A woman in the UAE was arrested for having sex outside marriage.

In the UAE and Dubai, it is against Sharia law to co-habit together, with someone you are not married to. You can only live together with a member of the opposite sex if you are married to them, such as a family member, or daughter. So the western expression about “living in sin” is taken more literally in the UAE.

If you get caught, then you’re likely to get punished under Article 356 of the UAE Penal Code which reportedly says that anyone convicted of engaging in consensual sex gets a minimum 1 year jail sentence followed by deportation

If you’re living with someone who is married to someone else, then there is a greater risk of problems, especially if their spouse also lives in the UAE. If they file a complaint with the police about their husband or wife in an illicit relationship, then the police will almost certainly investigate. If a couple is separated but not divorced, then legally they are still married

How Stirling Haigh can help

Stirling Haigh, specialists in civil and criminal law in Dubai, have helped many people who have found themselves unknowingly breaking laws in Dubai and the wider UAE

UAE Law Summary – cohabiting

  • It is against the UAE law to live with a person of opposite sex unless they are a family member
  • Law Article 356 of the UAE Penal Code governs this. A maximum sentence of 1 year plus deportation is likely
  • Stirling Haigh can advise you on this

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