Dubai Court
The facade of the Dubai Court. Image Credit: Gulf News

Dubai: A nine-year-old boy, who was abducted by his father from Malaysia to Dubai, will be reunited with his mother after a Dubai Court custody ruling in her favour.

After a one-year legal battle in Dubai, the boy will join his 38-year-old mother as soon as the travel restrictions due to COVID-19 are lifted.

A ruling issued on April 12 by the Dubai Court of Personal Status awarded custody of the child to his Malaysian mother.

“The case was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction by the courts of first instance and appeal,” Emirati lawyer Awatif Khouri Mohammed from Al Rowaad Advocates representing the mother told the court.

“The cassation court then overturned the rulings and ordered the referral of the case to a new panel of judges at the court of first instance,” she said.

Judges were told that after the couple divorced in their home country two years ago, the 45-year-old Malaysian father had taken the boy on a fake vacation to Dubai before he stopped responding to the child’s mother in December 2018.

“After he arrived with the boy to Dubai, he sent a message to the mother that he was breaking her heart by taking the boy away and that he had got a travel ban issued against the boy to keep him here,” said Awatif to court.

The mother filed the custody case against her ex-husband in Dubai which was dismissed by the courts of first instance and appeal before being heard again in the first instance court following the ruling of the cessation court.

In a court hearing earlier this month, judges were told the father had not been providing for his family prior to the couple’s divorce.

A witness who was flown from Malaysia to testify informed judges how the father had signed the official document to send the boy back to his mother but instead held him back.

Judges heard how the husband had asked the witness to testify against the ex-wife.

Following the lawyer’s argument, the custody was awarded to the mother but her reunion with the son was halted as flights were suspended to fight a spread of coronavirus.

“We are currently trying to facilitate the boy’s return to his mother in Malaysia in these exceptional times,” Awatif said.

In his ruling, presiding judge Faraj Mousa Al Galawi said that even without a request from her, the mother is the most deserving of the custody of her young son.

“The legislator was keen on keeping custody of youngsters to mothers because mothers are more compassionate and patient in caring for their children during their first years,” said judge Al Galawi who ordered to cancel the boy’s travel ban issued by the father, return him to his mother and hand over his passport to her.