United Arab Emirates - Photo: Unsplash

United Arab Emirates

Though Emiratis are conservative, the U.A.E. is one of the most liberal countries in the Persian Gulf. Other cultures and beliefs are generally tolerated, especially in Dubai, the capital. Islam is the state religion, and all of the country's citizens are considered Muslim. Non-Muslim men are not allowed to marry Muslim women. In 2013, a Norwegian woman was sentenced to 16 months in prison for having unlawful sex, making false statements and illegal consumption of alcohol after reporting she was raped by another foreigner. Calls for political change in 2011 brought the establishment of a parliament with full legislative powers.

United Arab Emirates allows only foreign Christians to worship freely. Though there is no law against evangelism, the government has been known to arrest, imprison and deport those who try to spread their faith. Several Christian medical agencies are allowed to operate, but evangelistic work must remain underground. Today, there is a small but growing body of Emirati believers.

Country Information

9,856,612 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Emirati (11.6), South Asian (59.4), other (12.8)

Religion (%)
Muslim (76), Christian (9), other (15)

President Khalifa bin Zayid Al-Nuhayyan (2004)

Government type
Federation of monarchies

Legal system
Mixed legal system of Islamic law and civil law

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for the United Arab Emirates

Pray that new opportunities will yield a spiritual hunger for the truth and not just the trappings of a wealthy lifestyle.

Pray that the Emirati body of believers will enjoy steady growth as they remain faithful to Christ.


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United Arab Emirates News

  • Americans Arrested for Distributing Literature in Dubai (Correction)

    A source close to the situation in Dubai has informed The Voice of the Martyrs that some of the details reported by us and numerous other news sources this week on the arrest of two Americans in Dubai were inaccurate. Apparently one of their pastors got some of his information mixed up and this was,

  • Women Return Safely from Dubai
    Vivian Gilmer
    Last week, The Voice of the Martyrs reported on the detention and imminent deportation of two American women from Dubai, UAE after they were arrested for distributing Christian literature. According to a report from the Baptist Press, their passports were returned on March 2 and they w...
  • Americans Arrested for Distributing Literature in Dubai
    Vivian Gilmer

    Two Southern Baptist ladies are being held under house arrest in Dubai after being arrested for illegally distributing Bibles and other Christian literature. 72-year-old Vivian Gilmer of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and Marie Bush, 55, from Waxahachie, Texas were detained in Dubai on F

  • Pastor Given Suspended Sentence

    A Filipino pastor has been found guilty of "Abusing Islam and Christian Missionary Activity" in Dubai, UAE. He received a suspended sentenced, deportation and confiscation of seized materials except the Bible. The only witness against him, an Egyptian man to whom Rev. Alconga had given Christian lite