What does the law say about what is and is not acceptable to wear in the UAE?
According to article 2 of the Federal Penal Code, no person is to be held responsible for another's crime, and a suspect is innocent until proven guilty.
UAE law does not specify certain acceptable clothes, but in general specifies that clothes should not be sexually provocative, which could affect the harmony between the country's various nationalities.
The law stipulates that the rights of people should be protected and their liberties should not be violated by acts that breach public conduct.
What do the UAE's laws say about indecent exposure? What constitutes indecent exposure?
The law does not specify what indecent exposure is, but there is a minimum that should not be exceeded.
For example, it is forbidden to go out in underwear whether on the streets, in hotels or public places.
Clothes should not be sexually provocative, according to the standards of the common man.
What are the penalties for indecent exposure under UAE law?
Nudity is a violation of public conduct, which everyone must respect regardless of who they are, without prejudice to personal liberties.
Article 358 of the penal code stipulates that anyone who commits a lewd act in violation of public decency is to be punished by a jail term of no less than six months.
This term becomes no less than one year if he commits the act with a girl or boy below the age of 15, even if the act was not committed in public. Nudity is punishable by a jail sentence.
Are there any laws restricting public display of affection?
It depends on how public display of affection is defined.
Walking hand-in-hand or with an arm over a woman's shoulder or vice-versa is allowed in the UAE, but what is not allowed is indulging in sexual behaviour.
The criterion here is general public conduct.
Does application of this law differ between married and unmarried couples?
The law does not distinguish between married and unmarried couples when it comes to public display of affection, because other people do not know whether the couple is married or not.
Are laws regarding public display of affection universally applied? Is it permitted to display affection in bars and clubs?
There is a difference between public and private places when it comes to public display of affection.
Nightclubs, for example, are places [that are known for such behaviour]. Besides, other people do not get to see them, and thus the society is far from this behaviour.
What does the law say about consumption of alcohol in public?
It is not allowed to consume alcohol in the UAE except in designated and licensed places, and it is not allowed to be in public under the influence of alcohol.
What does the law say about unmarried couples living together?
Unmarried couples are not allowed to live together under one roof, and punishment for this act can reach a one-year sentence in jail if all sides were consenting.
If one side was forced, the punishment can reach the death sentence, especially if the victim was under 14 years of age.