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Divorce rate among Emiratis down in Abu Dhabi

Multiple wives, being related and infertility not major causes for divorce, expert says

Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Divorce rates among Emirati couples have gone down by 8.7 per cent in Abu Dhabi last year in comparison with 2014, a top statistician at the Electronic Litigation and Registration Department said on Tuesday.

This number represents divorces that either took place or were registered at the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department’s Family Guidance Division by couples consisting of one or two Emirati nationals.

Around 33 per cent of divorces among UAE nationals in the emirate of Abu Dhabi took place within the first year of marriage. Additionally, 60 per cent of divorced husbands and 64 per cent of divorced wives have a high school degree or lower educational qualification.

“Divorce statistics are often measured and interpreted incorrectly either by individuals or private companies. Additionally, understanding the reasons and behind the numbers and whether the figures are plausible is imperative in forming a clear understanding of our society,” said Dr Jamal Mohammad Ebrahim, statistician at the Electronic Registration and Litigation Department.

Last year also saw 1,139 children falling victim to divorced parents, the expert revealed.

Around 72 per cent of Emirati women divorced in 2015 in the emirate were aged between 15-35 while 24.4 per cent of them were between 25 to 30 years old.

Last year saw 69 cases where divorced Emirati men were 60 years old or older and only 17 Emirati women were of the same age.

“Contrary to popular belief, having multiple wives, infertility and marrying a relative were not some of the major reasons for divorce as far as we have seen,” he said. The three major causes of divorce in 2014 were disagreement (17 per cent), having different moods (5.5 per cent) and temperaments and a high number of problems within the marriage (4.9 per cent).

Only 25 per cent of Emiratis divorced in 2015 were related before marriage.

Only 3.1 per cent of divorce cases that took place or were registered at Family Guidance offices in 2014 were due to a decision by the man to take another wife.

In fact, chances of men getting a divorce go down if they are married more than once, Dr Ebrahim found.

“The correct manner to calculate the percentage of divorce is to look at marriage breakdowns taking place in correspondence with the year in which the couple was married. It is incorrect to simply divide the number of divorces in 2015 with the number of marriages that took place in the same year and multiply it by 100 to get the statistic,” he clarified.

Finally, 35 per cent of divorced men were under the age of 30 while 50 per cent of divorced women were under the same age.

“This makes sense because most women get married at a younger age than men,” Dr Ebrahim said.

The statistics do not include marriages that are not registered at the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department.

Number of foreign women divorced from Emirati men in Abu Dhabi in 2015:

86 (23.82%) Yemen

48 (13.30%) Morocco

23 (6.37) Oman

20 (5.54) Egypt

15 (4.16) Syria

12 (3.32) Saudi Arabia

11 (3.05%) Jordan

11 (3.05%) Comoro Islands

10 (2.77%) Palestine

125 (34.63%) other nationalities