The United Arab Emirates, having previously been following strict Shariah and conservative state laws, has loosened them up and made amendments to several laws that may be beneficial to hundreds of diverse nationalities that reside in the nation, as of November 2020.
Referred to as “one of the biggest overhauls of the legal system in years” by The National, the amendments and the changes to the legal system create more space for international investors as well as favoring growth in foreign recognition.
The following law amendments were the main ones that were reportedly made:
International citizens residing in the UAE will now pertain to their own citizenship law when it comes to the dividing of their assets, the cases of divorce and marriage, and cases of wills, whereas previously, these cases were assessed under Sharia. It has also become necessary for courts to have translators for witnesses and defendants in courts if they don’t speak arabic.
Preliminary steps were taken for the full attainment of women’s rights in the middle east under law amendments such as female harassers, whether relatives or not, will face stricter punishments, including street harassment or stalking.
“Honour Killing” will now be distinguished as murder or crime. Consequently, execution will be the punishment of rape of a minor or someone who is mentally challenged.
Survivors of suicide’s attempts were previously treated with prosecution while now, with the new law, suicide is not regarded as a crime anymore, and survivors will begin to receive mental health support.
Alcohol consumption, possession, and selling in authorized areas without any legal licenses has been de-criminalized, however, persons must be above the age of 21 to do so.
Cohabitation for unmarried couples is legal now as opposed to it being illegal previously for unmarried partners or unrelated flatmates to live together.
It is to note that while the country applied until now strict Sharia laws, many of these laws were not strange a while back to other religiously conservative nations of the Western world before they gradually took a more progressive path towards a modernized society, like for instance laws related to “unlawful cohabitation,” alcohol consumption, and what’s related to women’s rights.
The UAE has been fast progressing on many levels. These new laws, effective immediately, reflect the country’s serious aim to improve the living standards of its residents and move forward into the 21st century.