Is Divorce Legal in Dubai?


The legal landscape around divorce can vary significantly from one country to another. In Dubai, a cosmopolitan and rapidly developing city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), divorce is allowed, but it operates under a unique legal framework that aligns with the principles of Islamic law. This article delves into the topic of divorce in Dubai, discussing its legal aspects, procedures, and implications.

Understanding the Legal Framework

Dubai’s legal system is rooted in Islamic law, also known as Sharia law. Under Sharia law, divorce is permitted, but it has its own set of rules and procedures. The family court system in Dubai is responsible for handling divorce cases.

Grounds for Divorce

In Dubai, like many other places, divorce can be initiated by either party in a marriage. The reasons for seeking divorce can vary but often include irreconcilable differences, abandonment, abuse, or adultery. It’s important to consult with legal experts to understand how these reasons might apply to your specific situation.

The Role of Sharia Law

Sharia law plays a fundamental role in divorce proceedings in Dubai. It influences how assets are divided, alimony is determined, and child custody is arranged. As such, it’s crucial to be aware of the principles of Sharia law and how they may impact your divorce.

Types of Divorce

In Dubai, there are several types of divorce, each with its own legal implications:

  1. Talaq: This is the most common form of divorce, initiated by the husband. It involves a series of pronouncements over a specified period, with the final pronouncement resulting in divorce.
  2. Khula: This is a divorce initiated by the wife, where she agrees to pay compensation to the husband in exchange for her freedom.
  3. Faskh: This is a judicial divorce granted by a Sharia court when one party can prove that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.

Divorce Procedures

The specific procedures for divorce in Dubai can vary based on the type of divorce and the circumstances. However, in most cases, the process involves the following steps:

  1. Consulting with Legal Experts: Seek advice from experienced lawyers who specialize in family law and are well-versed in the nuances of Dubai’s legal system.
  2. Filing a Case: You or your legal representative will need to file a divorce case with the family court.
  3. Mediation: The court may require mediation sessions to explore the possibility of reconciliation.
  4. Court Hearings: If mediation fails, the court will conduct hearings to consider evidence and make a decision.
  5. Issuance of the Divorce Decree: If the court determines that divorce is the appropriate course of action, a divorce decree will be issued.

Implications of Divorce

Divorce in Dubai can have profound implications for both parties. It can affect financial matters, property division, child custody, and more. Understanding your rights and responsibilities during and after divorce is crucial.


In conclusion, divorce is indeed legal in Dubai, but it is governed by the principles of Sharia law. The legal procedures can be complex, and it is advisable to seek legal counsel to navigate the process effectively. Understanding the legal framework, the grounds for divorce, and the types of divorce available are essential steps in making informed decisions about divorce in Dubai.


1. Can expatriates get a divorce in Dubai?

  • Yes, expatriates can get a divorce in Dubai, but the process may involve complexities related to residency and nationality.

2. How long does it take to get a divorce in Dubai?

  • The duration of a divorce in Dubai can vary based on the complexity of the case and whether the parties involved can reach an amicable agreement.

3. Are prenuptial agreements recognized in Dubai?

  • Prenuptial agreements are recognized in Dubai, but their enforceability can depend on various factors and should be reviewed by legal experts.

4. What happens to child custody after divorce in Dubai?

  • Child custody decisions are made in accordance with Sharia law and the best interests of the child. It’s important to consult with legal experts to understand the specifics of your case.

5. Can a non-Muslim marry a Muslim in Dubai, and what are the implications for divorce?

  • A non-Muslim can marry a Muslim in Dubai, but divorce proceedings may be subject to the principles of Sharia law, which can impact property division and child custody. Legal guidance is crucial in such cases.

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