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United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of 7 Emirates (princely states) including Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ras al Khaima, Umm al Qawain, Fujaira and Ajman. There is a large expatriate community in the UAE but of the UAE nationals the majority are Sunni Muslims and a minority are Shia Muslims. The 1971 Constitution made permanent in 1996 reads in Article 7 that Islam is the State religion and that Islamic law is a principal source of legislation.
The personal status law applied in the UAE is uncodified Islamic law. Therefore, classical law is applied according to whether the father is a Sunni or Shia Muslim and to which school of law has the most influence. The dominant school Islamic jurisprudence varies within each of the Emirates. In Dubai Maliki is the dominant school of jurisprudence, whereas Hanbali principles have the most influence in the majority of the other Emirates.
There is no restriction on foreign nationals making an application to a Sharia Court but a UAE national must be engaged to represent the applicant in court.
Law No. 17 of Year 1972 Concerning Nationality and Passport (Extracts) (Unofficial Translation)
Extradition Treaty between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United Arab Emirates on Extradition
Treaty between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United Arab Emirates on Judicial Assistance in Civil and Commercial Matters, and Articles 235-238 of the UAE Federal Code of Civil Procedures No. 11 of 1992, that govern matters of execution of foreign judgments and judicial orders
Case: Re JA ( a minor) (abduction: non-convention country) FCR 1998 Volume 2
Case: Re M (minors) (abduction: peremptory return order)  1 FCR 557,  1 FLR 478,  Fam Law 203
Case: T v T (child abduction: non-convention country) (Fam Div) Family Division 12 February 1998
Convention on the Rights of the Child Report
Child Abduction Summary (US State Department)
Family Law Summary (Emory)
Information on Judiciary (POGAR)
Legal Review (InfoProd)