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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Re: Unmarried Couple in Dubai

Hi all,

First off, thank you so much for taking a moment to consider my question. I have done a lot of research on this issue so far and think I have a pretty good grasp of things but I also wanted to run some more specific questions by all of you to see if I am missing anything.

Basically, my girlfriend and I (currently unmarried) are considering making a move to the UAE (specifically Dubai) as a result of an offer of employment. We are both currently citizens and residents of Canada. She will move with me in hopes of finding a job when we land in Dubai.

My understanding so far is that unmarried couples cannot live together in Dubai. If they do, and, in the rare situation that that is revealed, they may be subject to jail time and deportation.

Can you please tell me the following:

1. What are the penalties exactly of this?
2. What are the risks of this actually happening?
3. If we want to get married just to deal with this legal technicality in the UAE, is there a place where we can do this easily, cheaply and without any bureaucratic hindrances?
4. What other options do we have available?


Thanks again.

(If you would be so kind to respond to my other thread regarding salaries and expat packages that would be awesome too.)
 

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1. Prison and deportation.
2. Impossible to tell. Happens regularly but not in great numbers.
3. Its the UAE - bureaucracy is the foundation. Get married in Canada before you come - it'll be less hassle.
4. None - either marry and be safe, or take a risk.
 

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1. What are the penalties exactly of this?
Are you white and not muslim? If so the penalties aare not as great as if you're not, but you're still looking at at least a month and deportation.​
2. What are the risks of this actually happening?
Highly unlikely, but it does exist​
3. If we want to get married just to deal with this legal technicality in the UAE, is there a place where we can do this easily, cheaply and without any bureaucratic hindrances?
Yes, you can do it quickly and easily at either St Mary's Church (if non-muslim) or the Court if you are​
4. What other options do we have available?
I don't get what you mean by this, you could take the risk and keep your noses clean, or get married.​

Also your gf would have to do visa runs every 39 days as you wouldn't be able to sponsor her. She couldn't get a bank account, a residency visa (unless she opened her own company), a driving license, she can hire a car but can't drive the one you buy. All in all, not ideal.
 

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Hi,
By the way it's not a "legal technicality" as you put it - it's simply the law.
Cheers
Steve
 

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1. What are the penalties exactly of this?
2. What are the risks of this actually happening?
3. If we want to get married just to deal with this legal technicality in the UAE, is there a place where we can do this easily, cheaply and without any bureaucratic hindrances?
4. What other options do we have available?

1. Jail and deportation
2. Just be cafeul what you say and do around here. You significant partner is your husband in public, wear a wedding ring. Be careful with all information you tell people here, because all it requires is one phone call to the police.
3. It will be alot easier in Canada than here (i know a couple of people who got married legally in their home countries before they came here. I am for one, I am married - yet no ceremony with family etc)
4. Get married in Canada, Risk it here, don't come here

My opinion of UAE law is if you don't rattle the cage you won't wake the bear. Don't break any laws, don't start fights, don't do drugs etc etc and no one will care.
 

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How serious is your relationship? Do you want to spend the rest of your lives together?
I personally don't think it's worth the risk to live together unmarried in UAE. Everything is so much easier if married.
Something to bear in mind is that some landlords might require a copy of the marriage certificate when signing the tenancy agreement.

You could always do a a quickie wedding in Vegas since you're not that far away from there.
 

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How serious is your relationship? Do you want to spend the rest of your lives together?
I personally don't think it's worth the risk to live together unmarried in UAE. Everything is so much easier if married.
Something to bear in mind is that some landlords might require a copy of the marriage certificate when signing the tenancy agreement.

You could always do a a quickie wedding in Vegas since you're not that far away from there.
Or just not tell the landlord.

Literally, this is such a none issue. So many people do it here. Its all about what you feel comfortable with. I got married, though I don't consider it more than a peice of paper. Like, she would never dare ask for access for joint names on my bank account or houses I own :argue:

Anyway it's like a candy shop here, if you don't like your partner (i love mine) you can find a younger more attractive model here :eyebrows: :spit:
 

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Another thing to bear in mind is how your company will react, it's unlikely you'll get health insurance cover for your partner unless you're married.
 

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Or just not tell the landlord.

Literally, this is such a none issue. So many people do it here. Its all about what you feel comfortable with. I got married, though I don't consider it more than a peice of paper. Like, she would never dare ask for access for joint names on my bank account or houses I own :argue:

Anyway it's like a candy shop here, if you don't like your partner (i love mine) you can find a younger more attractive model here :eyebrows: :spit:
Sad, very sad indeed. Enjoy your candy shop, you will need it at some point. Be prepared to cough up for it though and I hope your car model is up to scratch. :rolleyes:
 

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Mine's the best in UAE :first:
Yes, she might the best for you at the moment. What guarantees do you have of it lasting though?
You might see it as a "candy shop" here but do bear in mind that the shopping works the other way around too.

AND :focus:

OP, what jobs might your partner be thinking of doing? A lot of jobs advertised requires the woman to already have her residency sponsored by her husband. It's cheaper for the company to just get the labour card.
 

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Yes, she might the best for you at the moment. What guarantees do you have of it lasting though?
You might see it as a "candy shop" here but do bear in mind that the shopping works the other way around too.
This is me we are talking about - no one even close :boxing:
 

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If you marry your girlfriend, you'll be able to sponsor her for a residence visa until she finds a job (which can take a long time, though networking can speed it up). That is a big, big advantage, and she can begin being a resident by having a bank account, driver's license.
In addition, married people sometimes qualify for more generous packages (e.g. more housing allowance).
That said-couples living together is common (though I obviously wouldn't call it a non-issue due to the potential legal consequences) and some non-white Muslim people do it.
 

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My opinion of UAE law is if you don't rattle the cage you won't wake the bear. Don't break any laws, don't start fights, don't do drugs etc etc and no one will care.
Generally the case... but the cage often doesn't take much rattling...

Jay walking (crossing the road at a non-designated area...)
Speeding
(though these are usually dealt with in a relatively summary way ("just pay the fine at the machine/police station" )

Being drunk in public
Driving with more 0.00% blood alcohol and getting caught.
Raising your middle finger at motorists or people.
Swearing or shouting at people. (it is often a struggle not to...)
Posting pictures of badly parked cars on your private facebook page...

Once rattled... the entire book is usually thrown at the rattler... (to mix a metaphor or two)

Also... if you do get married outside the UAE... you may need to get an apostille, or other "certification"... which may be relatively simple to do in your home country for 20 bucks here and there... This *can* usually be done from the UAE... but will probably cost you somewhere in the region of 4-500 USD

Check the requirements for attestation of your marriage certificate... as this is another little bureaucratic hoop you will have to just through... followed by handing over another 1-200 AED for the local attestation...

Alternatively your partner may get a job here and get her own visa... I have heard tell of people that do this. I some cases she nominally rents a small apartment in some less fashionable area for "not a lot", for official purposes... Or just not bother at all...

I know a few that take the risk... and none that have been caught... yet... but people do, now and again, usually as a result of something else... And the consequences can be a bit of a "nuisance". (If you consider a month in a prison in the desert and deportation a nuisance)

It depends on you attitude to risk... and how much you want to be here/together or here and together.
 

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Posting pictures of badly parked cars on your private facebook page...
.
This concerned me, but we don't know what she wrote. All the radio said was some "bad words"

Anyway, bad to original point. What do you feel comfortable with doing. You've been given advice on how we have dealt with unmarried couples (ie I got getting married) or others who've just winged it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
So, first of all, thank you all for your thoughtful responses. For reference, we would only have been together for 5 months by the time we move, neither of us are religious but she has a European background (blond hair) and I have an Iranian background (not blond hair). I do like her but my issue is that "marriage" in Canada brings with it a whole host of other complications.

Here are some other questions I have:

1. If we don't get married in Canada, where (outside of Dubai), is it the easiest, quickest and cheapest to get married just for the purpose of living together in Dubai?

2. Do you think it is best that I arrive in Dubai on my own first just to get a lay of the land and then make plans to have her come out?

3. As a married woman, do you think she will have any issues finding a job? She is fluent in English and has been working as a dental assistant in Canada for years. Are those types of jobs available for someone like her in the Dubai area?

4. I will be working in downtown Dubai as a corporate lawyer. Is anyone here able to comment on the offer that I am receiving?

Thank you again.
 
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