As part of the UAE‘s progressive measures to improve its society’s living standards, continue to be a destination for foreign investments, and maintain its position as an attractive tourist spot, the UAE government has officially issued one of the biggest overhauls of the legal system in years. And since the UAE is home to more than 200 nationalities, the amendments of the existing laws and the introduction of new ones will definitely promote multiculturalism and facilitate people’s needs.
So scroll down to check the UAE’s new Personal Status Law, the Civil Procedure Law, the Penal Code, and the Criminal Procedure Law.
Divorce and inheritance:
This is one of the most significant reforms especially for foreigners living in the UAE. If a couple were married in their home country and decided to separate in the UAE, the new law mentions joint assets as well as joint accounts, and the court could interfere to conciliate if there was no agreement between the two. This also applies to wills and inheritance because assets are usually divided between the family members of the deceased person according to Sharia laws. But now, expats can choose not to follow that.
Suicide and Good Samaritans:
If someone decides to attempt suicide but survive, they usually get prosecuted according to the UAE law. Now, under the new laws, anyone who’s found to have harmed themselves shall be referred for mental health treatment. Also, the law will ensure the Good Samaritans law, which states that “any person who’s committing an act out of good intention, that may end up hurting that person, will not be punished.”
Harassment and assault:
There will be strict punishments for any man who harasses a woman in any way, by stalking or street harassment. For incidents such as the rape of a minor or someone with limited mental capacity, the punishment will be execution.
Alcohol consumption is no longer a crime. Anyone who drinks or is in possession of alcohol or sells alcohol in authorized areas without an alcohol license will not face penalties. But of course you must be at least 21 years old to legally drink in the UAE.
For the honor killings, the idea of being merciful towards the murderer is now abolished, instead, all cases will now be entirely subject to the government’s penal code.
Cohabitation for unmarried couples:
Until now, the cohabitation of unmarried couples has been illegal and anyone who practiced it was prosecuted, even for unrelated flatmates it has long been against the law. However, under the changes in the new law, unmarried couples can now live together, for the first time ever.