UAE Cracks Down on Telemarketing with Stringent New Rules and Hefty Fines

The UAE has unveiled stringent new regulations governing telemarketing practices, imposing penalties ranging from AED 75,000 ($20,419) to AED 150,000 ($40,838) for violations. These measures, issued by the Ministry of Economy and the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA), aim to curb intrusive marketing calls and protect consumer privacy.

The rules apply to all licensed entities, including those in free zones, engaging in telemarketing activities. This encompasses phone calls, marketing text messages, and promotional messages via social media apps initiated by companies or their representatives.

Key provisions require companies to obtain prior approval from the competent authority before engaging in telemarketing. They must also ensure transparency, credibility, and integrity, avoiding high-pressure tactics and misleading information. Marketing calls are restricted to between 9:00 AM and 6:00 PM, and consumers can only be contacted once per day and no more than twice a week if they do not answer or decline the initial call.

Automated dialing systems are permitted under the new regulations, but companies must ask consumers if they wish to continue the call before marketing any products or services. Comprehensive training on professional ethics is mandatory for marketers, and only locally issued phone numbers registered under the company’s commercial license can be used.

The new rules also emphasize consumer rights, allowing individuals to file complaints about unwanted calls and ensuring their personal data is not disclosed or sold without consent. Penalties for non-compliance are severe, ranging from fines and warnings to suspension of activities and cancellation of licenses.

Companies must also maintain detailed records of all marketing calls and submit periodic reports to the competent authority. The regulations include a gradation of administrative penalties, which can escalate for repeat offenses, potentially leading to the disconnection of telecommunications services.

For individuals making unauthorized marketing calls, penalties start at AED 5,000 and can escalate to AED 50,000, with additional measures such as the disconnection of phone services and a ban on obtaining new services from licensed telecom providers.

These comprehensive measures reflect the UAE’s commitment to safeguarding consumer rights and promoting ethical business practices in telemarketing.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Scroll to Top