An LGBTI guide to the world: United Arab Emirates

The ratings are:

  • Green: In line with world best-practice
  • Amber: Lagging behind world best-practice
  • Red: There’s major issues here

Is it legal to be gay?

  • Red.
  • There are seven separate Emirates that come together to form the United Arab Emirates.
  • The penal code of the United Arab Emirates specifies that same-sex sexual relations between men is an offence punishable by death.

Is there anti-discrimination legislation in place?

  • Red.
  • No protection — it is illegal to be gay.

Is there marriage equality?

  • Red.
  • No equality – it is illegal to be gay.

What’s it like for LGBTI who live there?

  • Red.
  • It is illegal to be gay.
  • Internet access is restricted and monitored. This greatly inhibits LGBT people to identify and community with each other, or access information about LGBT issues or topics of interest.

What’s it like for LGBTI who visit?

  • Red.
  • It is illegal to be gay.
  • Proceed with extreme caution.

Overall rating and comments

  • Red.
  • It is illegal to be gay and same-sex sexual activity is potentially punishable by death.

How you can help

  • Find ways to help publicise the stories and experiences of LGBTI people in United Arab Emirates.
  • Use your networks to raise awareness of the challenges faced by LGBTI people in UAE.
  • Lobby your political representatives to raise concerns regarding UAE’s criminalisation of same-sex sexual activities through any available diplomatic channels.

See the full LGBTI guide to all countries around the world

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