Divorce rates skyrocket in Abu Dhabi

Published May 11th, 2016 - 08:05 GMT
Divorce rates are on the rise in UAE. (Shutterstock)
Divorce rates are on the rise in UAE. (Shutterstock)

The top five nationalities of non-Emirati women who have been divorced by Emirati men has been revealed by Abu Dhabi Judicial Department, with Yemeni and Moroccan women leading at the top.

During a conference held at the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department on Tuesday, Dr Gamal Mohammed Ibrahim, Statistical Analyst, highlighted the top nationalities of women who were divorced by Emirati men in 2015.

He pointed out that 86 were from Yemen, 48 from Morocco, 23 from Oman, 20 from Egypt, 15 from Syria, 12 from Saudi Arabia, 11 from Jordan, 11 from Comoros Islands, 10 from Palestine and 125 other nationalities.

The heated topic on Emirati men marrying non-Emirati women has certainly been on the rise, as members from the Federal National Council (FNC) also debated the issue back in April, stressing that such rising figures can "affect the population ratio", as stated by Hamad Al Rahoomi, an FNC member from Dubai.

Al Rahoomi highlighted that Emirati men marrying non-Emirati women reached 57 per cent in Dubai, 28.8 per cent in Abu Dhabi and 39.8 per cent in Ajman, raising the question: "If Emirati men marry foreign women, then who will Emirati women marry?"

Although the topic on mixed marriages has often been discussed, so has the issue on the rise in divorces. However, Dr Ibrahim stressed that divorce rates in the UAE, particularly, in Abu Dhabi, have been somewhat misinterpreted by the society, as well as on social media, as statistical numbers "are not as high as people are making them out to be." Divorce rates have been on the rise to a certain degree, as the average divorce rate in Abu Dhabi for expats was 0.7 for every 1,000 people in 2014, whereas for Emirati men it hit 13 for every 1,000, and 11 for every 1,000 Emirati women.

Therefore, in total, the number of divorces for both Emiratis as well as expats in 2014 was1.3 for every 1,000 people in Abu Dhabi. Furthermore, 75 per cent of those who were divorced had no family relations. Divorce rates by years also revealed that in 2012 a total number of 1,148 divorces took place in the Capital, whereas in 2013 the numbers went up to 1,248.

In 2014, numbers were slightly higher than the previous year, as they came to 1,287, although numbers dropped in 2015, by reaching 1,175.

By Jasmine Al Kuttab

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