UAE President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.


8 top changes to UAE laws in 2020


DUBAI – Earlier this month, UAE President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan announced sweeping changes to civil and criminal laws in the country to make it more expat-friendly.

The amendments, announced on November 7, were seen as one of the biggest overhauls of the UAE legal system. talked to Abdulla U.C., legal consultant of FranGulf Legal and Business Consultants, to talk about the recent amendments to the law.

Here’s are the highlights:

No more leniency for “honor crimes” in UAE

The UAE announced that it will scrap a law that grants perpetrators of “honor crimes” leniency. Honor crimes will be treated like murder. Read more

Inheritance for expats

The amendments allow expats to implement the laws of their country with regards to their will or inheritance, in case there is no specific law mentioned in their will.

This move is meant to protect the financial interests of investors in the UAE. However, on an expat’s will involving their real estate property in the UAE, UAE laws will be applied. Read more

Marriage and divorce

On marriage or divorce, the law of the country where the marriage took place will be applied. The provisions allow expatriates to have their personal affairs dealt with according to the law of their home country. Read more

Business partnership decisions

Now, a single partner in a business may sell the entire business after seeking a request from the judge. This option is available when they are not able to sell their share to the other partners.

Suicide and attempted suicide decriminalized

The court will have the discretion to send victims of suicide to institutional bodies where they can get help, instead sending them to jail. However, anyone found assisting someone to commit suicide will face a jail sentence. Read more

Consumption of alcohol without licence now legal

According to the new laws, people can now consume liquor in authorised places. There will be punishment for anyone under 21 years of age consuming liquor. Read more

Consensual sex before marriage no longer illegal

Now, only sexual offences under distress, threat or force will be punished under the penal laws in the UAE. However, there are some exceptions:

• If the victim, male or female, is under 14 years of age
• If the victim is incapable of giving consent due to insanity or minor age
• If the culprit is a first degree relative of the victim

A person convicted of committing sexual intercourse with a minor or mentally challenged person by force would be punished with death penalty. Read more

Protection of privacy of individuals in UAE

The new laws stipulate that authorized judicial officers shall not reveal the personal information of a victim, except to those concerned, in cases such as:

• Rape, sexual abuse or any offence of a sexual nature
• Cases involving a minor’s physical, psychological or moral safety


UAE changes laws to protect Good Samaritans


FranGulf Legal and Business Consultants provides labour law lawyer service in Sharjah, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah, and Umm Al Quwain. Get legal advice from our team of experts in the UAE. Email [email protected], call +971 585597700 or get in touch via Facebook or Instagram.

Expat Media readers get a free 30-minute legal consultation with FranGulf Legal and Business Consultants. Just send a message to starting with the words “Need FranGulf help” plus your name and mobile number. Slots are limited.

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