Can Unmarried Couples Live Together in Dubai (UAE) in 2021 & Onward?

Can Unmarried Couples Live Together in Dubai (UAE) in 2021 & Onward?

The UAE Government announced changes in the country’s Islamic personal laws. As per the new rule, unmarried couples in UAE will now be permitted to stay together. The new move is an effort to improve the living standards of the residents in the country.

Can unmarried couples live together in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and the rest of the UAE in 2021 and onward? Will unmarried persons living together in Dubai’s hotels be fined? Can unmarried couples cohabit, that is, have sex in Dubai without being punished over it? Will they be reported? The article answers these questions.

While Dubai is an Islamic city, it has been widely hailed as the Middle East’s most Western city, with emphasis on the Western liberal quality. Its architecture is one good example of this connection.

And while Dubai is considered a liberal Islamic city, particularly by Muslims, the about 200 nationalities Dubai hosts think the cosmopolitan city is a bit strict, particularly over its laws on the boyfriend-and-girlfriend-type relationship, or sex out of wedlock and unmarried people living together in the same houses or rooms, be it a hotels or personal houses. But Dubai and its host the UAE aren’t ready to be the bad guy, constricting people austerely.

In this connection, the ever dynamic city, the UAE as a whole, has updated its laws on this matter and, consequently, now and henceforth, unmarried couples can live together in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and the rest of the UAE without penalties or conviction, query, or fear of getting reported. In other words, the cohabiting of unmarried men and women is no longer illegal but now legal, whether they’re lawfully wedded or not. This also means that unrelated flatmates can share a home in the Emirates.

Law Update: Can Unmarried Couples Live Together in Dubai (UAE) in 2021 & Onward?

UAE relaxes Islamic laws, allows cohabitation of unmarried couples. The United Arab Emirates announced on Saturday a major overhaul of the country’s Islamic personal laws, allowing unmarried couples to cohabitate, loosening alcohol restrictions and criminalising so-called honour killings.

It is against the law for unmarried couples in Dubai to stay in the same room. In reality most hotels do not enforce it.

This development isn’t a surprise, although a happy one for many, as in recent years the government has been turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to people found in breach of the law concerning cohabitation. And now, by the law, it wants heterosexual couples to be sure no one is watching them, even though they aren’t married.

The answers to the foregoing questions should be clear by now.

Some people have complained that trials in the UAE are done in Arabic and not in the language they understand, say English. The new law mandates that translators are provided for defendants and witnesses in court if they do not speak Arabic. It states that the court must ensure legal translators are available. Furthermore, new privacy laws mean that evidence related to cases of indecent acts will have to be protected and cannot be publicly disclosed.

Unmarried couples stay in the same room all of the time in Dubai and so long as it is quiet and not advertised – no one cares.


By law, only married couples are allowed to have sex, or even share a bed, in Dubai. In practice, hotels do not ask for proof of your relationship when you check in with your partner. However, the authorities do take the matter seriously.

While unmarried couples are not allowed to stay in the same hotel room, some signs of public affection between those who have said I Do are also not permitted. Kissing and holding hands is classed as “inappropriate behaviour” according to Government guidelines.

Is there a law that prohibits unmarried couples from staying together or checking-in to a hotel together? No, there is no law that prohibits unmarried couples from staying together or checking-into a hotel.

Generally, Dubai and all of the UAE are working towards minding its interference with your personal business. Stay guided!