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What are the legal consequences of getting pregnant before marriage in the UAE?


Many expats feared the consequences and the legal actions that one must face for an unexpected pregnancy in the UAE. But as they say, all’s well that ends well. Unmarried couples can finally breathe the sense of contentment with the New UAE Family Laws.


Until last year, The Zina law was quite rigorously enforced which strictly prohibited sex outside marriage. Individuals who even reported being raped were considered to be law breakers in the eyes of the authorities and has led into these victims being sentenced.

Doctors in the country who diagnose an unmarried woman as pregnant are obliged to turn them over to the police. They can then face jail and deportation. Some women opt to leave the UAE before the pregnancy becomes visible and backstreet abortions are also common.

The Guardian, 2019

However with the latest reforms that have come into place by the government of the UAE all of this is about to change. The New Family laws of Nov 2020, decriminalized the consumption of alcohol and suicide. Unmarried couples were also given the freedom to live together.


According to, the minister of presidential affairs, Mr. Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed who is also the Deputy Minister signed the legal order.

The legal order now states that all unmarried couples that are expecting a child need not leave the UAE but can apply for the birth certificate of their babies. A marital certificate will no longer be needed for that either. The new laws also allows kids to have education and healthcare services like any other child being born in the UAE.


While the new legal order has definitely transformed for the better; abortion or homosexuality are certainly not allowed.

Unmarried couples to cohabitate, loosening alcohol restrictions and criminalising so-called honour killings.

The Business Standard, 2020

With the increasing number of expats living in the UAE, the new law is only to provide a peaceful and nurturing environment for unmarried couples in UAE who wish to have babies without wedlock. Unmarried ladies living in the UAE can likewise get pregnant. and to add to it, it’s not the legitimate prerequisite to have a conjugal endorsement to apply for the birth testament of any child who is conceived illegitimately.


Given the fact, that where expatriates outnumber the citizens with a ratio which is nearly nine to one, it was about time that the authorities had to work around some of their laws.

This was done to ensure that UAE offers a serene and liberal climate to a wide range of ex-pats. In addition to the fact that it is the necessity of the changing times to ensure ex-pats that live in the UAE spend their lives peacefully and focus on what matters to them the most.

With there is a relaxation in the new laws, this hasn’t stopped a stagnant number of expats who think of marriage has a considerable option to avoid complication in the birth of their child often look for fast and easy wedding processes in Dubai, or have opted for a destination wedding to encapsulate this moment with their loved ones.

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