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Transforming Mental Health Care in the UAE: A Breakdown of the New Federal Law

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Transforming Mental Health Care in the UAE: A Breakdown of the New Federal Law

The UAE Government takes a monumental step in advancing mental healthcare with the issuance of a new Federal Law on mental health. Al Kabban & Associates delves into the key aspects of this transformative legislation, outlining its objectives and the profound impact it will have on psychiatric patients, their families, and society at large.

Objectives of the Federal Law on Mental Health

Aligned with the latest practices and advancements in the mental healthcare landscape, the Federal Law on Mental Health aims to achieve several crucial objectives:

– Regulate relations between psychiatric patients and involved parties.

– Provide necessary healthcare adhering to the best standards.

– Preserve the rights and dignity of psychiatric patients.

– Minimize the negative effects of mental conditions on individuals and society.

– Promote social integration of psychiatric patients.

Scope of the Law

The comprehensive scope of the law covers various aspects related to mental health, psychiatric patients, mental health facilities, and relevant institutions, including those within free zones. It redefines mental health and psychiatric patient in accordance with contemporary practices and concepts in the mental health field.

Patient Rights and Protections

The legislation emphasizes patients’ general rights, including the right to a full explanation of their rights within mental health facilities and the right to submit grievances. Patients are entitled to care and treatments in an environment that preserves their civil rights. Notably, the law protects patients from exploitation and ensures the confidentiality of their information and personal belongings.

Care Plan and Discharge

The law outlines frameworks for the mental and social care plan upon a patient’s discharge. Patients have the right to psychotherapy and psychiatric medications based on established medical principles. The legislation ensures access to education, recreational activities, and the appointment of representatives to advocate for patients within and beyond mental health care facilities.

Special Considerations for Minor Patients

For minor psychiatric patients, the law introduces special health guarantees, including the right to education and age-specific health safeguards that align with their best interests.

Monitoring Committees and Oversight

Each emirate will establish a monitoring committee dedicated to safeguarding the rights of psychiatric patients. These committees will supervise mental health care facilities, ensuring adherence to standards and procedures. Additionally, patients’ rights committees in each emirate will receive and address complaints from psychiatric patients.

Types of Admission and Penalties

The law defines various types of admission to mental healthcare facilities and establishes regulations for voluntary admission. It addresses cases of psychological restraint, isolation, patient transfer, and compulsory outpatient treatment. The legislation imposes penalties, including imprisonment and fines ranging from AED 50,000 to AED 200,000, for offenders violating its regulations.


As the UAE redefines mental healthcare, Al Kabban & Associates stands at the forefront, offering insights into the transformative Federal Law on Mental Health. Navigating this landscape requires expertise, and our firm is committed to guiding individuals, organizations, and healthcare facilities through these groundbreaking changes. Contact us and speak to one of our many expert lawyers in Dubai for advice on all matters related to the laws, rules and regulations surrounding healthcare in the UAE.


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