Unmarried couples living together in the UAE

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Unmarried couples living together in the UAE

Postby shawarma » 20 Feb 2008, 16:48

Information moved to the Living together in Dubai page. See also Kissing in Dubai.

Update 07 January 2010: Gulf News article added (exact date unknown, can't find it on Gulf News website anymore, and original link is dead)

Sharia Law in Dubai and how it affects you

You could be sharing an apartment with a friend of the opposite sex. And the arrangement could be innocent, purely for financial reasons. But in the eyes of Sharia law you are committing an offence. More and more people are being punished because they claim they were unaware of the law and its clauses.

There are hundreds of cases such as these that emerge each year either from the police or the courts. An increasing number of men and women, who are not blood relatives nor legally married, and have shared a flat, room or even sat in tinted cars, are being jailed and deported, a lawyer said. These men and women have shared no relationship.

Dr Adel Khamis Al Mimari from Al Itazan Consultant and Advocates said they are being punished in accordance with Sharia law. The clause is known as “Tawajed” or “Tahseen Al Ma’asiya”. These couples have been punished under this clause: sharing a closed place and encouraging sin even though they shared no relationship.

He mentioned: “The bottom line is awareness. Many foreigners are not familiar with Sharia law and hence they are punished. If these couples go unnoticed, then there is no trouble. But if the authorities for some reason or another know they are sharing a 'closed space' they can be punished. This is the law.”

All about respect

“These couples believe they are leading a normal life, like they would in their home countries. But this is considered a sin here. Filipino nationals top the list of nationalities who fall into this trap followed by Indians, Europeans and Chinese. People should be educated about this issue to avoid problems.”

Dr Ahmad Al Qubaisi, a leading Islamic scholar, told that every nation has its culture and traditions. Each nation should respect others.
“Westerners respect each other and they know their countries’ traditions and laws. So why when it comes to Muslims they claim that they do not know anything about the traditions and culture? The West knows well that Muslims, like Hindus, Christians and Jews, have their culture and traditions. They should respect our religion,” Dr Al Qubaisi said.

The tradition

“Our tradition is against a man and woman, who are not legally related, mingling privately or being in a closed place alone, while in the West they can have a sexual relationship even though they are not married. Our traditions are very different,” Dr Al Qubaisi said.
“We see many such cases of foreign men and women in courts. They say they do not know the traditions and religion here. They should know and respect our tradition the same way we respect their tradition and religion,” he said.

The sentence

Dr Khalifa Rashid Al Sha’ali, Dean of the Faculty of Law at Ajman University, said if a man and a woman who are not related are caught alone in a private place, they face a jail sentence or lashes even if they were not involved in any suspicious act. It is up to the judge’s discretion to decide whether they should be deported.

Dr Al Sha’ali, a former Ajman Police Chief, told that during his tenure, he dealt with several such cases.

Mohammad Yousuf, Deputy Director of the Dubai Courts Department, said while the Federal punitive law is implemented in the UAE, the situation is different in Dubai. The Tawajed or Tahseen Al Ma’asiya clause, he said, is not implemented in Dubai.

Sultan Khalifa Bin Bakheet Al Matroushi, Chairman of the Ajman Federal Appeal Court, said if a man and woman are sitting alone in the work place or in front of people, they will not be charged. If they are found in a bedroom or in a house or car and the circumstances are suspicious, they will face charges even if they have not committed adultery. The couple can also be deported, he said.

Justice minister explains the law

Mohammad Bin Nakhira Al Daheri, Minister of Justice, told that according to Sharia, if a man and woman are found in a closed place alone they may get arrested, but he gave an assurance that they are held for good reason. He stressed that the police would investigate first.

“If a couple is found alone in a closed place such as a house, room or car they may face legal action. There also must be a complaint against them. However, if their actions are not against public morals such as being in their work place or inside a lift, of course no action would be taken. If police receive a tip that a man and woman are in a closed place, they will investigate and if they are not doing anything against the law they will not be punished.

“There must be a complaint and investigation from police. The public prosecution and the judge can decide if something illegal was going on,” Al Daheri said.

What the people say

Kristina from Macedonia has been living in the UAE for the last six months. She said she has no idea about Sharia law or the clause, which prohibits men and women, who are not blood relatives nor legally married, from sharing a flat, room or even sitting in tinted cars. “People must have privacy. It is strange that a neighbour or a watchman can call the police if two people are in a private place alone. Why don’t people call the police when they hear someone beating up his wife at home? Many of us here are not Muslims. We respect Islam and the traditions of this land. Hence, our way of life should also be respected.” She said it is the responsibility of companies who hire people from abroad to make them aware about Sharia. “This law does not exist in my country, where it is normal to be with your boyfriend alone in a closed place. I think if companies alert people before they come here, it will help them.”

Mohammad Elias from India is in his 20s and not married. He has been in the UAE for two months, but says he has never heard about the clause. “I may not agree with the clause, but I do respect the law of the land here, and I think foreigners should adhere to the law,” he said.

Tess Yema from the Philippines works as a teacher in a school in Sharjah and has been here since August. “I am aware of the law. I have a brother-in-law who has been in the UAE for many years. He told me about the clause. Before coming to the UAE, the authorities in my country told me about Sharia. I knew these aspects very well before coming here. I respect the law in this country and I respect their way of thinking even if it is different from the one in my country,” Yema said. “I was even told about the dress code here. I knew that if I offended the law I would face punishment,” she said.

Samer Assaf is married with two daughters. His family is in Syria. “I have been living here for more than 15 years, but I have never heard about this clause, not in my country and not here. I am a Christian, but I respect the traditions and customs of others.”

Lucia Alinea from the Philippines, has been in the UAE for a few months only, but she is well aware of the clause. “My brother has been here for many years and he is aware of the Sharia law. “I tried to learn as much about the customs and traditions here before leaving the Philippines. We have to respect the law here or anywhere,” said Lucia, who is a teacher in a private school in Sharjah.
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Living together in Sharjah

Postby shawarma » 09 Apr 2008, 08:37

Many western couples live together in Dubai without being married and you rarely hear of them having legal problems. It's a different story in Sharjah though. The Gulf News 10 March 2008 had a report about people in Sharjah being fined for living with members of the opposite sex. It sounds like it's not only couples living together in defacto relationships that are coming under more scrutiny, but also shared villas and apartments with men and women living in the same place, even if they're not in a relationship with each other. The report said that municipality inspectors usually act on a tip-off from neighbours telephoning them, so if you're sharing accommodation, don't annoy the neighbours :shock: .

There's a fine of AED 500 per room for apartments, AED 1000 in villas, and the tenant who has the contract has to write a letter to the Sharjah Municipality saying they won't do it again. About 100 people have been caught in apartments so far in 2008, and 300 in villas. A total of 1400 were caught in 2007. Villa and apartment sharers reportedly get a 1 week warning to move out, then the electricity and water gets disconnected. Gulf News said that most shared apartments were in Al Majaz, Al Nahda, Abu Shagara and Al Mamzar, and most shared villas were in low-cost Arab homes in Maysaloon, Al Nabba'a and Um Khanoor, and were mostly inhabited by Asians and Africans.

"It is illegal for men and women to live together and those caught will be heavily fined," said Mohammad Al Kaabi, security section manager at Sharjah Municipality, adding this rule has always been in effect across the UAE...

... As part of our procedure, we have to warn people first to evacuate one week in advance. "If they still refuse to leave, we then disconnect their electricity," Al Kaabi said, adding that 600 people were affected by this procedure last year.
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Re: Unmarried couples living together in the UAE

Postby kristhomp » 16 Nov 2010, 03:05

what if i am here in the philippines and i want to make a complaint bec my husband is having an illicit affair in dubai and they even have a baby there. can i inform the authorities there thru online? I want them deported back here
kristhomp
 

Re: Unmarried couples living together in the UAE

Postby Nicolas » 13 Jan 2011, 23:58

This is the most horrible thing i've ever read
Nicolas
 

Re: Unmarried couples living together in the UAE

Postby Al nasr » 20 Mar 2011, 21:40

They are both married in philippnies and had lived in together in one place
Al nasr
 

Re: Unmarried couples living together in the UAE

Postby R » 15 Jun 2011, 22:19

I hope to visit .... with my girl friend.We are calling over for agencies for foreign jobs(Dubai) and soon after find a job at Dubai, Planing to visit there.My question is do we need to marry before sharing the bed with her? . This relationship doesn't know our parents and if we informed they really kill this relationship.So I'm doing all the things I can for my girlfriend and can I marry after visiting Dubai.Then what will be the procedure ? Do we have to visit our embassy (Sri Lankan) for marriage ? Do we need to submit no objection letter or something like from our parents prior marriage when overseas ?

Even without having such docs , will embassy let our parents informed?

Pls assist me - We cannot live each other without touching / Hugging & kissing....

THNAKS
R
 

Re: Unmarried couples living together in the UAE

Postby baby_love » 17 Jul 2011, 15:04

were living in a partition type of room in Deira, the other half is occupied by room mate and his girlfriend , which i know they're sleeping in one bed. Only curtain divided the room. My question is, If landlords/landladies are aware of UAE laws, why they tolerated their tenants to practice this unlawful act?
baby_love
 

Re: Unmarried couples living together in the UAE

Postby Valca » 03 Aug 2011, 09:26

i also have the same situation like that! My husband also has an affair with her co-worker in ENOC convenient store. My problem is my husband left us for that girl. By now all i want for my husband is to be deported. he is not sending enough money for his financial obligations for the education of our son. I just want to know how can i get him deported? where can i complain?
Valca
 

Re: Unmarried couples living together in the UAE

Postby sheila » 14 Aug 2011, 15:32

I am in Scotland and my Scottish husband and his school teacher girlfriend are moving to Dubai in September. They are going to be living together and he has also informed me that he will not continue to provide money for the up keep of his 10 year old child. Is there anything I can do about this?
sheila
 

Re: Unmarried couples living together in the UAE

Postby AMIR » 25 Sep 2011, 10:29

as am reading the replies .. i can say that a lot of them are exagerating although they are saying what is theoritically true , and going by the book however,
I been in dubai for 10 years , and there is a law and the application of the law which has a diffrent meaning and people understand the theoritical laws from a diffrent perspectives but as far as the stories i heard and the experiences i had .. each case has to be treated in relation with the circomstances involved.

here what i think :

Guys Be sure than NO ONE is going to investigate if you are in a close room with an opposit sex friend or not , NO ONE is gonna ask or investigate if u r sharing a room with ur bf or gf and file a case for it .. its simply Never happened in dubai I can garantee that.

what is happening is if you get in a serious trouble /crime /fights then you will be charged with the crime + being with ur bf or gf in a close space.

let me illustrate this from a real story of some people i know in dubai and i heard it from the girl who was involved .

she was with a man in a hotel room and she doesnt know that he has a girl friend, the girl friend came in , the lady went to the bathroom to hide ..the gf brought a knife and treathened the lady ...who called the police ..the police came and took them all , and they literally confessed that they had an sex and its obvious of course . so they have been a couple of days in jail then depported .

to conclude as you see this issue of being with an opposite sex is becoming an issue only when it is associated with a serious crime and not just by itself .
AMIR
 

Re: Couple managed to get a marriage contract in the philippines

Postby Abe » 03 Mar 2012, 18:31

i just want to know how abu dhabi government still not notice that some of the documents they attest is a fake documents. Like a marriage contract as we know that their are a lot of filipinos having a family/marriage in the philippines still manage to obtain a marraige contract with attestion from DFA in the philippines.
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Re: Unmarried couples living together in the UAE

Postby Abe » 03 Mar 2012, 18:34

Al nasr wrote:They are both married in philippnies and had lived in together in one place


I know a couple like this situation but still they manage to get a certified marriage contract in the philippines by using different place
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Re: Unmarried couples living together in the UAE

Postby britishthai » 23 Jul 2014, 21:15

i need advice. my girlfriend is thai and i'm british, there is a possibility that she may have to move to dubai, if she does will i be able to live with her without getting married yet(although we are thinking about getting married) without any trouble?

also are there any laws that a thai or british person won't know about? the last thing i want to do is offend the culture

thank you
britishthai
 

Re: Unmarried couples living together in the UAE

Postby Joseph » 10 Jul 2015, 21:07

Hello, my girlfriend and I are looking to move to sharjah to teach together. Although we are not going to be living together i was just wondering if it is possible for her to visit me/I visit her place. is it illegal? is it illegal to have sleep overs? if anyone has any information it would be greatly appreciated! Thank you. Add on skype if you would like to discuss some detailed information.

[edit by moderator]Personal information removed, see forum rules. Use PM system for private messages.[/edit]
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Re: Living in the UAE

Postby shawarma » 11 Jul 2015, 17:38

britishthai wrote:will i be able to live with her without getting married yet(although we are thinking about getting married) without any trouble?

You will be able to live with her, as in it's possible. But it is illegal. You might or might not have trouble. How and where you live together, and how you behave, and what other people know or think about you living together, can affect the likelihood of getting into trouble.

britishthai wrote:also are there any laws that a thai or british person won't know about? the last thing i want to do is offend the culture

Well that depends on what UAE laws you already know. Chances are there are a few you don't know about, some of which matter, some of which don't. I suggest you read the UK foreign office website and British embassy websites, especially the British Embassy in the UAE. They have some useful information about culture and living in the UAE.

See also the Dubai Code of Conduct information.

http://www.dubaifaqs.com/united-arab-emirates.php
http://www.dubaifaqs.com/dubai-code-of-conduct.php
http://www.dubaifaqs.com/embassies-and-consulates-uae.php
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Re: Living together with girlfriend in Sharjah

Postby shawarma » 11 Jul 2015, 17:43

Joseph wrote:if it is possible for her to visit me/I visit her place. is it illegal? is it illegal to have sleep overs?

Technically it is illegal to be in a private home or room or other location with an unrelated member of the opposite sex.

In reality, just having her visit for a cup of tea shouldn't normally be a problem.

Having her sleep over is more of a risk, depending on where you live and who lives nearby, and what you do and how publicly you do it. Whatever you think of the risk, yes it is illegal.

Sharjah is more strict about such things than Dubai, however there are couples who live together in Sharjah without any problems ... until there's a problem.
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Re: Unmarried couples living together in the UAE

Postby Clairejoylao » 05 Jan 2016, 15:58

as what I've know a unmarried couples are not allowed to live together in UAE that Is a restricted rule of UAE. If they caught you guys they will deport you to your own country :roll:
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