Let’s learn about Dubai laws concerning unmarried couples in Dubai in 2021 and beyond.
Can unmarried couples have sex in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and the rest of the UAE in 2021 and onward? Can unmarried couples live together in Dubai, in the first? Can unmarried couples cohabit, that is, make love in Dubai without being punished over it? Will premarital sex in Dubai be reported? Any new rules for unmarried couples in Dubai? Yes, there are, and this article answers these questions.
While Dubai is an Islamic city, it has been widely hailed as the Middle East’s most Western city, emphasis on the liberal Western quality. Its architecture is one good example in this connection.
And while Dubai is considered a liberal Islamic city, particularly by Muslims, the about 200 nationalities Dubai hosts think the cosmopolitan city is a bit strict, particularly over its laws on boyfriend-and-girlfriend-type relationship, (or sex out of wedlock) and Dubai unmarried couples living together in the same house or room, be it a hotel or a personal house. Hence, “living with girlfriend in Dubai” has not entirely been a peaceful thing in the UAE city. Unmarried couples living together in UAE were at least careful, particularly with pregnancy, as unlawful relationships involving consensual sex could result in a one-year jail term.
Dubai and of course the UAE are rapidly evolving and, being dynamic, have updated their laws to reflect this evolvement which is an inclusive step on their part.
Put differently, the ever dynamic city — in fact, the UAE as a whole — has updated its laws on this matter and, consequently, unmarried couples in UAE can now and henceforth live together and/or have consensual sex in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and the rest of the UAE without penalties, queries or fear of getting reported. To stress this point further, cohabitation is no longer illegal in Dubai and the UAE, but is now legal, whether couples are lawfully wedded or not, thanks to the November 2020 UAE law reforms. This update also means that unrelated flat-mates and of course unmarried couples living together in Dubai and the rest of the UAE are no longer doing something illegal and can’t be sued for their actions.
The development isn’t a surprise, although is a happy one for many, as in recent years the government has been turning a blind eye and a deaf ear on people found in breach of the law concerning cohabitation, except for when it’s glaring. Now, by the law, it wants unmarried couples to be confident no one is watching them or may come after them over sex outside marriage in Dubai.
A Filipina and Egyptian couple, both 31, who had a premarital affair dating back to 2019 were found guilty by the Dubai Court of First Instance earlier for having a sexual relationship out of wedlock and consequently were sentenced to one month in jail, to be followed by deportation in October last year. Given the law has been updated so that their action can no longer be considered a crime, they appealed the case at the Cassation Court. While the Appeal Court was upholding the verdict, upon this appeal, the couple got acquitted.
The answers to the introductory questions should be clear by now. And it’s also safe to say, at this point, that Dubai is safe for unmarried couples holidaying or residing in the city.
Some people have complained that trials in the UAE are done in Arabic and not in the language they understand, say English. The new law mandates that translators are provided for defendants and witnesses in court, if they do not speak Arabic. It states that court must ensure legal translators are available. Furthermore, new privacy laws mean that evidence related to cases of indecent acts will have to be protected and cannot be publicly disclosed.
There you have it. With the foregoing information, I suppose you will no longer ask such a question as, “Can unmarried couples stay together in Dubai?” And you definitely will no longer (or will not) need to search for hotels for unmarried couples in Dubai again.
Generally, Dubai and all of the UAE are working towards minding their interference with your personal business. This has informed the recent reforms on Dubai rules for couples; broadly speaking, the new law for unmarried couples in UAE. And thus, to reiterate, unmarried couples living together in UAE are no longer breaking any law. The consensual sex they have is no longer also the business of the government.
NB This article is actually about the update of “Dubai sex laws” or “Dubai cohabitation law”. And because of its narrow scope, it may not serve as a good Dubai sex guide. If you want a broader article on this topic, see Dubai laws for unmarried couples. Stay guided!