I am a Muslim lady, married to Muslim man of the same nationality; I have three children aged between 2 and 4 years. Since we got married, my husband has been treating me and my children badly. He spends neither on me nor his sons. According to him, I am a working woman and I do not deserve support and I’m the one who is supposed to spend on the sons. My question here is: Am I entitled to file divorce case before Dubai Sharia Court? Do I have the right to ask the judge to apply UAE law in this case and not our country’s law? If my husband failed to appear before the court, will the judge pass a judgment in the case? As my husband told me that he will not appear before the court and as per Sharia law, no judgment shall be passed in a case if the husband is absent. Please advise me in this regard. I’m working in private company for more than 3 years and I don’t want to lose my job. I’m in my husband’s sponsorship, and in case I get a divorce from the court can I transfer my visa to my company and can I do this process without leaving Dubai.

I would like to clarify to you that you may file a personal status case before Dubai Sharia Court; your file will be transferred to the Family Reform Department in Dubai Court, which will summon the husband legally and try to resolve the matter amicably, in the event of failure to reach an amicable solution to satisfy you, the relevant file will be referred to the competent court to consider the case. With regard to the court, you may prove your requests by all means of proof, including testimony of witnesses. You may ask the court to pass judgment in this case in accordance with the UAE Islamic Sharia Law. But if the husband appeared before the court and requested the court to apply his country’s law, in this case, the court would ask him to provide his country’s law and accordingly the court will pass the judgment. As for the question about the possibility of judgment if your husband failed to appear before the court, I would tell you that the court will ask you to provide it with the husband’s address, as the court whereby will summon him in accordance with the applicable law. If he does not attend, the court will pass the judgment. Finally in case you get a divorce from the court, you can cancel your husband’s visa and transfer to company visa, and this process can be done in Dubai without the need to leave the country.