Can an unmarried couple live in Dubai?
The simplest answer used to be NO!
Here everything you need to know if you are an unmarried couple living in Dubai.
Dubai laws for the unmarried couples living together
Dubai and other emirates in the UAE are governed by Islamic laws known as Sharia laws which used forbid two unmarried people of opposite sex to live together for many years. The ‘Tawajed Clause’ prohibited indeed two people from opposite sex to live together without being legally married.
Dubai attracts many tourists and expats from all over the world. No matter if you are visiting UAE as a tourist or if you are a long-term expat, the same law was being applied for everyone.
Dubai is a regional hub which attracts many people from different countries, origins, orientations and religions. Depending on the reason for being in the city, if someone is inviting his girlfriend or boyfriend to live with, it was illegal. However, most people who are coming to Dubai for a short-stay, like tourists, had no issue at all. Yet, if someone complained or if a couple got caught by law makers in Dubai, they were in great trouble and faced fine, jail or even deportation. In 2018, a 20 years old man and a 19 years old woman, both Pakistani, ‘were initially charged with having sex out of wedlock, but a medical examination found that they had not, Ajman Criminal Court was told.’
‘A young, unmarried couple have been jailed for a month and will be deported after completing the sentence after they were convicted of living together for three weeks and kissing’ Thenational.ae
To many couples’ relief in November 2020 the situation has changed. The UAE government has introduced the latest edition of the penal code which now officially allows people of different gender live together. However it’s important to not that delivering a baby out of the wedlock is still considered a crime in the UAE.
What type of marriages are legal in Dubai?
Not every marriage is considered legal and is accepted by Dubai law. Same–sex people, even if legally married back home, will face great difficulty if found in an inappropriate situation in Dubai.
UAE’s laws only recognize heterosexual marriages which have been registered and can be verified with legal certifications if needed. However, no one is going to ask you for a marriage certificate, unless you caught the attention of Dubai’s legislators.
Back home, marriages or religious marriages are only considered legal if you have proper marriage certification in your possession. Same-sex marriages are not recognized in UAE due to the Shariah law, even if a proper and valid certification has been issued in your home country.
Final word on living with your boyfriend or girlfriend in Dubai
Are you considering coming to Dubai ? Are you planning to bring your partner to UAE to live together? It’s definitely great to know that now you won’t be a law-breaker and won’t get in trouble doing that.
And if you are planning to start a family and have kids together you don’t really need to organize a lavish marriage to officialize your relationship in front of the UAE authorities, a marriage certificate is enough to abide by the law to give a birth. You also do not need to get married in the UAE, if you have a marriage proof from your home country or any other country, this will be enough.
Do you know someone who used to struggle to live in the UAE as an unmarried couple? Share the happy news with them!