Legal View

UAE: Can my lover and I have both our names on rent contract?

Ashish Mehta/Dubai
Filed on February 21, 2021
Illustrative image:

Live-in relationships have been decriminalised in the UAE.

Question: I have a question regarding my housing contract. I am moving in with my partner and we would like to have the rent contract in both our names. Is it allowed since we are not married?

Related legal question: Can my girlfriend and I cohabitate in UAE?

Answer: Pursuant to your query, it may be noted that till recently in the UAE, engaging in a relationship (sexual) with someone who is not married to you was a criminal offence and hence punishable by law. This is in accordance with Article 356 of the Federal Law No. (3) of 1987 related to Issuance of Penal Code (the Penal Code).

However, in light of a number of legal reforms that have taken place in the UAE recently, amendments have been introduced to the Penal Code, whereby cohabitation without marriage has been decriminalised and is no longer punishable.

ALSO READ: Live-in partners: What’s the legal status of baby born out of wedlock?

In view of the foregoing, if you and your partner move in together, it may not be considered a crime. Further, as individuals, you and your partner may jointly be tenants of a property in the UAE.

Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United Kingdom and India. Full details of his firm on: Readers may e-mail their questions to: or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.

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