The new legislation will also decriminalise the consumption of alcohol…

The UAE Government has announced an ammendment to some of its personal and family laws, in a bid to improve the living standards for the country’s multicultural residents.

Effective immediately, the ammendments cover a range of laws, which according to The National, include divorce, unmarried couples cohabiting, women’s rights and alcohol consumption.

Now men and women who are not married or related will be free to live together without any repercussions. Though instances of prosecutions are rare, the law has relaxed to allow flatmates and couples to share a home legally.

Drinking alcohol will also no longer be an offence. Residents will no longer need an alcohol license to consume alcohol in a private or authorised space. Individuals must still be over the age of 21 to purchase or consume alcohol.

Additional changes to the law apply to couples undergoing divorce, where the laws of the country where the marriage took place will be now used, if the wedding wasn’t in the UAE.

Punishments will be tougher on men who harrass women, including street harrassment and stalking, with severe concequences for someone who commits an act of rape.

Several other law changes related to the court system, inheritance, judical procudure and mental health have been outlined, with more details expected to follow.