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Is it illegal to get pregnant before marriage in UAE?


Getting pregnant outside of a marriage was, until recently, considered a punishable sin under Sharia law. Most Islamic countries, including the UAE, adhere to this rule. However, the regulations have not been relaxed, which means that women in the UAE can feel much safer if they become pregnant before marriage.


Until last year, having a child outside a marriage was considered to be criminalized offense and punishable act under the UAE Laws. However with the latest reforms that have come into place by the government of the UAE all of this is about to change.

Meet Jerry, a 6-year-old child whose mother is an immigrant. She arrived to the UAE a decade ago in quest of a better life, and in the process, she ended herself fleeing violent bosses. She subsequently became engaged with a man and was dismissed after becoming pregnant. For one mother, having a kid outside of marriage was traumatic.

Growing up without a birth certificate or any other identification means he has no access to education and has never visited a doctor. Officially, this little boy does not exist.

The guardian, 2019

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.

According to the new legal decree, any unmarried couples who are expecting a child do not need to leave the UAE and can file for their children’s birth certificates. That, too, will no longer necessitate the use of a marriage certificate. The new legislation also allow children to get the same education and healthcare as any other child born in the UAE.


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

In light of the aforementioned legal reforms announced by the UAE government, cohabitation of unmarried couples has been decriminalised and shall no longer constitute as an offence.

Khaleej Times, 2020

With the growing number of expats in the UAE, the new law’s sole purpose is to offer a pleasant and nurturing atmosphere for unmarried couples who choose to have children outside of marriage. Unmarried women in the UAE can also become pregnant. Furthermore, having a conjugal endorsement is not a legal requirement to apply for the birth testament of any child that is conceived.


Officials have expressed that these new laws and changes are 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.

If you live in the UAE and think this information might be useful to someone in a similar circumstance, please share it.

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