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Divorce In The United Arab Emirates

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Sociology
Wordcount: 1914 words Published: 18th Apr 2017

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Nowadays, divorce is considered as one of the most important issues that we face in our modern society where it deeply affects the social and financial structures of the country. Our religion has always considered the stability of the marriage as one of its main goals; in other words, marriage should be held in high regards. In addition, the sanctity of marriage must be protected forever unless there are problems that come across a couple’s life for which there is no solution beside divorce.

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Statistical reports show that the divorce rate is quiet high in the gulf region which proves that governments are not finding sufficient solutions for this problem. However, the United Arab Emirates governments realized the seriousness of this phenomenon on the families and society and began working on the problem especially in the recent years since divorce rates have increased radically and continue to rise; Divorce has become a vital issue as it affects the lives of families, causing pain, damages and destroying relationships. In other words divorce aftermaths are so serious that it could change your life drastically. These are some of the reasons that made me choose this sensitive topic. Why is divorce happening nowadays more commonly, even in the first years of marriage? What will happen if divorce rates continue to rise? Are there new reasons for divorce which are related to the country development?

In this research paper, I will analyze this problem while searching for answers to

such questions that will help to find solution in order to decrease the rate of divorce and to improve people lives. In addition, I will examine each part of this problem and the different views from the parents, the children and the family. Moreover, I will suggest some methods that may help avoid this problem.

Literature Reviews:

Abdualrazeq Maliki(2001) states that divorce phenomenon in the UAE society has interacting factors that may vary in their severity and impact on divorce problem. Maliki believes that some of the factors which help increased the divorce rates were changes that have taken place in the social and economic field; modernization. He Points out that modernization created a new side in our society which made a divergence between its members, especially member of a Family as husband and wife.

Halim Barakat (1993) agrees with Maliki as the modernization has a deep effect in our society as he says “Old patterns of marriage and divorce are being slowly replaced by new ones. Different sets of relationships are developing between family and society”. He adds “However, young men and women show less alienation from the family than from any other social institution, is it religious, political, or social”.

2-Divorce Reasons:

In our modern time statics proved that divorce is increasing year by year although the rates didn’t reach the highest registered rate in the last 30 years, but in recent years it is increasing rapidly. For example, the first graph shows the total divorce rates as a percentage of marriages in Gulf countries, where United Arab Emirates has a 34.84% in 1995 which is one of the highest percentages in gulf. While in 2006 it recorded 18.88% which was a great development in almost 10 years, but unexpectedly it shoots up to 25.62% in 2007 and continues to rise in 2008 to 25.74% as the second graph shows.

Such an increase made us search for eligible reason for it although the reasons may vary from every individual but the main common reasons are different background, arranged marriage and early marriage, modernization.

Different Background:

One of the most common causes of divorce that the people are not aware of is the different backgrounds of the married couple this is due to their belief that love can conquer all obstacles. “The Emirates Economist also reported that mixed marriages (i.e., marrying a foreigner) are considered as one of the causes of high rate of divorce in the UAE” ( ). In other words, people who are different in culture, economic class and religious believe, in addition to social status.

The culture background is a big hurdle in every marriage and essentially it’s the first reason for disputes, this comes from the difference of opinion between the couple were each one think they are right because of the way their parents raised them which ultimately affected the way the behave and think, for instance, when an emarati marries a woman from Europe they would often fight about cultural matters like how she should dress, be more conservative towards strangers and many more problems arises which finally can lead only to divorce.

Although the wealth of a person is usually said that it’s not important in front of love but the sad truth is it’s an important factor that can make life easy or hard, this often is present when two different person with different lifestyles marries, where one partner can’t keep with the other financially satisfied and starts to complain about it which in turns will lead to many disagreements where money is involved and a situation of unrest follows. Also this difference may affect their children, for instance,

“If the husband came from a poor family which had to struggle for everything, and the mother came from a wealthy family, then they might have different ways that they want to raise their children. The father may want to be tougher on the children and enforce strict rules on them. This is the way he was raised by his parents. The mother may be less strict and have completely different views on how to raise children. As a result, each parent may struggle to have their own way over the children. It would turn into a fight over power. It could eventually lead to divorce”(). Some may argue that parents from different background will have a good effective on their children since they get to know more than one culture. However, if the parents have a good communication they will able to avoid problems that may end with divorce.

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Religion plays a vital role in everyone’s spiritual and mental health, where faith can make a person strong to face the difficulties of life and continue to accept the challenges presented to them, this being said a couple with different religion can cause lots and lots of various problems mainly the faith of the child or even the certain necessities of a religion like wearing hijab for women, if such problem were not resolved in time the marriage would definitely collapse and a family would break with divorce.

The difference in social status between the couples is a major problem which often leads to family complications where both families don’t accept the marriage that will occur or even after marriage, where the family decides to cut all relations between the couples, this will leave the couples with a big challenge because no matter who you love nothing can beat the love of your family and losing it will make you resort to the last solution to return your family ties which is divorce.

Arranged Marriage:

Marriage is

Early Marriage:

One of the important causes of divorce in the United Arab Emirates is early marriage, which remains as one of the country’s tradition. Although the education level has risen in the UAE, but this didn’t prevent the practice of early marriage in the country. However, Many researches disagree as they say “Universal, early marriage is no longer the Standard it once was in Arab countries: The average age at marriage for both men and women is generally rising, and more Arab women are staying single longer or not marrying at all” ( ). It’s true that early marriage is on decline but it still continues to occur and contribute in raising divorce , according to booz&co journal, ” Our society is partly responsible for the high divorce rates as a lot of couples marry quickly without any chance to know each other, so in reality they are like strangers and there is no communication between them” Furthermore, early marriage can affect couples life causing divorce for many reasons such as, the lack of communication and experience, also lack of independence.

Early marriage is one of the reasons that lead girls to leave school and start a new life in which they don’t have enough responsibilities in addition to limited awareness of what marriage is and how to deal with it, which lead to miscommunication with the other partner. Many researches agree that lack of communication is the main cause of divorce, “communication is the revealing of thoughts or ideas and is an important aspect of all relationships”().As in our society the reason of the bad communication between the couples is that” many boys and girls need to interact with the opposite sex, since their upbringing and schooling have in most instances been strictly gender segregated”(booz&co). Furthermore, marriage in a young age may lack the experience that is required in dealing with problems that couples may face, since these young couples don’t have a lot of things to experience and learn from it before getting married.

In addition, in our region many families support their married sons financially which will encourage them to depend on their parents without realizing that marriage represent independence. Also it will reduce their responsibility award their new life. In contrast other families may not help their sons with money, which will leave the new couple facing debts in a very early age. “Consequently, money problems resulting from premature marriages can also cause divorce”( ).


Modernization is the “Transformation of a society from a rural and agrarian condition to a secular, urban, and industrial one” ( ). In other words, modernization means the great development that happened suddenly to change a country from many ways. For example, the United Arab Emirates witnessed a huge improvement in many sectors such as economy, education and medication fields. Although these changes have a positive impact on the society, but it also have a harmful influence that can contribute to high divorce rates. According to ( ) ” Modernization and economic development have been cited as one of the factors leading to divorce in Western societies (Heaton, Cammack, & Young). Similarly, the economic boom in the UAE, which is associated with rapid modernization and globalization has affected individual lifestyles and family values as well”. So the impact of modernization has been proofed through the increasing numbers of families that have changed their lifestyle to have more urbane life than traditional one. Furthermore, this changing affects the society as it adds new reasons for divorce like women seeking independence in addition to the increase of demands of a marriage.

First of all, the greatest change that occur through modernization is the female education and


In conclusion, there are many reasons for getting divorce but the most common one is the lack of communication between the married couples; lack of communication can destroys any kind of relationships in which will impact the socity as a whole.


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