New Delhi: In a major remodelling of the stringent Islamic personal laws of the middle-eastern country, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Saturday announced that unmarried couples are now allowed to cohabitate, loosening alcohol restrictions on those above the age of 21. The government also decided to criminalize the so-called “honour killings.”Also Read - Israel Condemns Terrorist Attacks on Abu Dhabi; Sends Condolences to India

The amendment, an enormous boost for women in the UAE, was announced in order to improve the living standards of a country that witnesses a multicultural background especially in its skyscraper-studded destination of Dubai. Also Read - Travelling to India From UAE? Follow These Updated Travel Guidelines

The government’s decision also follows a historic deal between the UAE and Israel, mediated by the US to normalize relations and bring in an influx of Israeli tourists and investment. Also Read - Hundreds Saved After Collision Between Two India-Bound Flights On Same Runway Averted At Dubai Airport

The new law, effective immediately, includes a range of changes including scrapping penalties for alcohol consumption, sales and possession without a license for anyone above 21, cohabitation of unmarried couples, women’s rights and divorce.

As a result, men and women who are not married or related but wish to live together can do so without any repercussions.

Additionally, the government announced that there will be more stringent punishment on men who harass women, including stalking.