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New Personal Status Law in Abu Dhabi

New Personal Status Law in Abu Dhabi

The ruler of the Emirates of Abu Dhabi recently issued a law to regulate the personal status disputes of non-Muslims in the said Emirate. This law has been promulgated keeping in mind the best international practices.  Abu Dhabi is the 1st Emirate across the entire UAE that issued civil law for non-Muslims family matters. The major highlights of this law are discussed below-

This law covers all the family disputes relating to the non-Muslim families ranging for marriage, divorce to child custody. It is one of the kind legislation that emphasis on even a very minor details regarding non-muslim.

  • Establishment of First Court

This law provides for the establishment of specialised first court for adjudicating all the family matters of non-Muslim.  The court will operate in both English and Arabic language. This will not only encourage judicial transparency but people would also start taking interest in it.

  • Structure of the Law

The New Law consist of 20 Articles, which are divided into various types namely civil marriage, divorce, joint custody of children and inheritance.  The first chapter deals with the marriage of non-Muslim as per basic civil law which is based on the consent of both Husband and the wife.

The 2nd chapter deals with the divorce proceedings for non-Muslims. It also talked about the rights of the spouses after divorce. The financial grant given to a women generally depends upon various factors such as number of years of marriage, the age of the wife, the economic standing of each of the spouses.

Further, the divorce among non-Muslim couples can now be granted at the first hearing without the need to go to the family guidance department and couples separating will no longer be required to go through mandatory reconciliation sessions.

The third chapter of the new law has introduced a very unique and new concept called “Post Child custody”. As per this concept, the custody is equally shared between husband and the wife. This step has been initiated to protect the  psychological health of the child.

The provisions relating to the inheritance issues and the registration of wills for non-Muslims has been provided in the 4th chapter. Lastly, the 5th chapter regulate the proof of paternity for non-Muslim foreigners.


The new law aims to provide a modern Judicial framework for all the non-Muslims residing in Abu Dhabi to resolve their disputes. This will provide impetus to its earlier commitment of inviting world class talents and competencies acess the Globe. After the enactment of this law,  all the disputes of non-Muslim would be resolved as per the culture, language and tradition.

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