A reminder to everyone to please be aware of the law in the country that you are working in. In the UAE (United Arab Emirates), sex outside marriage is illegal and punishable by jail time, deportation and lifetime ban. The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has issued a warning that having illicit affairs is a criminal offense in this country.
As the UAE is a Muslim country, it is governed by Sharia Law (Islamic Law). Part of its rules is that if a man and woman is not married and decide to live together, this is a punishable offense of 3 to 6 months jail and the couple will eventually be deported.
Sex Out of Wedlock is Illegal in the United Arab Emirates
In the Philippines, an unmarried couple living together may be tolerable, sometimes even acceptable and more common. But in the UAE, this is not acceptable at all. Being ignorant of the rules and regulations imposed by the country does not exclude you from punishment. In the same news warning, the Philippine Consulate in Dubai (PCG Dubai) has reported that many expat couples, including Pinoys, are now facing jail time for this violation.
There might be a common thought that if a Filipino can simply go to the Consulate to seek help to go back home to the Philippines right away once it is found that a woman is found to be pregnant out of marriage. This is wrong. Although you can ask for help from the Consulate, but it does not guarantee that you will not be punished. The law of the country where you are living is the one that you should follow.
Punishment for Sex Outside Marriage in the UAE – 6 Months Jail, Deportation and Lifetime Ban
Remember that we are still under foreign soil and the rules of the country (in this case, the UAE) still applies. Immorality is not negotiable in the legal system of the UAE. Pregnancies and childbirth out of wedlock carry a punishment of 6 months in jail, deportation, and a lifetime ban.
So please be advised of these rules and regulations. Even if we may not be happy with it, since we are in a different country, let’s follow their system to avoid issues in the future.
Please also understand that in other Muslim countries, especially in the Middle East, similar rules may also apply.
As per AL MAZAR “engaging in premarital sex is not a crime in the Philippines, but in United Arab Emirates it is.
An official also reminded Filipinos in United Arab Emirates that: “Legalize your union or risk jail term, The reminder came when news of a sex out of wedlock case in the UAE made headlines in the Philippines last week. An appeal is under way for such case.
Mr. Paul Raymund Cortes a Consul General for Philippines said “I wish to remind all my fellow Filipinos in Dubai and the Northern Emirates that premarital sex and sex outside wedlock is against UAE law. It is punishable by 3 to 6 months imprisonment and eventual deportation,”
Although this fact is well known in the UAE, a number of couples still end up behind bars for this violation, not only Filipinos but also other nationalities.
The Attorney Barney Mr. ALMAZAR, a licensed UAE legal consultant and partner at Gulf Law who helps Filipinos, said the number of Filipinos who seek their legal advice on these matters have not changed over the years. But he said most of them only came to the UAE recently.
“Perhaps there are those who genuinely do not know about it. They are perhaps unaware that there are things we can do in the Philippines that we cannot do here since there are differences in the Philippine and UAE laws,” Almazar told Gulf News.
“My advice to single Filipino men and women who are in a relationship and have plans to live together in future to get married as soon as they can, so they can live as husband and wife. To those who are currently in extramarital (unlawful) relationships, end the existing relationship properly and once you are legally allowed to get married again, do it,” AL MAZAR said.
“It’s not just complying with the law, it’s also being fair with the other partner.”
The Assistance-To-Nationals Section of the Philippine Consulate provides help to Filipino expats in distress but there are limitations (limits) to what it can do. The government of Philippine has instituted a Legal Assistance Fund (LAF) to help overseas Filipinos for their litigation expenses, court fees, bail bonds etc., but there are some guidelines and conditions to follow.
Those who are entitled to LAF (Legal Assistance Fund) are Filipinos accused of murder (killing) or any case that has a sentence of life imprisonment or death.
Exceptional circumstances are taken into consideration depending on approvals from the Department of Foreign Affairs’ Manila office.