Although these laws are not stringently enforced in Dubai, unless someone complains to the police, it is wise to tread with caution when it comes to living together or dating in Dubai.
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South Africa's foreign ministry said it was unable to help the couple as it is a matter of domestic UAE law, the South African News24 website reports.
Mr Culverwell’s mother, Linda, said she was unable to get any answers from either the authorities in Abu Dhabi, the South African Embassy in the UAE or the South African consulate there.
Although Dubai is by far the most liberal emirate in the Saudi Arabian peninsula, there is a code of acceptable behavior when you are in public.
Arab traditions in dating are much more conservative than Western norms, so do not automatically assume that what is acceptable in your home country will be considered appropriate in Dubai.
Having said this, dating is common here and dating practices are mostly similar to those in other countries; the biggest difference is that modern dating behavior needs to be balanced with the more conservative Arabic norms of socially acceptable behavior.
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