What do you need to know about the UAE laws regulating romantic relationships between two people?
Islamic countries such as the United Arab Emirates follow Islamic Laws or Sharia Law. This means that they regulate themselves differently than what would be considered normal in the global sense. If you are planning to get married in an Islamic country, here is what you need to know.
Definition of Sharia/Islamic Law for marriage
Sharia law is a religious law that was formed in part of Islamic traditions. It is derived from the religious precept of the Quran which is the central religious text of Islam, and the Hadith which is believed to be a record of the words, actions and the silent approval of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.
As per Sharia Law, marriage is the only legal bond for a man and a woman to establish a relationship and to have children. In most countries that do not have Sharia law, marriage in a civil setting would not be hard to do. However, under Sharia law the rules and procedure may vary depending on nationality and/or religion.
How Sharia Law affects couples
With the boom of economy in the UAE, a lot of foreigners decide to go to the UAE especially in cities like Dubai and potentially start a family. It might be considered normal in most places to live together for a while at first before deciding to get married. You have to be careful as this is considered illegal in Sharia Law. The law strictly punishes unmarried couples who live in the same house. If caught, can be up to 1 year in jail followed by deportation to your home country. There are plenty of cases for this that was published by the Gulf News,
And the punishment for the pregnancy out of marriage is usually as strict. The UAE Penal Code states that consensual sex outside of marriage is punishable by jail sentence and followed by deportation.
In most cases you would have to contact your lawyers or your respective embassies in discussing what the steps are for marriage.
Are there any laws we are missing? Please let us know in the comments and we will happily add them!