Divorce cases in the UAE are governed by the Islamic Sharia law. Sharia principles makes it more difficult for the estranged couple to separate, unless the judge is fully convinced that the marriage will not work. The first step in the divorce process is to register a case at the Moral and Family Guidance Section at Dubai Courts . A counsellor will then meet the couple and discuss their problems. If the couple, or either of them, still insists on divorce, the papers will be forwarded to the court. Non-Muslims may ask for the laws of their home countries to be applied in their cases.
Dubai Courts is currently building a new complex in Al Garhoud area called the Dubai Personal Status Courts Complex which will deal with all family issues including marriages, reconciliation sessions, divorces and settlements. To be ready in 2013, the complex will include 15 court chambers, a visitation centre and a wedding chapel. It will also include a special section for child visitations between estranged spouses and two nurseries.