Moving To Dubai: Laws For Unmarried Couples
It's strictly illegal for unmarried couples to live together in Dubai...
18 January 2018
Moving abroad doesn’t only depend on finding a good job and better living conditions, unmarried couples considering moving to the Middle East, and particularly the UAE should take into perspective the laws of the country on cohabitation of unmarried couples.
Dubai and the UAE in general is a Muslim country, in which Islamic and Sharia laws prevail. And according to these laws, cohabitation of unmarried couples is strictly forbidden and considered illegal in the UAE. And although authorities in Dubai turn a blind eye to most unmarried expats living together, they would still follow criminal sanctions if for any reason they had to investigate and found out.
The aforementioned doesn’t necessarily mean the authorities in Dubai go knocking on every door and verifying marriage certificates. However, if there was any reason for them to do so - following noise disturbance or other breach of the peace – they would ask for a marriage cert.
This law applies to hotels, vehicles, and any accommodation mean. Unmarried couples, or any unrelated two people from different sex can’t be alone under one roof in Dubai, as it’s illegal and forbidden by the law.
Visas And Dependants Passes
The law also impacts visas to Dubai and dependant passes. Meaning unmarried couples considering moving to Dubai with the intentions of only one party working, the other will not get a dependants visa unless a marriage certificate is provided.
Unmarried couples should also consider how to obtain visas for their children, as in Dubai, a marriage certificate of the parents is required to obtain a visa for a child.
Know Your Rights As An Unmarried Expat In Dubai
Unmarried couples in Dubai have limited to almost non-existent legal remedies and rights for relationship-related matters, as they’re relationship isn’t recognised and even considered illegal in the UAE.
Therefore, unmarried couples can’t resort to courts in the cases of dispute or conflict, hence we would rather advice having an enforceable agreement with your partner regarding your rights in case of breakups or disputes.
This also applies to assets in joint names, as this alone doesn’t protect your share in case of a breakup, as this isn’t even possible in Dubai. We would advise seeking a legal opinion on how you can purchase or invest in properties and other assets in Dubai safely with your partner if you’re not married.