Dubai – Government announced human rights reforms in 2020
Question: I am a tourist and I plan to come to Dubai in October with my girlfriend. Will I be able to share a hotel room with her without facing legal issues?
Reply: It is understood that you are planning to travel to Dubai in October 2021 with your girlfriend as tourists.
In accordance with your questions, given that you intend to share a hotel room with your girlfriend during your stay in Dubai, the provisions of Federal Law No. 3 of 1987 on the issuance of the Penal Code such as Amended by Federal Decree Law No. 15 of 2020 Amending Certain provisions of Federal Law No. 3 of 1987 relating to the Criminal Code (the “United Arab Emirates Criminal Law”) are applicable.
It should be noted that in 2020, the UAE government announced reforms of UAE human rights, civil transaction law and criminal law. Cohabitation without marriage was a criminal offense before the United Arab Emirates Criminal Law Amendment which came into effect on September 28, 2020. However, after the amendment, it is no longer illegal.
Section 356 of the United Arab Emirates Criminal Law, prior to its amendment, stated: “Without prejudice to the two preceding articles, the crime of willful debasement is punishable by a minimum prison sentence of one year, but if said crime is perpetrated on a man or a woman under the age of fourteen or if it is committed by duress, the penalty will be imprisonment.
On the basis of the aforementioned legal provision, cohabitation was considered an indecent assault.
It should be noted that in 2020, the UAE government announced reforms of UAE human rights, civil transaction law and criminal law.
Article 356 of the United Arab Emirates Criminal Law, amended in 2020, reads as follows: “Without prejudice to the two preceding articles, anyone who commits sexual assault on a person by coercion, threat or deception, shall be liable the penalty of temporary imprisonment.
“Intentional sexual assault is punishable by the same penalty provided for in the previous paragraph, if the age of the victim, male or female, is less than fourteen years or if the victim is not free will because of his youth. age, insanity, or insanity. When the culprit is an ascendant, guardian, dependent on the victim or an employee of the victim or the aforementioned persons, the penalty is life imprisonment or criminal imprisonment in time.
Based on the aforementioned 2000 amendments to the law, the provision on “indecent assault” has since been deleted. As a result, unmarried couples can now live in the same accommodation and cohabit without marriage in the UAE.
Therefore, you can travel with your girlfriend to Dubai and stay with her in the same hotel room without facing legal issues related to cohabitation.
Ashish Mehta is the Founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practice law in Dubai, UK and India. All the details of his practice on: www.amalawyers.com. Readers can email their questions to: [email protected] or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.