Saudi Arabia is known for its strict laws and cultural customs, one of which prohibits cohabitation without a marriage contract, well, at least if you’re not Cristiano Ronaldo.
The legendary Portuguese football player, Ronaldo, recently sealed a multi-million euro move to the Middle East, signing a 2.5-year contract worth €200 million per year with the Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr FC. He moved to Saudi with his girlfriend, Spanish supermodel cum social media influencer, Georgina Rodriguez. Many people are wondering if they will be allowed to live together in the country.
The ex-Manchester United player and Rodriguez have been together since 2017 and have three kids together, but are yet to get married. However, Saudi legal experts confirmed the Saudi authorities would “turn a blind eye” to accommodate the footballer, allowing him and his partner to settle into their first 17-room luxury property, which costs a whopping £250,000 a month.
A Spanish media reported that Ronaldo is unlikely to be punished as he is a marketable athlete. “The Saudi Arabian authorities, today, do not interfere in this matter in the case of foreigners, but the law continues to prohibit cohabitation outside of marriage,” a Saudi lawyer stated. This has raised endless questions about high-profile individuals being treated differently under the law compared to the general public.
In Saudi’s defense, another lawyer assured, “Although the laws still prohibit cohabitation without a marriage contract, the authorities have begun to turn a blind eye and not persecute anyone. Of course, these laws are used when there is a problem or a crime.”
Moreover, Saudi Arabian laws differ significantly from those of Europe and can be much stricter, particularly in the areas of criminal justice, human rights, women’s rights, LGBT rights, and religious freedom. Rodrguez, in particular, will have to adhere to the country’s dress codes, which require women to dress conservatively and cover their shoulders and knees in public.
However, it is important to note that Saudi Arabia has been taking steps in recent years to modernize and open up to the rest of the world, so the laws and customs may change in the future.
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