No fines for negative comments on economy, Dubai confirms
Dubai’s government has rejected the rumours that individuals and companies are being penalised for making negative comments about the emirate’s economic situation.
The Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) on Sunday refuted the claims, stating that “no such action has been taken.”
In a statement issued to media, the DED stressed that “no government entity is empowered to act against expressing such opinions, nor [against] any violation involved in such comments.”
There were rumours doing the rounds among residents and on social media that plain-clothes police were monitoring what people say about state of affairs in Dubai’s economy in public places and on public transport, and that individuals were being fined for making critical comments and expressing negative views about the current situation in the emirate.
Some rumours said that officials in disguise were making visits to business firms and were levying up to AED2,000 in fines for comments that implied that a slowdown in Dubai’s economy was affecting business.
“The DED confirmed that Dubai, under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, enjoys the trust of local, regional and international businessmen, investors and companies, which is reflected in the emirate’s growth across key indicators, such as foreign direct investment, gross domestic product and the number of commercial licenses issued,” the statement said.
The department also called upon the public “to ensure that any information concerning the national economy and overall commercial activity [come] from the authorities concerned” and asked them “not to pay attention to unconfirmed reports and hearsay.”