Dubai: The concept of ‘Happily Ever After’ is on shaky foundation among many Dubai couples.
Figures by the Dubai Statistic Centre show a dramatic increase of 40 per cent in the number of divorces in Dubai from 2011 to 2013. The numbers show that 896 divorce certificates were issued in 2011. The number increased by 25.56 per cent to 1,125 in 2012, and by another 11.56 per cent to 1,255 in 2013.
While Dubai is often described as a melting pot of nationalities, the growing number of mixed marriages is no surprise. Just the same, the number of divorces between non-Emirati couples has shown to be the highest category, contributing to the overall increase of divorce rates in Dubai.
Divorce cases between non-Emirati couples have grown by 61.57 per cent from 2011-2013.
“Divorce rates are on the rise,” confirmed Dr Mary John, Clinical psychologist at Dubai Clinical Health Centre. “One of the most common reasons for the increase in number of divorces, especially between young couples, is the lack of social support network,” she said.
She explained that while many expat couples move to Dubai for work opportunities, they leave their support systems, family and close friends back home. As a result, many couples do not receive the right type of advice and guidance they need when facing marital problems and deal with the problem incorrectly.
“The real dangers lie when friends start to give the wrong type of advice, and couples are under pressure,” said Dr John.
Figures show that there were 445 divorce contracts issued in 2011 between non-Emirati couples. The number increased by 31.24 per cent to 584 in 2012, and another 23.12 per cent in 2013 with 719 divorces.
Dr John also listed the commitment issues and the changing values of marriage as common trending problems that could lead to divorce. “The values of marriage are breaking down and most youngsters do not want to get married anymore and look at commitment as a big issue.”
Whether its financial issues or social pressures, many prefer to push marriage to a later age to avoid the stress.
“These are all reasons that can lead to divorce, but the strongest and most common factor in marriage break-ups is having a third person in the equation,” explained Dr John.
A lack of communication between married couples can sometimes lead to the start of a relationship or connection with another person who is always available.
Just the same, a clash in personalities is also a factor in divorce that is not as apparent as other problems. “When people are dating, they are attracted to several qualities in the other person and these exact qualities can sometimes become the very reasons that cause arguments once they are married.”
Drawing from experience as a marriage counsellor, Dr John pointed out that many marriages that end in divorce usually break up after an average of seven years. “Having said that, there are many marriages that end in the first year and some that end even after 25 years,” she said.