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laws regarding pda in dubai you should be aware of as a visitor

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Dubai is a country known for its strict laws when it comes to public displays of affection, specifically "Public Display of Affection" laws. These laws prohibit any physical contact between people who are not married to each other in public. Violators can be punished with fines, jail time, or both.  

The law was originally designed to stop cheating on one's spouse, but now it is used more widely to control public behavior. Singles and couples who are not married can still be fined if they are caught kissing, holding hands, or displaying any kind of intimacy in public. Despite the penalties, many people still openly display their affection in Dubai. The penalties only serve as a deterrent for those who are unruly and do not respect the law. 


Why are PDA laws in Dubai and punishment being enforced? 

  • PDA laws in Dubai and punishment are being enforced because they are considered moral and social guidelines by the government. The penalties for violating these laws vary but generally include a fine, a jail sentence, or both.  
  • Newlyweds can explore new places together without worrying about city laws that could get them in trouble with the government.  When researching travel options, specifically Dubai, and when people started to question how much fun it would be to travel there with a significant other, United Arab Emirates has strict laws regarding public behaviour which includes things like holding hands. 
  • Can you hold hands in Dubai? Yes, when visiting Dubai it is acceptable to hold hands. However, you want to be prepared for an eye roll if you partake in public displays of affection such as kissing or hugging. 
  • It is probably best for foreign visitors to refrain from displays of any sort of affection in public, as this could lead to legal issues. Kissing, hugging, and holding hands are all acceptable when married couples are out in public. A married couple should be able to do so without any problems at all. However, a man and woman who are not married may find their actions directly punishable under the law. 
  • holding hands while out on the town with a significant other is not at all risky. You can walk down a typical city street, participate in public displays of affection, and even hold hands with your husband or wife without any trouble. Be aware of the situation always. And it is worth noting that as long as you are married, people will think PDA between spouses is more acceptable. Otherwise, it can seem like you are out for the night on the town and not just married folk who are holding hands in the privacy of their own home. 
  • Public hand holding isn’t necessary for Dubai, as there are many rules that govern how people should behave with someone of the opposite sex. You can get into trouble for things like kissing or sharing a hotel room with someone of the opposite sex! 
  • Touring Dubai with a spouse or partner of the same sex, one will want to hide their sexuality for safety reasons. The culture in this region is unique, and it's important for travellers to remember that their own values may be surprised when confronted by different ideals. 
  • Keep in mind the following things when travelling to Dubai with a romantic partner: Praying is required for Muslims, intercourse outside of marriage is illegal and should be avoided, and people of the opposite sex should not share a hotel room or mess around on the beach, and passionate PDA isn’t allowed in public. 
  • Dubai is likely a safe environment for you, but it’s important to use common sense and be respectful. For example, public displays of affection are more frowned upon, while nightclubs are more accepting. 



  • Consequences for engaging in public displays of affection vary depending on the severity. Most cases will just result in a warning or fine. But a serious offense can lead to imprisonment and/or deportation. 
  • When PDA is in sight of law enforcement, it can be classified as a warning or a fine. The officer will decide what will happen to the couple, but they should take into account that PDA can have consequences. 
  • Another way you might get in trouble is if someone reports you. Perhaps your behaviour rubbed someone the wrong way and has now decided to report you to the authorities. The authorities will be bound to follow up on the complaint and may feel obliged to take disciplinary action against you. 
  • Dubai is a city that has deep roots in the Islamic religion and Arab culture. Rashid Khalfan al-Mansouri, director general of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, believes that because the traditional views in Dubai are so deeply rooted in Islam and Arab culture, laws can seem conservative to outsiders. 

Is it allowed to stay with partners in Hotels? 

The good news is that it's common to stay in Dubai with your partner and have no issues. If every tourist couple without the same marriage would be punished, then the Dubai tourism industry would yield. 

Worst case scenario, an unmarried couple may have to book separate rooms. Remember that being in a different country is more serious than something like not following protocol, so you may want to prepare for the worst before going abroad. 

If the hotel offers a solution and you need to stay there, do so calmly. You still have other options. You can get two rooms or leave and find another hotel nearby with a vacancy. 

When travelling to Dubai, it’s important to bring your marriage license with you. If you have it, then you’ll avoid getting in trouble when trying to book a hotel room with your partner. 

What to do if you get arrested in Dubai 

If you get put in jail in Dubai, contact the country’s embassy or consulate to find out what to do. The person traveling should make note of contact information for the embassy or consulate before arriving so that there is a backup plan for any circumstance. 


What to remember when visiting Dubai 

As a tourist, you want to avoid trouble by documenting your trip with pictures of landmarks rather than capturing pictures of people without their permission. 

Be sure not to drink in public or drive while the alcohol is still in your system. You will get into trouble in any country you visit, but those living in Dubai need to be particularly careful because their laws about drinking and driving are quite strict. 

If you are seen to be approaching women aggressively or with the intent to harass them, you may either face imprisonment or deportation. 

Men and women should not wear revealing or offensive clothing. It is best to don bathing suits at the beach, but leave something to the imagination. 

Dubai is a primarily Muslim city. During Ramadan, PDA rules are more strictly enforced and it might be difficult to find places to eat due to Muslims fasting from dawn until sunset. 


To avoid getting into trouble, it is important to be aware of the PDA law in Dubai and know how to appropriately behave when out in public. 

Head back home if your surroundings aren’t good. This is especially important when travelling to unfamiliar places; if something feels off, it probably is.

Don't interfere with other people's privacy. This includes touching someone’s arms or legs without invitation, standing too close to them, or placing your hand on their shoulder while talking to them.

Do not be overly intimate with strangers. When it comes to physical contact, do not initiate anything without permission

Do not send sexually explicit or suggestive messages to strangers. Sending inappropriate photos or messages is a violation of the law and can result in fees, fines, and even jail time. 

Avoid indulging in sexual activities with strangers. Even if they seem flirty or want you to take off your clothes, be careful and make sure they are not being coerced or tricked into doing so.6. If you see someone being followed, do not confront them face-to-face; instead, call the police immediately.

To get a visa for Dubai, you can visit Dubai Visit Visa Online. This online site shows an easy process to apply for a visa and gets quick approval. Visitors can choose between different types of visas, including a tourist visa, business visa, and student visa.



In the UAE, PDA laws are in place to protect individuals from sexual assault. If you are caught engaging in any kind of PDA – kissing, holding hands, or even just staring into each other’s eyes – you could be subject to a fine and/or jail time. While these laws may seem draconian at first glance, they are designed to protect both parties involved and help prevent sexual assault from happening in the first place. Thank you for taking the time to read this article; I hope it has provided you with some useful information on the topic. 

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