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Domestic Violence in Dubai: Forms and Consequences

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Domestic violence is a serious crime that affects millions of individuals worldwide, regardless of their social, economic, or cultural backgrounds. In Dubai, the government has taken great strides to address the issue and protect its citizens from the harmful effects of domestic violence.

This blog section aims to provide an in-depth understanding of what domestic violence is, the different forms it takes, and the punishments meted out for such offences in Dubai.

Understanding Domestic Violence

Domestic violence refers to any abusive behaviour or pattern of coercive control exhibited by one person against another within a domestic or intimate relationship. This may include physical, emotional, psychological, sexual, or financial abuse and is not limited to acts of violence against women alone. Men, children, and the elderly can also be victims of domestic violence.

Forms of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence can come in many forms, including:

1. Physical Abuse

This involves the use of force or violence against a person, leading to bodily harm, injury, or even death. Examples include hitting, slapping, punching, choking, pushing, or using weapons.

2. Emotional/Psychological Abuse

This form of abuse is characterised by a pattern of behaviour that undermines the victim’s self-esteem, confidence, and mental well-being. Examples include belittling, humiliating, constant criticism, isolation from friends and family, and controlling one’s movements and decisions.

3. Sexual Abuse

This involves any unwanted or forced sexual activity without the victim’s consent. It may include rape, sexual assault, or forcing the victim to engage in degrading or humiliating acts.

4. Financial Abuse

This type of abuse occurs when one partner controls the other’s access to financial resources, effectively rendering them financially dependent. Examples include withholding money, controlling spending, or preventing the victim from working or pursuing an education.

Punishments for Domestic Violence in Dubai

Dubai’s legal system is based on Islamic Sharia law, which takes domestic violence very seriously. The punishments for domestic violence in Dubai can be severe, and they are designed to deter potential abusers and protect the victims:

1. Imprisonment

Perpetrators of domestic violence can face imprisonment for varying periods, depending on the severity of the abuse. The length of the sentence is determined by the judge and may range from a few months to several years.

2. Fines

In addition to imprisonment, abusers may also be required to pay monetary fines. The amount of the fine is determined by the judge and is meant to compensate the victim for the harm caused by the abuse.

3. Deportation

In cases where the perpetrator is a non-UAE national, they may be deported from the country after serving their prison sentence.

4. Restraining Orders

The court may issue a restraining order to protect the victim from further abuse. This order prohibits the perpetrator from contacting, harassing, or coming within a certain distance of the victim.

5. Custody and Parental Rights

In cases involving children, the court may revoke the abuser’s custody or visitation rights to protect the children from further harm.


Domestic violence is a grave offence that has devastating effects on its victims and society as a whole. As such, Dubai has stringent laws and punishments in place to address this issue, ensuring the protection and safety of its citizens. That said, it is essential for victims to seek help from the authorities or support organisations and for society to play an active role in raising awareness about domestic violence and its consequences. And, if you find yourself to be a victim of domestic abuse, we highly recommend reaching out to the authorities and working with a professional lawyer to ensure you get the compensation that you deserve.

Established in 1993, Al Kabban & Associates aimed to offer outstanding legal services in the UAE. Boasting more than 30 years of expertise, the firm has demonstrated its effectiveness and comprehension of the legal system and its structure. If you are looking for the best law firms in Dubai, work with us today!


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