We’re a couple travelling to Dubai for a romantic getaway. We’re not married but in a fully-committed relationship. However, I understand that we can’t prove this and considering Dubai is an Islamic country, I was wondering if unmarried couples can share a room in Dubai? We want to do things the legal way.
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Yes, Dubai has now lifted its ban on unmarried couples sharing a room or living together. Although according to the Islamic Shariah law it is illegal for unmarried couples to share a room at a hotel, the UAE has gone through a transformative relaxation of regulations in 2020 in an effort to improve its global image. Therefore, it is absolutely legal for an unmarried couple to share a room in Dubai. The reformed laws also see the ease of alcohol restrictions in the UAE, new divorce proceedings and stricter punishment for the harassment of women.
Things couples can’t do in Dubai
Even though restrictions have been eased and Dubai is now more tolerant than ever before, it is crucial that couples are aware of what’s tolerated in public and what is not legal in Dubai.
While not illegal, public display of affection (holding hands, kissing, hugging) in Dubai is not advisable. Not only is it socially unacceptable, but it can seriously get you in trouble if reported to the police. Of course, it will depend on where you are and who’s around you. People in the old town usually have a more conservative mindset than those in the city centre so you’re less likely to get into trouble or attract stares if you’re holding hands within a 5-star hotel than in Old Dubai. To add, it is especially important that you respect and stay mindful of local customs and laws in Dubai during the holy month of Ramadan.