On Tuesday, the Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum issued a new law that will allow court to refer drug addicts to rehab, Gulf News reported. UAE nationals and expats arrested on drug use charges will be admitted to a government-owned drug and alcohol rehabilitation center "without the fear of prosecution."
The new legislation, which has been dubbed Law No (5) of 2019, dictates that the emirate's Erada Center for Treatment and Rehabilitation admits drug users once their files are approved by local authorities.
Founded in 2016, the rehab, located in Dubai's Al Khawaneej, is an independent center offering treatment for drug and alcohol dependency, as well as accommodation to patients throughout their treatment.
To be cleared for admission, a patient must get an approval from Dubai's Public Prosecution or be given a court ruling. Approval can also be granted upon the decision of the Attorney General of Dubai if they are presented a request from a drug user's attorney.
People admitted to the center will not be subject to prosecution "provided they hand in all drugs in their possession and follow the centre's treatment plan." The time they spend at the center must not exceed two years and they can only be discharged after consulting with their respective attorneys and getting a court decision.
If a patient does not follow their prescribed treatment plan or is caught with drugs in their possession, the Erada center's officials can then consult with judicial authorities to decide on action that needs to be taken depending on every individual case.
The center will provide world-class treatment to addicts
The head of the Dubai Police Anti-Narcotics office, Abdullah Mohammad Falaknaz, has been appointed as the Deputy Chairman of the Board of the treatment center.
Also serving on the board is the CEO of Rashid Hospital, Abdullah Dhaen Obaid, in addition to a representative from the Dubai Community Development Authority and Dubai Public Prosecution and the center's CEOs.
Anyone admitted to Erada will have the right to complete privacy with all their data being considered confidential. No board members can review any individual case files without written approval from prosecution.
Patients have the right to receive medical and psychological treatment, as well as be allowed to freely communicate with their families.
In addition to treatment rooms, the center boasts a leisure center, gym, and spa. Full facilities are provided "to help addicts get their lives back on track with the help of specialists in psychology and addiction."