A panel discussion underway at the Sharjah Family Forum. Image Credit: Aghaddir Ali/Gulf News

Sharjah: The Family Reform and Guidance Centre at the Sharjah Family Court was able to resolve 60 per cent of 3,000 family disputes in 2023.

The figure was revealed on the sidelines of the third Sharjah Family Forum last week. Dr Radhya Hassan Al Raisi, head of the centre, told Gulf News that Sharjah receives the highest number of cases involving family problems in the UAE. Most disputes are simple, but they tend to be exaggerated by spouses, she added.

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“This is why reconciliation remains the most preferred route when disputes arise between spouses,” Dr Radhya said, pointing out that only 30 per cent of the cases received by the Centre were referred to the judiciary last year.

She added that the Center offers counselling for cases that come to court in the pre-divorce stage to discourage them from separating. Dr Radhya said the guidance and family reform service is conducted either in the presence of the two parties at the Family Forum Centre or in the Family Court, or the session is held remotely.

Family Forum

The third Sharjah Family Forum was held in the presence of Abdullah bin Sultan bin Awad Al Nuaimi, Minister of Justice and Chairman of the Federal Judicial Council. It was hosted by the Sharjah Police Science Academy hosted the and organised by the Sharjah Federal Court of First Instance under the slogan ‘Innovation in resolving family disputes’. Speaking to Gulf News on the sidelines of the Forum, Major General Saif Al Zari Al Shamsi, Commander-in-Chief of Sharjah Police, said police efforts are often in coordination judicial procedures as the challenges and solutions in family life are shared by all parties. He said the Forum was held with the aim of helping reduce family problems and their negative effects on society, in coordination with the administrative structures in the Sharjah, represented by the Department of Social Services and Family Development.

Mohammed Al Kaabi, President of the Sharjah Federal Court of First Instance, said: “The third family forum came with the aim of presenting innovative ideas for resolving family disputes, especially since the Ministry of Justice has more than one innovative project that seeks to reduce divorce cases and increase reconciliation cases to prevent them from reaching the courts.”

Brigadier General Mohammad Khamis Al Othmani, Director of the Academy of Police Sciences, told Gulf News: “A building built on a strong foundation will have a 100 per cent positive outcome. To create positive elements to achieve comprehensive development, it is necessary to organise these forums that shed light on experiences, to benefit from them and find appropriate solutions.”

Brig Gen Al Othmani put forward a recommendation to rehabilitate the inmate, who is head of the family, by securing work for the inmate after release from the penal and correctional institution.


In 2016, the Ministry of Justice launched Family Guidance Services and in 2022 the service was upgraded using artificial intelligence, resulting in a virtual family counsellor service called ‘Ask Adel’.

Also, there are seven consultants, who speak Arabic and English, available round the clock. Community members can access the service through home page of the Ministry of Justice, by clicking on ‘Ask Adel’ and accessing the service by using UAE Pass to log in.

Questions can be submitted in writing or voice message, which is easier for people of determination.