Ahead of the 2023-24 UAE Pro League kicking off on August 18, 2023, the Dubai Police have launched the annual ‘Your Commitment to Happiness’ initiative to educate the public about the importance of positive engagement and adherence to all measures and protocols when attending matches.
While announcing the initiative’s launch, the Assistant Commander-in-Chief for Operations Affairs in Dubai Police Major General Abdullah Ali Al Ghaithi affirmed that the initiative aligns with the ongoing commitment to ensuring the highest safety and security standards for sporting events.
“It aims to achieve excellence and innovation in the organizational aspects, particularly regarding security, for the various competitions hosted within the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Major General Ghaithi pointed out the Dubai Police’s dedication to ensuring the safety and well-being of athletes and the various facilities and tournaments held throughout the country through implementing advanced security measures and protocols that align with international standards for organizing top-level security aspects.
“These efforts extend to all individuals attending and participating in sports events and festivals, which have become an integral part of the UAE’s societal fabric,” he added.
Major General Abdullah Ali Al Ghaithi encouraged the fans to strictly follow the guidelines for crowd management while entering and exiting the stadiums, emphasizing the importance of adhering to safety and security measures and fostering a sportsmanlike spirit, which reflects the esteemed and cultural significance of the sports events held both at the national level and in the emirate of Dubai.
UAE Pro League: Sports Audience Obligations
Regarding the moral obligations of Fans, Major General Rashid Khalifa Al Falasi, Director of the General Department of Protective Security and Emergency, explained that Chapters 4 and 5 of the federal law concerning the security of facilities and sports events have clearly defined the responsibilities of the sports audience and the corresponding penalties for any violations of these obligations.
He clarified that Article 17 of the law outlines the specific obligations of the sports audience as follows:
They are prohibited from entering the actual playing field or the designated sports event area without permission.
They must not bring or possess any prohibited or hazardous substances, especially fireworks, within the sports facility or the event venue.
They must adhere to the regulations regarding the carrying or acquisition of weapons as determined by the Minister of Interior.
They are required to occupy the designated seating areas.
UAE Pro League: Legal Penalties
Meanwhile, the Coordinator of the ‘Your Commitment to Happiness’ Lt. Col. Abdullah Tarsh Al Amimi clarified that the law imposes sanctions for failing to comply with the abovementioned provisions. “The penalties include imprisonment for a minimum of one month and a maximum of three months, and a fine of at least AED 5,000 and not exceeding AED 30,000, or either penalty.
Lt. Col. Al Amimi further indicated that the law imposes imprisonment and a fine of at least AED 10,000 and not exceeding AED 30,000, or either penalty, on individuals who commit, participate in, incite, or attempt to commit acts of violence.
“The same penalties apply to those who throw any substances or liquids of any type towards any other fan or towards the area surrounding the playground or the playing field. Likewise, those who utter or write any insulting language or make any gestures that would be insulting or make any statements of racial nature during the holding of the Sports Event, or exploit the stadium for political purposes, will face the same penalties”, he concluded.