Event security legislation

Andy Haslam, managing partner at Ask International
ASK International, Event Security, Analysis, Live Events, Comment


The amount of legislation you have to follow to host any event is onerous. Do you know what legislation the event security provider has to comply with? You should. As the event licence holder, you take ultimate responsibility for it.

Event security legislation in Dubai is quite strict. It is probably the most often used too, due to the sheer number of events that take place within the emirate. The UAE authorities are waking up to the idea of a robust legislation, that can effectively deal with events and provide an income stream for the authorising bodies. (Note the recent bounty placed on ticket sales by DTCM.)

Robust legislation is a good thing. Providing that it is a workable solution to an existing or perceived problem. Once it becomes too complicated or unworkable, our natural reaction is to circumvent it where we can. The current Dubai legislation is relatively simple and has been in place for many years now. However, changes are coming.

The following list gives you the boxes that are essential to tick when it comes to your security provider.

1. The approved supplier must notify Dubai Police at least seven days before the event and provide the deployment plan and the names of all security staff to be present. (They get fines for late notices. This is ultimately passed on to the organisers where they are at fault.) So, do you want to maximise your profit? You must appoint your security supplier early in your event planning process.
2. The event security provider must be licensed by both the DED and Dubai Police as an event security approved supplier.
3. All security staff must be individually licensed by Dubai Police too. Make sure they have their licences on view or with them at all times.
4. For deployments of over 10 security staff:

• A licensed security manager must be on site during the event and also be responsible for security during build and break.
• A security control room (this does not have to be a fixed structure, but it must be in place with both a radio and telephone/mobile communication) with external links to Dubai Police and internal to event management.

5. All radios must be TRA licensed and security radios must be TETRA – This is a good thing. TETRA allows direct communications to both police and civil defence, and is a great plus in times of crisis or major incident.
6. All event security uniforms must be approved by Dubai Police.
7. If alcohol is to be sold:

• Professional bar security (bouncers) must be deployed at the bar entrance and within its immediate area.
• The event security provider must accompany the event organiser to Dubai Police (CID) to sign the alcohol licence and make a declaration that they will do all within their power to prevent underage drinking and promote sensible alcohol sales.

8. The event security provider must know and conform to all other rules and regulations on the employment of security staff, imposed by both the Ministry of Labour and Dubai Police.

Your event security supplier should be complying with most of the above legislation already. They have been in place for many years. The difference now is that we, as the industry, have been put on notice that the authorities will start robust policing of the above in 2017. This will result in more fines for non-compliance, which will fall to the event organisers and promoters to underwrite.

Your decision to appoint your security provider for your event must be made with this in mind. Do they comply or circumvent? The latter can potentially cost you a lot of money, your livelihood, your reputation or all of the above. Be smart and tick the boxes.

Andy Haslam CPP
managing partner, ASK International

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