatory Agency.

7.2. All advertisers of securities and financial services must be registered with the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority and any other relevant authority.

8. Final Provisions

8.1. The current version of these Requirements is available on the Website at http://law.2gis.ae/advert-rules/requirements/.

Agreement Last Updated: December 01, 2014.