UAE Laws

Sex in Dubai? It is illegal if it’s outside of a marriage

Sex in Dubai? It is against the law to live-in-relationship with opposite sex or to live together in an apartment or to share the same hotel room.

Sex in Dubai outside a marriage

Sex in Dubai without marriage is illegal and punishable under UAE law, it doesn’t matter that you’re in a relationship with your partner in your home country. It is against the law to live-in-relationship with opposite sex or to live together in an apartment or to share the same hotel room. Live-in-relationship means a living arrangement in which an unmarried couple lives together that resembles a marriage. But, they’re not married. Sex between such couples could lead to criminal sanctions in the UAE.

All sex outside marriage is illegal, irrespective of any relationship you may have with your partner in the UK. If the UAE authorities become aware (or, if someone lodges a complaint) that you’re conducting a sexual relationship outside marriage, you run the risk of prosecution, imprisonment and/or a fine and deportation. The UAE is in many respects a tolerant society and private life is respected, although there have been some reports of individuals being punished for sexual activity outside marriage, including homosexual activity, particularly where there is any public element, or the behaviour has caused offence. This applies both to expatriate residents and to tourists. Definitely, also applies to citizens.

Living together with girlfriend or boyfriend

You can only live together with a wife/husband, or they are a family member. So, the western expression of living together and Indian expression of live-in-relationship is taken as a violation of the UAE’s laws. Dubai Police do not have enough time to walk through each house or building or hotel for knocking doors for asking if they’re married or not. Nevertheless, if someone lodges a complaint against a particular activity, then the Police is very active to investigate the violation. The Dubai police will investigate the complaint thoroughly.  You run a greater legal risk in the UAE if you’re living with someone who is already married to someone living in the United Arab Emirates.

According to the UAE’s newspaper Gulf News about living together, “You may be doing it to save money, you may be doing it out of love, or blindly and unknowingly… whatever the reason, sharing a roof with an unrelated person of the opposite sex can spell disaster in the UAE. With a Sharia law that strictly punishes unmarried people living in the same house, and an international population used to live as per the rules in their own countries, the blend of different traditions and cultures often leads to uninformed decisions, some of which end in tears and tribulation.”

Amer Syed, Al Suwaidi & Company, quoted as saying, “In my experience, people are charged with living together unlawfully only if they’ve broken another law. Rarely are there cases of people hunted down for living with a member of the opposite sex, unless a tip or complaint is lodged”, the statement is quoted by a newspaper.

Illegal to be in a private car?

Precisely, it’s not legal to be in a private car, or in a room, with an unrelated opposite sex. I’m not sure about taxis but I think the law doesn’t apply to it since it’s a part of public transport. You may be sharing a taxi with others to save money, but I’m not perfectly sure about the taxi. There are pink coloured taxis exclusively for females with the female driver. So, if you’re a female and want to save money by sharing a taxi with others, you can choose a pink one.

READ ALSO: UAE is not all about Dubai or Only Dubai

Childbirth outside marriage

Due to the laws on sex outside marriage, if you become pregnant outside marriage, both you and your partner could face imprisonment and/or deportation. Doctors may ask for proof of marriage during ante-natal checks. An unmarried woman who gives birth in the UAE may also encounter problems when registering the birth of the child in the UAE and could be arrested, imprisoned or deported. To get a birth certificate from the UAE authorities, you must provide a marriage certificate and the authorities may compare the date of the marriage against the estimated date of conception. [That is, the UAE authority may compare the date of marriage given in the wedding certificate against your childbirth delivery date.]

Homosexuality in UAE

Same-sex marriages and homosexualities are illegal in UAE; such acts are subject to severe punishment in the UAE.

Jail term for surfing pornography

Importing and introducing pornography into the United Arab Emirates is illegal. Videos, books, iPads, and magazines may be subject to scrutiny and may be censored. All websites containing pornographic materials are blocked by the UAE government. They’re blocking continuously new web pages and blogs containing porn materials.

Warning for foreigners in Dubai

Importantly, you’ve probably heard the stories that foreigners in Dubai are roaming freely with outfits or dresses that are not appropriate for Dubai Culture and laws. Also, probably you’ve heard that people are drinking alcoholic beverages freely, or having sexual relations with an independent woman, or sharing the same hotel room with an independent woman, or with a girlfriend. The reason behind it: no one had lodged any complaint or legal petition against actions done by foreigners or expatriates. Or, they’ve turned a blind eye over the violation.

So, there are some people with a living experience of Dubai, they are arguing that there’s full freedom of sex in Dubai. They also said that there’s no restriction on prostitution in Dubai. In reality, they are misleading new arrivals to the United Arab Emirates.

Reference (Open Government Licence v3.0)

READ ALSO: Dubai Laws You Need To Know

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Arif Mohammad

Independent Blogger, ECommerce Webmaster & Social Media Marketer. Mudawwana UK Director. Previously in Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi & Riyadh.

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