Is Dating Allowed in Dubai? 2022 Complete Dubai Dating Rules

Is Dating Allowed in Dubai? 2022 Complete Dubai Dating Rules

Learn about: Is dating allowed in Dubai?

There are diverse dating customs around the world. It is essential to know what dating is like in the country you are visiting if you are a tourist or an expat.

In places like Dubai, there are different courtship and dating practices that you should adhere to. Dubai, being part of UAE, which is an Islamic country, adheres to its version of Sharia Law. However, the government has also relaxed some of its laws to respect personal freedom.

In Muslim countries, men and women do not enter into one-on-one intimate relationships and spend time alone together to get to know each other. Islam believes that choosing a marriage partner is one of the most important decisions that someone will make. Hence, dating in Dubai has a lot of considerations.

The UAE is an expat haven with a total expat population of about 8.84 million as of 2021. More than 80 percent of Dubai’s population of 3.43 Million is formed by expats, making it a top destination for people worldwide. Because of this cosmopolitan characteristic, dating in Dubai is not as strict as some other Islamic domains. Although some of UAE’s personal laws have been relaxed, expats should observe discreteness and respect local culture and customs.

The article touches on the following questions, “Is dating allowed in Dubai?”, “What are forbidden things when dating in Dubai?”, “Where can you date in Dubai?”, “What are the popular social networks and apps for dating in Dubai?”, “How is dating in Dubai for expats?”, and “Are there dating events for finding love in Dubai?”

Emiratis, as traditional people, take pride in their heritage and culture. Although the younger generation is more tolerant and open-minded now, they still hold a standard of acceptable behavior. Despite this, there are still unique customs and specific expectations to follow when it comes to dating in Dubai.

Is dating allowed in Dubai?

Is Dating Allowed in Dubai - Atlantis Dubai Underwater Restaurant
Is Dating Allowed in Dubai? Couple at Ossiano.

Is dating legal in Dubai? To put it simply, yes, dating in Dubai is permissible and legal, thanks to the new Dubai laws. While this is the status quo, there are a couple of things you’d want to bear in mind in order to not get penalized. As an example, it would be best to be discreet with public displays of affection or when dating publicly. In this connection, place, or where you are, matters.

Although Dubai is thriving with its nightlife which is popular among expats, dating in Dubai is quite strict even for tourists and expats.

And while there are strict laws in Dubai (and of course all of the UAE), the dating scene can be pretty similar to other places around the world. Dating in Dubai also means that you can meet people online on Dubai dating sites, in bars, when socializing, and at work. Casual dating that may lead to long-term relationships is still very possible.

For expats, despite the similarities of the dating scene in their respective home countries, it is important to remember that Emiratis are very conservative when it comes to dating.

One significant difference in dating in Dubai is that modern behavior is observed together with a more conservative Arabic norm of socially accepted behavior. For many years, living together or having pre-marital sex in Dubai has been illegal. However, thanks to the November 7, 2020 UAE laws reform, cohabitation in Dubai is now legal.

Approaching a single lady in Dubai

You should be discreet when approaching a single lady in Dubai for a conversation or to ask for her number, more so with an Emirati woman. Avoid persistently hitting on her to avoid charges accusations of harassment. Any form of harassment can get you kicked out in a bar and lead to imprisonment. To find a single lady in Dubai ready to date, you could use a dating site in Dubai.

Although Dubai is an expat haven, women’s rights are contradictory. It places first in terms of gender equality in the Gulf but places 49th in the world. Behind all the glitz and glamour, it remains a highly conservative place. Progressive international treaties on protecting women have been forwarded over the years, but it still needs to be implemented effectively.

Public display of affection in Dubai

You should, to reiterate, be careful of public displays of affection even if you are already married because the local population can still consider it indecent. Further, before the new UAE law on cohabitation, it’d be unacceptable to indicate you’re dating somebody. Neighbors or landlords could complain and cause you trouble. In this connection, general respectfulness of the local Islamic population as regards teasing or being insensitive with your dating is advised.

Dubai dating rules

When dating in Dubai, you should be aware of what’s forbidden so you can avoid trouble and avoid serious offenses.

Public display of love (we’ve been mentioning this because it’s important), such as kissing, is prohibited, even if with the November 7, 2020 UAE law reform is illegal. Dubai emphasizes its decency laws, and penalties can be severe. In 2019, a British couple was deported following a three-month prison sentence after being caught publicly kissing in Dubai. Many more have suffered from public affection in Dubai.

It has been mentioned before that as of November 2020, consensual pre-marital sex has been legalized in Dubai and the rest of the UAE. This amendment also legalized sharing and an apartment or hotel room between unmarried couples. Premarital relations, however, particularly for some locals remain strange.

While couples who have children out of wedlock don’t need to get married as before, some health insurers aren’t currently offering maternity cover to unmarried women. It is more difficult for them to seek medical help for pregnancy issues.

Being an LGBTQ+ in Dubai

On being an LGBTQ+ in Dubai, Forbes, as of 2021, holds that the UAE ranks as the ninth worst place to visit if you are a member of the LGBTQ+. In Dubai, if a male is caught wearing female apparel, they can face up to one year in prison and pay a fine of up to 10,000 dirhams which is approximately $2,723.

For the members of the LGBTQ+, dating in Dubai is challenging because of the current laws and years of tradition. The Gall World Poll reported that only 1% of the respondents perceived that the city is safe for gay and lesbian people.

Where can you date in Dubai?

Now that you have an overview of dating in Dubai, here is a list of five good places where you can take your significant other for a date night.

For starters, if you want to experience Italian dining while overlooking the glistening waters of the Arabian Gulf and the stunning Burj Al Arab, you should head over to Pierchic at Madinat Jumeirah and Villa Beach.

For modern Asian cuisine enthusiasts, The Eauzone at The Royal Mirage is the perfect place for you. If you want to try aromatic traditional Thai dishes, head over to Pai Thai in Madinat Jumeirah to enjoy a vibrant dinner in the middle of verdant gardens. Of course, the dining experience at The Eauzone won’t be complete without experiencing the Arabian Court’s reflective water features and turquoise swimming pool.

Lastly, for a peaceful dinner night and a dining experience of Turkish and Greek Cuisine, head to the Fish Beach Taverna. The Fish Beach Taverna is perfect for enjoying the Mina Seyahi sunset and stargazing under the Arabian night sky. You can enjoy a private dinner and enjoy cocktails at the bar with your significant other. For luxury, try Burj Al Arab restaurants and Atlantis Dubai restaurants. And for romance, see our Dubai romantic places.

Social networks and sites for meeting in Dubai?

As of 2019, a massive 99.06% of the population in UAE is active in social media, which means that 9.62 million out of 9.61 million people are active on social media every day. There is also a 1.1% annual growth in social media users as social networking apps boom.

Level of development,the ability to buy a smartphone and super-fast internet at affordable prices are among the factors behind the high level of adoption of social media in Dubai. Facebook and YouTube are the most popular social networking sites in the UAE, with 82% of the population users.

Other popular social media platforms in the UAE are Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Tumblr. On the other hand, WhatsApp remains the most popular chat app in the UAE with 7.88 million users, followed by FB messenger with 6.05 million users. Moreover, Skype remains in the third spot, with 4.32 million users as of 2019.

Dubai dating websites

If you want to meet people online in Dubai, is the most popular go-to website. This website has everything from new cooking recipes to learning a language. MeetUp is popular as the UAE blocks dating websites. Let’s hope that, with the new law, this would change. It’s not all gloomy though as is accessible, without a VPN, in the UAE.

Not satisfied with only Tinder? Dissatisfied people normally use a VPN service to access dating sites in Dubai.

As of 2021, the top dating site for Dubai is Muslima. Muslima has the most extensive member base of Muslims, with over 4.5 million members. Using Muslima is very easy. The users are from Dubai or abroad.

The dating service is free, but a membership subscription lets you use more features.

How is dating in Dubai for expats?

First up, it’s been established that dating sites are firewalled in the UAE. Thus, while the UAE is an expat haven, recent studies show that 91% of the residents find dating to be quite challenging. That notwithstanding, you still have a lot of opportunities to meet people from all around the world in Dubai (as the Arabian city is cosmopolitan).

As you try to meet new people, you shouldn’t forget to be discrete or moderate and respectful.

Are there dating events for finding love in Dubai?

Dubai is a transit place to live, and thrives with people from around the world. Hence, there is a greater chance for you to find someone. Dating in Dubai can be easier if your friends can set you up on blind dates. That way, your friends have already somehow approved of them before you met.

Nightlife in Dubai is very vibrant, and there is a good possibility for you to meet someone on Ladies’ night. If you enjoy the bar scene, Ladies’ nights often happen every night in hotels and resorts. Ladies’ night is a promotional concept that gives women their first few drinks for free. This is a fun and inexpensive option if you want to enjoy the nightlife and try dating in Dubai.


There you have it on: “Is dating allowed in Dubai?” Dating is allowed in Dubai but can be pretty tricky given there is a fine line between modernity and traditional values. And as the dynamic city is an expat and tourist haven, you will surely meet people from different parts of the world. If you’re looking for love, it’d be responsible to be of best behavior. Lastly and also important, even if you’re not looking for love, you should still respect the people you meet everyday in Dubai.

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