UAE allows alcohol, unmarried couples to live together

Women party at a bar in Dubai.–File photo

The government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has passed a new law, allowing unmarried couples to live together and decriminalising buying and drinking alcohol.

To drink alcohol, one must be 21 years old or above. Earlier, the people who wanted to distribute, sell or drink alcohol were required to get a licence first.

Under the new law, foreigners living in all states of the UAE will be allowed to deal with issues like inheritance and divorce according to the laws of their native countries. Also under the new law, unmarried couples will not face any legal issue in living together.

People involved in sexual assaults on women and harassment of women will be punished sternly. People divorcing their wives in Dubai will have to follow the rules and regulations of the countries where they contracted their marriages.

The UAE government has included honour killing and other such crimes in the list of punishable crimes.

According to UAE officials, the aforementioned legal reforms are aimed at improving the investment climate and promoting equality in the country.

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