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Increase in divorces amongst Expats in Dubai, by Marwa Hadi

Dubai has always been popular with Expats who leave the UK for the sunnier climate and tax free salaries.The attraction to the country has come at a cost to many couples as with the rise in Expats in Dubai; there has also been an increase in the international divorce rate. It has been reported via the Telegraph that figures released by the Dubai Statistics Centre have increased by over 28% in the period of 2009 – 2011.This can be attributable to many factors. Firstly, Dubai has along with Europe been hit badly by the recession. Financial pressures have been known to cause difficulties amongst couples regardless of the country in which they live. Add to that the fact that many couples have moved away from their extended families and friends, they may find themselves with no support network to turn to in times of trouble which can only increase the strain on a couple.Unlike the numerous Expats dealing with an international divorce in Australia for example, Dubai is a country with a very different culture to the UK. The cultural differences also no doubt change a couples leisure activities and the language barrier can lead to the couple and in particular a party who is not working to feel quite alienated. Finally, many couples spend significant periods of time apart with one party returning to the UK regularly and a long distance marriage can be difficult to maintain.Residing in Dubai however does not prevent an individual from issuing divorce proceedings in England and Wales provided they fall into one of the categories set out by the Brussels Convention on Jurisdiction. Usually the most relevant one is that parties are still domiciled in England and Wales despite living in Dubai.Getting advice quickly is always the best option; you will be able to ascertain what the most appropriate course of action will be to get the best results.

By Marwa Hadi

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