UAE officials highlight importance of stable marriages, seek to reduce divorce rates

Ismail Sebugwaawo /Abu Dhabi Filed on September 6, 2021

A recent survey revealed that 62 per cent of Emirati couples in Abu Dhabi face divorce during the first four years of marriage

In an effort to reduce Abu Dhabi's divorce rates, UAE officials have recommended pre-marriage counselling and the need for special legislations on family rights.

A virtual council on ‘Family Cohesion and Safety’, organized by the Abu Dhabi Police, highlighted the importance of married couples staying together for family stability, success, building trust in society and children’s well-being.

Dhirar Belhoul Al Falasi, a member of the Federal National Council (FNC), said couples must be educated on marriage affairs before they tie the knot.

He highlighted the efforts made by the Watani Al Emarat Foundation in educating couples and other community members about the role of the family in community service and the importance of promoting the values of respect for elders, the culture of family counselling and family compassion.

“We must be inspired by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan for the importance he attached to preserving national, societal and family values. We should go back to our culture like in the past, which involved an extended and large family because of its great role in establishing values, ethics and right behaviors among new couples,” said Al Falasi.

Counsellor Muhammad Salem Al-Mahri, an economic consultant and researcher, discussed the stability and economic security of the family, pointing out that the family is the foundation of the state and the nucleus of society.

“Financial or economic security plays a big role in family stability and each of the spouses have to understand well their economic responsibilities,” he said.

Hazza Al Kaabi, legal adviser, highlighted the need for the issuance of special legislations on family rights, as they can guarantee social rights to support family stability.

“The role of legislation is crucial in preserving the protection of rights of family members, spreading positivity and happiness for family cohesion,” said Al Kaabi.

A recent survey conducted by the Department of Community Development in Abu Dhabi (DCD) revealed that 62 per cent of Emirati couples in Abu Dhabi face divorce during the first four years of marriage.

Following the study, the Department of Community Development, in collaboration with the Family Development Foundation (FDF) launched an initiative, ‘tegahwa’ that uses a digital platform, to raise awareness about the importance of seeking professional help at the first signs of conflict, with the aim of reducing divorce rates in the early stages of marriage.

Dr Layla Al Hyas, executive director at the DCD’s social monitoring and innovation sector, said: “Studies have shown that causes of divorce in the emirate include poor communication and conflict resolution skills, lack of quality time spent together, and a delay or reluctance in seeking marriage counselling.”


Ismail Sebugwaawo

A professional journalist originating from Kampala, Uganda, Ismail is a happy father with strong attachment to family and great values for humanity. He has practiced journalism in UAE for the past 13 years, covering the country's parliament (FNC) and crimes, including Abu Dhabi Police, public prosecution and courts. He also reports about important issues in education, public health and the environment, with a keen interest in human interest stories. When out of reporting duties, he serves the Ugandan community in Abu Dhabi as he wants to see his countrymen happy. Exercising and reading are part of his free time.

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