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United Arab Emirates

Population size: 

9,770,529 (2019) [1]

Number of people experiencing domestic abuse each year:

No exact data found as the UAE does not regularly publish crime statistics. However, in 2018, the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children reported assisting with 1,027 cases which included 526 reports of domestic violence. In 58% of cases, there was an element of financial abuse. [2]

No research on male victims or other gender identities.

Cost of domestic abuse to the economy each year:

No research.

Estimated % change due to COVID-19:

No research.

Current law and policy:

The UAE does not have any specific laws to address domestic abuse. It is a signatory to the UN Convention on the Elimination of any form of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). The government does mandate public officials to publish statistics to prevent domestic violence in the country. The criminal law recognises the crime of assault which would include physical domestic abuse. However, the police are not trained on this type of assault and there is no specific way to register a complaint. Furthermore, Article 53 of the UAE Criminal Law allows the husband to chastise his wife or children to a certain degree as permitted under the Sharia Law. In addition, Article 56 of the UAE personal Status Law requires the wife to obey her husband’s command.

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[1] The World Bank, (1).

[2] “Domestic violence laws strengthened in the UAE for greater protection” Hassan Elhais (25 December 2019)