How to behave and misbehave, public decency and indecency laws, arrests and court cases, public displays of affection PDA in the UAE. Kissing in Dubai news, rules, law, is it illegal, news, kissing in public in Dubai.
Kissing at Dubai airport, malls, hotels, clubs, bars None of what is written here should be taken as any sort of advice. It is only intended to be an observation of what happens in the UAE based on our experiences of living in the country. Dubai and the UAE do not have religious police with the job of checking on public morality, as is the case in Saudi Arabia.
Nor do the police spend their time walking around shopping malls and bars looking for illegal hand-holding or kissing at any rock concert in Dubai you can see the police calmly observe beer-drinking, hand-holding and kissing expats without usually taking any action. Assume that technically, any physical contact between two unrelated bodies of opposite sexes is forbidden, and you should be safe.
Men and women shaking hands when greeting each other is probably on the right side of the law, but as a man, don't offer to shake a woman's hand unless she extends hers first. Indecent behaviour, which could include kissing someone on the cheek but usually isn't something to worry about for normal greeting kisses, otherwise the jails would be filled with all the French, Italian, Lebanese, Spanish, South American, etc nationals who live in and visit the UAE. Being somewhere private with a member of the opposite sex that you are not married or related to in a car, private home, hotel room.
Having sex with someone you are not married to. Public nudity - a bit obvious this, but note that men and women jogging in public should wear a t-shirt. Shirtless on the beach is probably ok. Indecent attire - this could mean an offensive slogan on a t-shirt, not covering shoulders or legs, or apparently as of April , Asian men wearing lungis in Sharjah one was arrested.
Bikinis on the beach should be ok. Thongs not the Australian kind are not, although you might see them occasionally. Sending nude or indecent photos of yourself or other people, or sexy or racy text messages by phone or email a court case in Abu Dhabi in April made that clear. Our understanding of the expression "Age of Consent" is that it is the minimum legal age at which someone can have sex with someone else - usually from years old in most countries where having sex outside marriage is legal.
The age of 18 might be the age of consent in the UAE if it means that below this age it is not possible for someone to have consensual sex with another person in legal terms , with respect to people on trial for having consensual sex outside marriage - for example if two people have sex and one of them is under 18, then the other can be charged with statutory rape. This apparently was the case in a July report about a 28 year old male on trial for rape and a 14 year old female on trial for having sex outside marriage - The National newspaper said that Even if the girl is found guilty of consensual sex, M H would still be charged with statuary [sic] rape, because the girl is younger than 18, the age of consent.
Which still doesn't really make sense to us - if 18 is the age of consent, then how can a 14 year old be convicted for consensual sex if the law says she cannot give consent because of her age? Note that we don't know exactly what the law says, our comment is based on what a newspaper says the law says.
There are other reports of unmarried people younger than 18 being tried and convicted for having consensual sex. If the interpretation of Age of Consent in the UAE mentioned in that report is accurate, then perhaps the bizarre situation could arise that if two people younger than 18 are on trial for having sex outside marriage, both might be facing a charge of statutory rape of the other.
In reality, when two people under 18 have ended up in court on a sex outside marriage charge, both have faced a charge of consensual sex according to reports we've seen. However, another report about the same case, in The National on 02 Aug , sort of clarified things saying The year-old girl and the year-old driver are being tried according to Sharia law, in which people are treated as adults if they have reached the age of puberty.
The girl's lawyer argued that although she had reached puberty physically, Sharia law also required a person to be mentally mature. Although there appears to be a conflict between Sharia law and UAE law - with respect to the case about the 14 year old girl, she was tried as an adult and sentenced to jail for consensual sex, but the conviction was later thrown out by the Appeals Court which said she was too young to be tried as an adult.
Kissing in Duba Dubai and the UAE have certain cultural and legal constraints on what might be regarded as acceptable behaviour in many other countries, usually western nations. Public displays of affection PDA such as kissing between opposite genders, holding hands, and other romantic behaviour is at least frowned upon, and might get you in trouble with the police. Especially if you're in Sharjah, if it's during Ramadan, or if someone easily offended by such behaviour sees you and reports you to the police.
Opposite gender greeting style kisses on the cheek are commonly seen, and usually tolerated by those who might take offence.
But don't be too brazen about it. Couples kissing on the lips to say goodbye or hello in public, for example at the Dubai airport , are not usually going to get into trouble even though technically it's probably illegal. Or at least unacceptable culturally. Chances of causing offence resulting in problems with the law increase if the kiss becomes obviously more sexual in nature, or is lengthy. French kissing in public would definitely be ill-advised.
Technically it makes no difference if a couple is married, or in a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship. However, in reality, if an unmarried couple gets into bother over a kissing related incident, they are more likely to be penalised, or suffer a harsher penalty. However, groping each other in a sexual way anywhere in public even in a bar is much more likely to result in a visit to a police station. Holding hands in public Men and women holding hands is a public display of affection which in theory could result in a problem but is unlikely to, unless in Sharjah, or it's Ramadan.
Walking through shopping centers, especially in Dubai, it is not uncommon to see even Emirati couples of opposite sexes holding hands. Mothers and fathers holding their children's hands is acceptable. It is quite common to see groups of Asian, Indian, or Pakistani male nationals holding hands. A cultural habit that often leaves westerners feeling confused given that couples are apparently not allowed to do the same.
It is not usually an indication of homosexuality. Unknown whether or not strictly speaking such hand-holding is legally permitted or not. If you are a westerner, don't be tempted to hold hands with your same-sex friend just to see what happens. It is more likely that the authorities will wonder if you are gay, which might result in a visit to the police station, or worse. Conviction of sex related crimes in UAE For the successful prosecution of the crime of having sex outside of marriage in the UAE, Mohammed Al Suwaidi, a lawyer at the Al Suwaidi legal firm, was reported as saying Xpress 27 January that a high degree of evidence is required for sex charges to stick in court, including a suspect's confession, witness testimonies or medical tests.
The burden of proof under Sharia Islamic law is even tougher. Under Sharia, four witnesses are required to testify and if there are less than four then the other witnesses may be charged with defamation. In reality, what the court seems to think is acceptable appears to sometimes be different to what the accused might think is necessary to prove guilt, especially in emirates other than Dubai.
For example a young lady was accused and convicted of illegal sexual intercourse in Khor Fakkan on the Fujairah coast in May , despite tests reportedly proving otherwise see further details below. And an odd twist to that story was that her alleged sex partner was acquitted of the crime. One also wonders when reading newspaper reports of court cases and convictions for consensual sex some of them as a result of a rape complaint being made , just where the minimum 4 witnesses were, given some of the descriptions of the events.
Perhaps in the case of making a rape complaint, the complaint itself is sufficient evidence of sex having taken place, and it then is left up to the courts to decide if it was consensual or not. Sex, indecent exposure and kissing related stories in the UAE 30 Mar - a report in The Daily Mail UK not what many would regard as a reliable source of information, but the same story not found elsewhere - which possibly casts doubt on the DM version, nevertheless The man was not charged with being alone with the woman though according to the DM report it is not a crime for men to be alone with an unrelated woman in the UAE, but it is for women, which doesn't really make sense to us and contradicts what we thought the law said.
The woman was apparently having lunch and a glass of wine with the man at his house when the police visited as a result of a complaint laid by his wife, whom he had thrown out a week earlier after an argument. The police then apparently informed the man's wife about her husband having a lunchtime glass of wine with another woman which sounds like a peculiar sequence of events - perhaps we've misunderstood the story , and the wife wanted them to press charges.
It was not clear from the report when the arrests were made - at the time of the initial visit, or if the police went back after talking to the wife. Outcome unknown but the report claimed she might face a jail sentence of 1 month to 1 year. There might be more to the story than what was reported since it is very unusual for women or men to be arrested and charged for being in the company of an unrelated man. All the same, the Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned phrase comes to mind Unknown how related the nationalities are to the story but the woman was from the UK, the man from Syria, and his wife's nationality not reported the law doesn't specifically say UK women or men should be charged and Syrian women or men should not.
The story goes that the taxi driver was offended when the couple started getting intimate, and reported them to police in a patrol car, who then arrested the couple for being drunk in public and having sex outside marriage, and took them to Jebel Ali police station where they were held from May The Daily Mail UK reported the woman as saying "I have no idea where these sex allegations have come from because none were put to me by the authorities.
I was arrested for having a bottle of beer in the back of a cab, not having sex. I was alone in the vehicle. The report said the defendants denied the charges and accused the taxi driver of fabricating the story after a fare dispute.
According to The National, the judge said "You've been accused by your sponsor of sending an indecent picture of yourself to another man to push him to having sex. So you were doing the devil's job basically, then the man sent you an indecent picture of himself. That seems to be either a bizarre attitude on the part of someone in a position of authority with the power to significantly affect the lives of people who appear before him, or a bizzare translation assuming the judge spoke in Arabic, not English and spin on the part of the reporter.
After all, it was a serious enough offence within the UAE legal system in the first place that resulted in the woman being arrested and imprisoned. The appeals verdict was to be issued on 15 April According to the report "K A's lawyer has filed an appeal, however, claiming prosecutors failed to provide any evidence backing up their claim of consent to have sex. Yaqoub Shaheen, from Dubai Advocates, asked the court to dismiss all charges, citing a "miscarriage of legal procedure.
The report said, "According to court records detailing the SMS exchange, when K A responded saying she did not know what had happened, and asking if they had sex, he replied: Her story was that in September , she had caught a taxi, and the taxi driver attempted to rape her, but she successfully fought him off and escaped, after which she went to Muragabat Murraqabat police station to file a complaint.
The policeman on duty told the court, "She said that she was drunk and that she was coming to file a report on an attempted rape I warned her that she would face alcohol consumption charges, but she responded by telling me that she did not care if she was deported for being drunk.
In court he denied the rape and his case was adjourned until 28 Februrary While the woman was indeed packed off to the Dubai Court of Misdemeanours to face charge of illegally consuming alcohol. The lesson from this story seems to be if you get raped, and you've been drinking, don't admit to drinking if you want to avoid facing charges for consuming alcohol if you have an alcohol licence it might be ok.
On 29 April , Gulf News reported a case in Ras Al Khaimah where a housemaid was sentenced to 3 months in jail followed by deportation, and a 15 year old boy was sent to a juvenile deliquents center for observation, as a result of police arresting the maid after she gave birth at Saqr Hospital in RAK. The hospital reported her to the police when she failed to prove she was married.
The maid reportedly claimed the boy raped her, and the sponsor's family kept her locked up for 9 months until she gave birth, while the boy claimed that the maid seduced him.
The report said The Criminal Court in Ras Al Khaimah convicted the Ethiopian housemaid and year-old Emirati schoolboy despite the woman's claims that she was raped by him. The verdict was appealed by the housemaid's lawyer. According to prosecution records, the year-old Emirati police corporal's Uzbek wife alleged that she spotted her husband undressing and sexually abusing their year-old housemaid inside the pigeon cage in their villa's front yard.
During prosecution questioning, the housemaid alleged that the suspect raped her nearly 14 times. She was also apparently threatened with death. The 7 Days newspaper quoted her as saying "He raped me 14 times.
He threatened to kill me if I told the police. One time I was feeding the pigeons when he tried to take off my clothes and molested me. On 02 September , the Gulf News reported about a 17 year boy who was deported after having sex with a 15 year girl - The Dubai Juveniles Court recently found the year-old Lebanese boy and year-old Emirati girl guilty of having consensual sex. The court decided to reprimand the pair and hand them over to their parents.