The UAE passed a federal law in 2019 to protect the welfare of older people. The Public prosecutors reminded the people of the country about the UAE’s Senior Citizen Law which protects the rights of older Emiratis. Individuals, whether they are family members or elderly care institutions, who mistreat or neglect the UAE senior citizens will face imprisonment of two years and fines of AED 10,000 to AED 50,000. Additionally, the law also punishes anyone who witnesses abuse but does not report it.
According to Federal Law No 9 of 2019, Emiratis who are 60 years of age or over are entitled to the following rights:
- the Right to Independence and Privacy
- the Right to Protection from Violence and Abuse
- the Right to an enabling environment, housing, education and work
- the Right to Social care including the provision of elderly community centres and social clubs
- the Right to medical care including preventive health services, medical insurance, mobile nursing units and supportive medical devices
- the Right of Confidentiality of Information
- the Right to preferential treatment concerning government transactions, facilities, social aid and medical services.
- Full medical, financial and educational care and must be registered in a dedicated database.
The UAE has retirement homes for Emirates Senior Citizens called Elderly care centres which fall under the responsibility of the Ministry of Community Development. Should a family face difficulties in providing care for elderly people, they are required to inform the Ministry of Community Development, care centres, the police and any other relevant departments. The centres provide primary health care, social, psychological and physical therapy for seniors. Caregivers who insult senior citizens can face stiff penalties. The same requirement is necessary should a senior citizen die or change their home address. Registration of an elderly relative in a care home can be done online.