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Is it illegal to be romantically involved with a married woman under new UAE laws?

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on July 14, 2023, 17:41:00


Family lawyers

Anyone who commits an indecent crime of assault with mutual consent shall face imprisonment.

Adultery was once a punishable offence under Article 356 of Federal Law Number 3 of 1987 on the Issuance of Penal Laws (the Penal Law). As a result, under the provisions of Article 356 of the Penal Law, the act of sexual cohabitation (even consensual) between two individuals was a punishable offence. This was referred to as indecent assault.

The New Penal Law will go into effect on January 2, 2022, after which the existing Penal Law will be repealed and replaced entirely.

The offence of indecent assault has been reintroduced, with some modifications, by Article (409) of the New Penal Law. Following that, a criminal action for 'indecent assault' can be brought only on the complaint of the female involved in the relationship's husband or legal guardian. Furthermore, the offence, proceedings, and penalties shall expire if the complainant (i.e., husband/guardian) retracts the complaint at any time.