UAE decriminalises premarital sexual relations

Source: Reuters

The UAE wants to reform its legal system to keep a competitive edge as neighbour Saudi Arabia opens itself up to foreign investment and talent. — AFP/File
The UAE wants to reform its legal system to keep a competitive edge as neighbour Saudi Arabia opens itself up to foreign investment and talent. — AFP/File. Suggested reading: If We give up Islamism and Jewish and Christian Sharia in State Affairs, What is Left is Human Rights and Coexistence

The United Arab Emirates on Saturday said a new criminal code would come into force in January as part of what it called the most sweeping legal reform in the Gulf state’s history.

Major changes so far included decriminalising premarital sexual relations and alcohol consumption, and cancelling provisions for leniency when dealing with so-called “honour killings” in November 2020.

State news agency WAM reported the government is changing 40 laws this year. It did not make clear, however, which of the changes — which concern commercial companies, online security, trade, copyright, residency, narcotics and social issues — were new and which had been previously reported.

Read more: UAE relaxes Islamic laws to ‘boost tolerance’

One change that appears new is the ratification of a Federal Crime and Punishment Law, effective from Jan 2, 2022, designed to better protect women, domestic staff and public safety.

The UAE wants to reform its legal system to keep a competitive edge as conservative Gulf neighbour Saudi Arabia opens itself up to foreign investment and talent.

Saturday’s statement adds clarity that had been previously lacking to the status of pre-marital sexual relations and children born from them — stating that parents need not be married.

“Any couple conceiving a child out of wedlock will be required to marry or singly or jointly acknowledge the child and provide identification papers and travel documents in accordance with the laws of the country of which either is a national,” the statement said.

Also read: UAE’s minister of tolerance accused of assault

A criminal case with two years imprisonment would be brought should parents not acknowledge and care for the child.

Other recent changes by the UAE include introducing longer-term visas as a way to attract and retain talent and encourage more businesses to set up shop.

The emirate of Abu Dhabi this month introduced its own reform — a novel secular family law aimed at making itself more attractive to expatriates.

Reference

Grand Mosque of Abu Dhabi. The Muslim Times is promoting secularism in every country of the world. Suggested reading: If We give up Islamism and Jewish and Christian Sharia in State Affairs, What is Left is Human Rights and Coexistence

3 replies

  1. How on earth can sex between two or more consenting adults be a criminal offence?! What does it have to do with anyone other than those involved? It is utterly backwards and anti-human rights.

  2. Actually in Islamic law there is a punishment for adultery and premarital sex PROVIDED THERE ARE FOUR WITNESSES. That would in other words mean that if done normally and privately there is no punishment. Still of course it is not encouraged and would be a considered sinful, but privately sinful, if you know what I mean…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.