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Navigating Divorce in Dubai: Understanding the Sharia Law

Home / Family Law / Navigating Divorce in Dubai: Understanding the Sharia Law

Divorce is a painful and emotionally draining experience that nobody wants to go through. However, when it becomes necessary, it is important to understand the legal process and requirements involved.

The Sharia Law and Divorce in Dubai

Sharia law is the Islamic legal system that regulates all aspects of Muslim life, including marriage and divorce. In Dubai, the Sharia law governs all family matters, and it is essential to understand how it works to navigate divorce successfully.

Grounds for Divorce

Under the Sharia law, there are specific grounds that justify divorce. These grounds include:

1. Adultery  

Adultery is a serious breach of trust that can have devastating consequences for marriage. If one or both parties commit adultery, the innocent party has the right to seek a divorce. 

2. Physical or Mental Abuse

Physical abuse is the most visible form of abuse, but it is not the only one. There are also emotional and mental forms of abuse that can be just as damaging. These may include verbal attacks, manipulation and control. 

Victims of abuse often feel trapped and powerless, but seeking a divorce can be important in regaining control of your life.

3. Impotence

If one party is impotent and cannot consummate the marriage, it can lead to frustration, disappointment, and even resentment in the other party. This can also cause problems in the relationship, as physical intimacy is an important part of marriage.

Hence, impotence can create problems in a marriage, and the other party has the right to seek a divorce if the impotence is permanent and incurable. 

Initiating Divorce

Under the Sharia law, either party may initiate divorce by filing a petition with the Personal Status Court. The petition must state the grounds for divorce and provide evidence to support the claim. 

It is important to note that the court may require mediation before granting a divorce.


Under the Sharia law, mediation is encouraged before divorce is granted. When a petition for divorce is filed, the court may appoint a conciliator to mediate the dispute between the parties. The conciliator will attempt to reconcile the parties and resolve the issues that led to the divorce petition.

If the parties are reconciled, the divorce petition will be dismissed. However, if the conciliation fails, the divorce will proceed to trial.


If the mediation fails, the divorce will proceed to trial. The court will hear evidence from both parties and make a decision based on the evidence presented.

The court may grant the divorce if it is satisfied that the grounds for divorce have been established.

Child Custody

Under the Sharia law, child custody is based on the child’s best interests. The court will consider factors such as the child’s age, gender and religion when making a custody decision.

In general, custody is awarded to the mother of young children, and the father has visitation rights. However, the court may award custody to the father if the mother is deemed unfit.


When going through a divorce in Dubai, it’s crucial to be familiar with the Sharia law that governs it. Knowing the reasons why a divorce can be granted, the steps involved in mediation and trial and how child custody is handled will help ensure a successful outcome.

If you need reliable legal consultants in Dubai, Al Kabban & Associates is here to help. Regardless of the area of law, our lawyers are dedicated to achieving the best possible outcome with sophisticated yet practical legal advice. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and find out how we can help you navigate the legal system in Dubai.


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