Legal Articles / Family Law


International Abduction

family law

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November 12, 2013


Briefly summarize the position in your jurisdiction.

The UAE is not a signatory to the Hague Convention. Within UAE laws, there are no statutory provisions specifically dealing with child abduction. 

Leave to Remove/ Applications to take a child out of the jurisdiction

Summarize the position in your jurisdiction

Post divorce, if the custodian of the child is other than the child’s mother, he or she must obtain the written agreement from the guardian before taking the child out of the UAE. If such permission is withheld by the guardian, the custodian may obtain permission for the child’s travel from a judge (Article 149 Personal Status Law).

During the marriage, a mother cannot take the child out of the UAE without written permission from her husband. After divorce (and the conclusion of the waiting period), the mother may take the child out of the country without the father’s consent unless it harms the child in some way (Article 150 Personal Status Law).

The guardian of a child has the right to hold the child’s passport for safekeeping, but must hand the passport over to the custodian when it is required for the child’s travel. Furthermore, the judge may order the passport to be kept with the custodian if they experience difficulty dealing with the guardian when the passport is requested (Article 157 Personal Status Law).

Under what circumstances may a parent apply to remove their child from the jurisdiction against the wishes of the other parent?

The custodian of the child may not permanently settle the child in another country if it would cause harm to the other parent, and if the distance between the two countries prevented the non -resident parent from visiting the child and returning home in one day (Article 151).

If the guardian can prove that his residence in the UAE has expired due to valid reasons such as the end of his employment or due to any other reason, which the court will not find arbitrary, the court may allow the guardian to take away the children and the mother will have the choice to join them or not.

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