What lessons did Corona virus teach couples in the GCC?
The infamous Coronavirus outbreak has affected almost every single person around the world in some way but for the residents of the GCC region the impact was slightly stronger than for citizens of many other countries of the world. Simply because in any of the GCC countries you have to obey the strict laws to have a sustainable lifestyle and it isn’t easy when the quarantine is in place.
Lessons the couples, living in the GCC learned during the pandemic:
1. Be aware of the local laws if you plan to live together as a couple in the GCC to make your own life easier in the future
According to the GCC laws, two people of a different gender cannot live under the same roof unless they are close relatives. Yes, UAE has announced that it is allowed now but for other GCC countries it’s still valid.
It isn’t a problem when the two of you can afford separate accommodations and go on dates. But as many people faced the need to reduce the cost of living due to losing their jobs, living together became one of the main ways of saving money.
However, with the borders and almost all government institutions closed during the lockdown, there is nothing much you can do about it.
Many couples got stuck in the country, being the victims of the circumstances and involuntary breaking the law by living with their partners and not being able to fly back home.
1.2. Be aware of the visa regulations in the UAE
During the pandemic many people got stuck in the UAE without being able to exit the country and being forced to overstay their visas. While government introduced some new rules that allowed overstay for some time in certain cases, they were not really clear and a lot of people ended up facing fines anyway.
One of the easiest solutions in this case was to get a spouse visa if one of the partners managed to keep a stable job. But to do that wedding certificate is one of the main requirements.
2. Plan your pregnancy carefully if you live in the GCC
While the previous situation is quite unpleasant on its own, the case can get even more complicated, if a woman is pregnant.
It is illegal to have sex out of marriage in the GCC, hence illegal to be pregnant if you are unmarried. Despite the new law the UAE authorities still consider pregnancy out of a wedlock a crime as well.
The local news channels have reported a lot of cases of women in the early stages of pregnancy being stuck in the country without any medical help simply because they can’t seek one legally.
And if for most people the closed borders only mean some paperwork and financial difficulties, for soon-to-be-moms the situation is different and every week matters.
After almost 4 months of quarantine, the early stage pregnancies turned into a late stage. To the point when some women wouldn’t be allowed to fly even when the borders are open, but still can’t legally deliver in the country.
Lesson learned by many. Get married before you plan to welcome a little one into your life.
3. Timing and money mean a lot when you are planning to get married
Ironically enough some couples did try to get married before the pandemic hit hard. Unfortunately, the practice shows that for two partners of different nationalities and especially different religions the paperwork can take much longer than expected and legal fees can be high enough to poke a hole in the budget.
That’s why it is important to always try to find a perfect cost-saving and timely manner solution, just to make sure you are safe whatever happens.
Most of us like making plans, but they say life happens while we are making them. It couldn’t be more true in the current situation. The main lesson all of us learned within the last few months is that just when we think everything is under control, the world can take an unexpected turn to show us we were wrong. And it’s better to be prepared for it in advance.
Did coronavirus affect your life a lot? Share your story in the comments