Local Order No. (96) of 1995

Concerning the Licensing and Regulation of

Social Clubs in the Emirate of Dubai[1]


We, Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Municipality,

After perusal of:

The powers legally vested in Us pursuant to the decree establishing the Dubai Municipality;

Dubai Municipal Council Order No. (15) Concerning the Licensing of Social Clubs;

Local Order No. (14) of 1973 Concerning the Organisation of Public Exhibitions and Events, as amended by Local Order No. (36) of 1988; and

The presentation of the Director General of the Dubai Municipality,

Do hereby issue this Order.

Article (1)

This Order will be cited as “Local Order No. (96) of 1995 Concerning the Licensing and Regulation of Social Clubs in the Emirate of Dubai”.

Article (2)

In implementing the provisions of this Order, the following words and expressions will have the meaning indicated opposite each of them unless the context implies otherwise:


The Emirate of Dubai.


The Dubai Municipality.

Director General:

The director general of the DM.

Competent Department:

The Administrative Affairs Department of the DM.


Any society, league, or organisation comprised of a group of individuals whose purpose is to conduct any social, sports, cultural, artistic, recreational, charitable, or similar activity.


A register maintained by the Competent Department in which the data and information of licensed Clubs are entered.

Article (3)

The provisions of this Order will apply to all Clubs existing by the date on which this Order is issued, and to the Clubs that will be established after the effective date hereof.

Public-benefit societies established pursuant to Federal Law No. (6) of 1974 and its amendments; and clubs, federations, and societies established pursuant to Federal Law No. (12) of 1972 and engaged in sports and youth activities are hereby exempted from compliance with the provisions of this Order.

I.             Requirements and Procedures for Establishing and Licensing Clubs

Article (4)

No natural or legal person nor any group of individuals may establish or incorporate a Club regardless of the purpose or objective thereof; conduct any activity in a Club; open branches of the same; or relocate it without first obtaining the prior approval of the DM and completing the registration and licensing procedures in accordance with the provisions of this Order.

a.            Requirements for Establishing Clubs

Article (5)

To establish a Club, promoters must issue a charter that includes the following information:

1.       name and address of the Club;

2.       activities and objectives of the Club;

3.       name of the founders or promoters and their nationalities, professions, and places of residence;

4.       membership requirements and procedures, and the rights and duties of members;

5.       method of constituting the board or body managing the Club, and its functions;

6.       financial resources of the Club; and

7.       dissolution and liquidation provisions.

Article (6)

A Club must have premises that include all the facilities, equipment, and machines required for conducting the activities for which it is established. These facilities and equipment must meet the security, safety, environmental, and public health requirements as per the relevant specifications and stipulations prescribed by the competent entities.

b.            Procedures for Licensing Clubs

Article (7)

A Register (the “Social Club Licensing Register”) will be created by the DM. The form of the Register and the data and information that must be entered therein will be determined pursuant to a resolution of the Director General.

Article (8)

An applicant for a Club or a Club branch licence must submit an application to the Competent Department on the relevant prescribed form, accompanied by the required documents. The implementing bylaw of this Order will determine the documents that must be attached to the licence application.

Article (9)

The Competent Department will consider a submitted application and issue its decision to accept or reject the same within thirty (30) days from the date of its submission. The Competent Department’s decision to reject an application must be reasoned.

Article (10)

Upon acceptance of an application, the Competent Department will charge the applicant the fees prescribed for the licence, licence renewal, or variation of licence details. The Director General will issue the resolutions required to determine the fees for each type of application.

Article (11)

An applicant for a licence whose application is rejected may submit a grievance to the Director General against the rejection decision within thirty (30) days from the date of being notified of that decision. The Director General will determine the grievance within two (2) months from the date of its submission, and his decision in this respect will be final.

Article (12)

A licence for establishing a Club will contain all its relevant information, including the registration number; date of issue and term of the licence; the entity in whose name the licence is issued; and the type of activity(ies) authorised in the Club. A Club will acquire legal personality upon completing the procedures for registration on the Register.

Article (13)

A Club which is licensed to conduct an activity in the Emirate may not make any amendments to its charter or managing body without first obtaining the approval of the Competent Department.

Article (14)

The licence of a Club will be valid for two (2) years from the date on which it is issued. A licence may, upon the request of a Club, be renewed upon expiry for the same period subject to the relevant renewal procedures prescribed by the DM.

II.            Obligations of Social Clubs

Article (15)

A Club must conduct the activity(ies) stated in its licence in accordance with its charter. A Club may not conduct any commercial or financial speculation activities, within or outside its premises, in order to generate profits.

Article (16)

Artistic, charitable, or recreational events, activities, festivals, and exhibitions held by the Club inside or outside of its premises will be governed by the provisions and requirements stipulated in Local Order No. (14) of 1973 Concerning the Organisation of Public Exhibitions and Ceremonies as amended by Local Order No. (36) of 1988 and its Implementing Bylaw.

Article (17)

A Club may not pursue any objectives or purposes that are illegal, or that contradict the laws and regulations in force or the dictates of public order and morality. In addition, the promoters and members of a Club may not engage in any political activism.

Article (18)

The premises and facilities of a Club may not be utilised for other than their intended purposes. In particular, no person, other than security personnel, may sleep or take up residence in any of these premises or facilities.

III.           Audit, Inspection, and Penalties

Article (19)

Employees of the Competent Department, and employees of the DM who are authorised by the Director General, may access all premises and facilities of a Club, submit the relevant reports to the Competent Department, and issue the necessary violation reports to record the acts committed in breach of the provisions of this Order.

Article (20)

Without prejudice to any stricter penalty stipulated in any law or other local order, any person who violates the provisions of this Order or its implementing bylaw for the first time will be given a written warning. In the event of repetition of the same violation, the violator will be punished by one or more of the following penalties:

1.       a fine of not less than two thousand Dirhams (AED 2,000.00) and not more than five thousand Dirhams (AED 5,000.00). The amount of the fine will be doubled upon committing any subsequent violations, but must not exceed ten thousand Dirhams (AED 10,000.00); and/or

2.       temporary or permanent closure of the Club premises and revocation of the Club licence upon repetition of violations. Such temporary or permanent closure will be imposed pursuant to a decision of the Director General in accordance with the exigencies of public interest.

IV.          Final Provisions

Article (21)

The fees and fines collected pursuant to the provisions of this Order will be paid to the DM.

Article (22)

All Clubs existing by the date on which this Order is issued must comply with its provisions within a period not exceeding six (6) months from the effective date hereof.

Article (23)

Dubai Municipal Council Order No. (15) Concerning Licensing Social Clubs is hereby repealed. All orders and resolutions issued before the effective date of this Order will also be repealed to the extent that they contradict its provisions.

Article (24)

The Director General will issue the bylaws and resolutions required for the implementation of this Order.

Article (25)

This Order will be published in the Official Gazette and will come into force on the day on which it is published.

Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum

Chairman of the Dubai Municipality

Issued on 9 November 1995

Corresponding to 16 Jumada al-Thaniyah 1416 A.H.

©2016 The Supreme Legislation Committee in the Emirate of Dubai

[1] Every effort has been made to produce an accurate and complete English version of this legislation. However, for the purpose of its interpretation and application, reference must be made to the original Arabic text. In case of conflict the Arabic text will prevail.