UAE revamps personal and family laws in historic move - GulfToday

UAE revamps personal and family laws in historic move


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Gulf Today, Staff Reporter


In a historic move, the UAE has announced a sweeping revamp of criminal and family laws on Saturday. The laws will come into effect immediately.


The law aims to improve living standards and open the market to investors and people living in the UAE.


The amendments cover divorce and separation, alcohol consumption, suicide, protection for women, and raise the penalties for rape and sexual harassment.


The amendments would make way for disputed cases of non-Emiratis to be dealt with according to the laws of their native land.


The reformed laws would allow non-Emiratis to have a better representation.     


A significant amendment was the change in personal law. A couple living in the UAE but who were married in their country, have the right to apply the laws of their native country if they seek divorce.



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The division of assets would also be done according to the laws of their country, unless they have willed otherwise.


Another major amendment was regarding the “Good Samaritans.”


According to the law, anyone trying to help a person in need will not face the law if the outcome is undesirable.


Previously, the law did not allow anyone to assist a person during medical emergencies. 


The UAE has decriminalised the consumption of alcohol. The law states that a person can buy, consume, and sell alcohol in authorised areas even without a licence.


But a person below the age of 21 will face criminal charges for consuming and possessing alcohol.


The UAE has also scrapped reduced sentences for so-called "honour" killings. The act would be considered a crime, and treated similar to any other assault case in a court of law.


The UAE has lifted a ban on unmarried couples living together. Until now, cohabitation was illegal in the UAE.


The UAE has over 200 nationalities living in the country. The expatriates make up some 90 per cent of the UAE population.


The UAE has developed the most diverse economy in the Gulf.


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