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Abu Dhabi sets up dual English-Arabic language family court for non-Muslims

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A dual language court has been set up in emirate of Abu Dhabi to deal with family matters for non-Muslims, the country’s President announced in a statement carried by the official WAM news agency Sunday.

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A new law was passed to regulate personal status matters for non-Muslims in the emirate – allowing divorced parents to share joint custody of their children.

Non-Muslims will also be able to enter civil marriages in Abu Dhabi, the statement said. Inheritance and alimony laws have also been amended.

The new court will provide “a modern judicial umbrella for foreigners residing in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to resolve family disputes in a flexible manner in line with international best practices,” the statement added.

Legal proceedings in the United Arab Emirates are generally carried out in Arabic, and foreigners seeking a divorce have previously had to have the procedure carried out under Islamic law.

Sweeping legal reforms in November of 2020 made it so that expatriates living in the UAE could seek a divorce under the laws of the country in which they were married.

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