UAE Liberalizes Abortion Laws: Key Changes and New Permissible Cases

Major Legal Shift: Cabinet Resolution No. 44 of 2024

The UAE has taken a significant step in liberalizing its stance on abortion with the introduction of Cabinet Resolution No. 44 of 2024 regarding the determination of permissible abortion cases. Effective as of June 21, 2024, this Resolution marks a notable departure from the previous restrictive laws, expanding the circumstances under which abortion is now permissible.


Key Changes Under the New Resolution

Expanded Permissible Cases

The new Resolution introduces three additional scenarios where abortion is legal:

  • Non-consensual Pregnancy: If the pregnancy is a result of an act committed against the woman’s will, without her consent, or with forced or unreliable consent—in other words, as a result of rape.
  • Incestuous Pregnancy: If the person who impregnated the woman is a family member or a muhram (such as a father, brother, uncle, or grandfather).
  • Spousal Request: Abortion is also possible at the request of both spouses, subject to approval by a specialized medical committee.


Comparative Analysis: Previous vs. Current Legal Framework

Previous Legal Restrictions

Before this Resolution, the UAE’s abortion laws, governed by the Medical Liability Law (Federal Decree-Law No. 4 of 2016), were highly restrictive. Abortion was only permitted under two conditions:

  • Threat to the Mother’s Life: If the pregnancy posed a serious threat to the life of the mother.
  • Fetal Abnormalities: If severe fetal abnormalities were confirmed by medical reports, and the pregnancy had not exceeded 120 days.


 Liberalized Approach

With the new Resolution, the UAE has broadened the permissible cases, reflecting a more progressive stance. This change aims to protect women’s health, safety, and stability by providing clear guidelines and expanding the conditions under which abortion is allowed.


Creation of Medical Committees

The Resolution mandates the creation of a medical committee (“Committee”) under every health authority to oversee abortions. These committees will consist of three doctors, including a specialist in obstetrics and gynecology. They will be responsible for approving or rejecting abortion requests based on substantiated medical reasoning.


Detailed Conditions for Abortion

The Resolution outlines nine specific conditions that must be met for an abortion to be performed:

  • The medical facility must be licensed to perform abortions.
  • The abortion must be performed by a specialist in obstetrics and gynecology.
  • The abortion must not endanger the pregnant woman’s life.
  • The abortion must take place within 120 days of the pregnancy.
  • Written consent from the pregnant woman is required prior to the procedure. If her consent cannot be obtained, consent can be received from the husband or the woman’s guardian. Written consent is not required in emergencies.
  • Non-Emirati pregnant women must have valid residency for at least one year from the date of applying for an abortion.
  • The doctors in charge at the medical facility must provide a detailed report on the pregnancy and the abortion.
  • The Committee must approve the abortion.
  • The pregnant woman must receive medical and social consultations before and after the abortion.


 Objective of the Resolution

The Resolution has two main objectives:

  • Protect Women’s Health and Safety: By regulating permissible abortion cases and clarifying conditions, restrictions, and procedures.
  • Curb Illegal Practices: To limit dangerous illegal abortions.



Cabinet Resolution No. 44 of 2024 represents a significant liberalization of abortion laws in the UAE, expanding the permissible cases and establishing a comprehensive framework to ensure the health and safety of women. This progressive change reflects the UAE’s commitment to addressing sensitive health issues within a regulated and protective legal structure.

Understanding Alimony Calculation For Non-Muslim Divorcess In The UAE


This article breaks down the method of calculating alimony for non-Muslim divorcees in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) based on Federal Decree-Law No. (41) of 2022 on Civil Personal Status.  This law provides the legal framework for family matters, including civil marriage, divorce, custody, inheritance, and proof of parentage for non-Muslim residents in the UAE.



  1. A.E. Federal Law

In the U.A.E., personal status matters for non-Muslims are subject to Federal Decree-Law No. (41) of 2022 on Civil Personal Status (“Civil Personal Status Law“). Article 9 (Divorcee Alimony) outlines various factors that the relevant court considers to calculate the divorcee’s alimony.

  1. Cabinet Decision

Cabinet Decision No. 122/2023 on the Implementing Regulation of Federal Decree-Law No. 41/2022 further explains the consideration of a divorcee’s alimony by the judge, specifically in Article 10 (Alimony).

  1. Abu Dhabi Law & ADJD Resolution

In Abu Dhabi, Law No. 14/2021 on Personal Status for Non-Muslim Foreigners outlines the criteria for alimony calculation in Article 8 (Financial Support Upon Divorce), which are identical to Article 9 (Divorcee Alimony) of the Civil Personal Status Law.  Additionally, Resolution No. (8) of 2022 concerning Marriage and Civil Divorce Procedures covers various aspects of alimony, including calculation factors and finality.


These laws and regulations apply to non-Muslim citizens of the UAE and non-Muslim residents in the UAE unless they request to apply the laws of their home countries, provided these do not contradict UAE laws and regulations.



  1. What is Alimony?

Alimony is the financial compensation requested by the ex-wife upon divorce. For cases involving children, it includes financial support for their education, housing, healthcare, and other expenses that the ex-husband covered during the marriage (Article 11 of the Cabinet Decision).

  1. Housing During Joint Custody

As per Article 8 of the Cabinet Decision, the judge may order the ex-husband to pay housing allowance to meet the children’s standard of living before the divorce.

  1. Types of Alimony

According to Article 9 of the Civil Personal Status Law, the ex-wife can apply for alimony separately after obtaining a divorce judgment. She may also file for temporary alimony until receiving her final financial compensation (Article 10 of the Cabinet Decision).

  1. Calculation of Alimony

Article 9 of the Civil Personal Status Law outlines the factors considered by the judge:


  • Length of Marriage – Alimony increases with the duration of the marriage due to increased financial dependence.
  • Ex-wife’s Age – Older ex-wives may receive higher alimony due to fewer job opportunities.
  • Financial Situation – An accounting expert evaluates each party’s financial standing, considering income, assets, debts, and liabilities.
  • Ex-husband’s Contribution to Divorce – Alimony increases with the ex-husband’s contribution to the divorce, such as errors or neglect.
  • Material and Moral Harm – The judge considers any harm caused by the divorce, including damage to reputation or physical injury.
  • Financial Damages – This includes loss of job opportunities or income due to the divorce.
  • Children’s Custody – The judge may order the ex-husband to bear the costs of the mother’s custody of the children for a maximum of two years.
  • Ex-Wife’s Childcare Contribution – Alimony increases with the ex-wife’s commitment to child care.


  1. Required Documents

The court reviews documents submitted by the ex-wife to demonstrate both parties’ financial positions.

  1. Finality of Alimony

As per Article 49 of the ADJD resolution, alimony judgments are final and enforceable if the amount is less than AED 500,000.

  1. Adjustment of Alimony

Alimony can be adjusted annually based on changes in financial or individual circumstances (Article 9 of the Civil Personal Status Law).

  1. Termination of Alimony

Alimony is terminated if the ex-wife remarries or loses custody of the children.


In 2023, the Dubai Personal Status Court awarded alimony based on Article 9 factors.  The alimony covered the ex-wife’s expenses in her home country, Ethiopia. The court’s decision was as follows:


  • Children – AED 4,000 per month, excluding education, residence, and domestic help.
  • Utilities and Bills – AED 700 per month for utilities, internet, and phone bills.
  • Domestic Help – AED 2,000 for hiring domestic help and an additional AED 500 for their salaries.

Total Alimony: AED 7,200



The Civil Personal Status Law, along with relevant Cabinet Decisions and Abu Dhabi laws, provides a comprehensive framework for calculating alimony for non-Muslim divorcees in the UAE.  By considering various factors, the law ensures that financial support is fair and reflective of each individual’s circumstances.

Extradition in the UAE.: Legal Framework


The topic of extradition has garnered significant media attention in recent years, with the UAE frequently being mentioned in this context.  But what exactly is extradition?

At a high level, extradition is a form of judicial cooperation between countries.  It involves one country surrendering a person to another country where that person is either accused or convicted under the requesting country’s laws.  This surrender allows the person to attend trial or serve a sentence.  In simpler terms, extradition is an agreement between two or more countries to cooperate in returning or transferring accused individuals to the requesting country.


Extradition in the UAE is a well-established concept, supported by a robust legal framework.  It is governed by a series of laws:

1. Bilateral Extradition Agreements: Agreements between two countries.
2. Multilateral Agreements: Agreements between multiple countries.
3. Federal Law No. 39 of 2006: The Extradition Law, which covers international judicial cooperation on criminal matters.


The UAE has bilateral extradition agreements with several countries, including:
– Italy
– France
– The UK
– Denmark
– The Netherlands
– Ukraine
– Australia
– Algeria
– Bahrain
– China
– Egypt
– India
– Iran
– Iraq
– Jordan
– Kuwait
– Lebanon
– Libya
– Morocco
– Oman
– Pakistan
– Republic of Korea
– Republic of Kazakhstan
– Russia
– Saudi Arabia
– Spain
– Tunisia


A notable example of a multilateral agreement is the Riyadh Arab Convention on Judicial Cooperation (1983), which includes various GCC and Middle Eastern states such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Egypt. This convention has been signed by most Arab countries, including Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Algeria, Bahrain, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Tunisia.


When there is no extradition agreement between the UAE and another country, the UAE Extradition Law applies.


Extradition requests must meet specific requirements in terms of documentation and the underlying crime. Under the UAE Extradition Law (Federal Law No. 39 of 2006), the UAE may accept an extradition request if:

1. The request is based on a crime punishable by at least one year of imprisonment in the requesting country.
2. The remaining sentence for the accused is at least six months.
3. There is no requirement for the crime to be considered a crime in both countries.
4. The elements constituting the crime do not have to be the same.
5. The name of the crime does not have to be the same.


Extradition requests in the UAE can be challenged on several grounds:

1. Procedural Issues.  Insufficient documentation or improper translation.
2. Lack of Jurisdiction.  The requesting country does not have jurisdiction over the requested person.
3. Expiry of Statute of Limitations.
4. Prohibited Punishments.  The punishment in the requesting country is prohibited by UAE laws.


Extradition is not allowed in the following cases:

1. If the requested person is a citizen of the UAE.
2. If the UAE law would apply to the case.
3. If the crime is political (excluding terrorist crimes, war crimes, genocides, and crimes of aggression against the government).
4. If the crime relates to military obligations.
5. If the crime is based on ethnic, religious, national, or political affiliations.
6. If the person was subjected to investigation or trial in the UAE for the same crime.
7. If the person was previously tried and acquitted or the conviction has been fully served.
8. If the criminal lawsuit is terminated or the sentence has expired.
9. If the person may be subjected to torture or inhuman treatment.
8. Recent Examples of Extradition Requests in the UAE

Over the last three years, the UAE has dealt with several extradition requests:

– Denmark.  Requested extradition of a national for tax fraud in 2022.
– France.  Requested extradition for drug-dealing and money-laundering in 2021.
– Italy.  Requested extradition for homicide in 2022.
– Albania.  Requested extradition for murder and illegal firearm possession in 2022.
– South Africa.  Requested extradition for money laundering, fraud, and corruption in 2023.

In some cases, extradition requests were accepted, such as Denmark’s request, while others, like South Africa’s, were rejected due to insufficient documentation.


The UAE is increasingly involved in extraditing foreigners, with its representative chairing Interpol and facilitating red notices based on extradition requests. As such, more cases and requests are expected in the future.


Hear more on our firm’s extradition podcast:

Enforcing Foreign Judgements in U.A.E.: A Successful Case Study

In today’s interconnected world, legal obligations often transcend borders.  Recently, a significant case demonstrated how an American judgment was successfully enforced in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), showcasing the UAE’s legal system’s adaptability and adherence to international legal principles.



The case began when an American state court issued a judgment against an individual who subsequently relocated to Dubai and became a resident.  Seeking justice and repayment, the claimant initiated proceedings in Dubai Courts to enforce the American judgment.



The client filed the case at the Court of First Instance in Dubai, but the court rejected the enforcement claim.  The primary reason for this rejection was the absence of a bilateral treaty between the United States and the UAE concerning the mutual recognition and enforcement of judgments.  This decision highlighted a common challenge in international law: enforcing foreign judgments without a specific treaty in place.



Undeterred by the initial setback, the client appealed the decision, relying on Article 222 of the UAE Civil Procedures Law.  This article provides a pathway for recognizing and enforcing foreign judgments even in the absence of a bilateral treaty.  According to Article 222, the UAE can enforce foreign judgments if certain conditions are met, including:

1.      The foreign judgment must be final and binding.

2.      The judgment should not contradict UAE public policy or Islamic Sharia law.

3.      The foreign court must have had proper jurisdiction over the case.



The client’s appeal was based on the argument that the judgment fulfilled all the criteria outlined in Article 222.  The appellate court reviewed the case thoroughly, focusing on:

  • Finality and Binding Nature. The American judgment was final and had no pending appeals.
  • Public Policy.  The judgment did not violate any UAE public policy or principles of Islamic Sharia law.
  • Jurisdiction.  The original court in the United States had proper jurisdiction over the matter.

The Dubai Court of Appeal agreed with the client, overturning the initial rejection.  The appellate court clarified that a bilateral treaty is not mandatory for enforcing foreign judgments in the UAE and that Article 222 of the UAE Civil Procedures Law applies in the absence of such a treaty.


The case eventually reached the Cassation Court, the highest judicial authority in the UAE.  The Cassation Court affirmed the appellate court’s decision, confirming that the absence of a treaty does not preclude the enforcement of foreign judgments.  The Dubai Courts emphasized that the UAE Civil Procedures Law provides sufficient legal grounds for such enforcement.


With the Cassation Court’s ruling, the client successfully enforced and collected on the American judgment in Dubai.  This outcome not only brought justice to the claimant but also set a significant legal precedent for future cases involving the enforcement of foreign judgments in the UAE.


1. Persistence Pays Off.  Despite initial setbacks, persistence and a solid understanding of local laws can lead to successful enforcement of foreign judgments.

2. Article 222.  This provision is crucial for enforcing foreign judgments in the UAE, providing a legal framework even in the absence of bilateral treaties.

3. Judicial Adaptability.  The UAE judiciary’s willingness to apply international legal principles ensures justice is served across borders.


The successful enforcement of an American judgment in the UAE highlights the country’s commitment to upholding international legal standards.  This case serves as a guiding light for individuals and entities seeking to enforce foreign judgments in the UAE, demonstrating that with the right legal strategy and a thorough understanding of local laws, justice can indeed be achieved across borders.