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Dubai’s Solution to Cold Calls: Ending Them for Good

Strict new rules are being introduced in mid-August with penalties of up to AED 150,000

Dubai's Solution to Cold Calls

Have you gotten annoyed by frequent telemarketing calls from companies selling everything from credit card plans to real estate? We have some good news for you.

On Sunday, June 9th, the UAE unveiled plans to crack down on relentless cold callers, imposing fines of up to Dh150,000 ($40,838) and the risk of having operating licenses revoked for violations of the stringent new rules.

The Ministry of Economy and the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TRA) revealed the new regulations designed to shield the public from unscrupulous telemarketers.

The stricter protocols are applicable to all licensed companies across the Emirates, including those in free zones, that use such calls to promote products to both landlines and mobile phones.

Crucially, the new rules stretch not just to calls, but to messages as well.

Dubai's Solution to Cold Calls
The UAE has set out new regulations to govern telemarketing calls. 

The new guidelines, which will come into effect in August, include:

  • Telemarketing calls can only be made from 9am until 6pm. Calls outside of these hours are prohibited.
  • Companies must obtain prior approval from authorities to carry out telemarketing calls.
  • Companies are barred from calling back the customer if they reject the service or product in the initial conversation.
  • Telemarketers cannot make a call on the same day if the consumer has declined or ended the phone call.
  • Marketing calls can be made only from phone numbers registered under the name of licensed companies, not under individual names.
  • Customers can file a complaint with authorities if these rules are breached.

Penalties include warnings, fines of up to Dh150,000, partial or total suspension of activity, cancellation of the licence and telecommunication services being blocked for up to one year.

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The new regulations mark the government’s latest effort to protect public rights and ensure compliance by companies with established rules.

Do Not Call

In January 2022, the TRA launched a service called Kashif, which shows people where a call originates from – a bank, a telecom company or an insurance firm.

The goal was to decrease the volume of anonymous calls that residents receive. By the end of that year, all private companies were required to register their phone numbers with the Kashif service.

Fines of up to AED150,000 can be imposed on companies who make calls to those signed up to the Do Not Call Registry.

Companies that fail to obtain prior approval to make telemarketing calls can receive a AED75,000 fine in the first instance, rising to AED 100,000 for a second offence and AED 150,000 for a third breach.

There are 18 types of violations and administrative penalties imposed on companies breaking the new rules ranging from AED 25,000 to 150,000.