Dubai and the Gulf

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Family Law experts for Dubai and the Gulf

"When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you feel comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable."

Clifton Fadiman

Michael Rowlands, a Fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers, has possibly the widest UK-based, contemporary knowledge and experience of representing families facing marriage breakdown in the UAE and wider Gulf.

Giving advice only on English law but with a comparative understanding and with wide connections in the region, Michael is a first point of call for expatriates, or anyone facing or contemplating family law proceedings between the region and England.

Ending a relationship where there is a connection with the UAE or the Gulf can present significant challenges and difficult choices.

Comparative Law

It is hardly surprising that few expatriates give much thought to local law before moving to the region. Law is only of interest to lawyers, until you need it.

Anyone contemplating divorce or moving into or out of the region should have an understanding of their rights, the region’s restrictions and the consequences of any actions they may take.

There are very significant differences between England and the Gulf, in the way in which families live and divorce.


Many international and expatriate families, moving to or from the region, speak to us about the value and certainty that a Post Nuptial Agreement might bring.


Most expatriates will have the ability to divorce in the country in which they live and the country from which they originate. Where a divorce takes place is always a critical decision. Timing can be everything. We have the experience and contacts to advise our clients on the choice of jurisdiction, law, timing and tactics.


Where a child lives is nearly always the place where any decisions about their future will be made.


For the weaker economic party, England has the reputation of being the jurisdiction of choice. The duration and the scope of claims is significantly wider in England than in the UAE and Gulf, particularly because a divorce court in England will aim to deal with worldwide assets. More on this topic can be found on our International Post and Prenuptial Agreements Solicitors page. 

Our Experience

We have a wide experience in representing and advising clients where there are, or there is the potential of matrimonial proceedings between England and Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, KSA and UAE.

Re B (Children)[2015] EWCA Civ 1302

Michael Rowlands visits clients and contacts in the Gulf three to four times each year. He has a reliable network of local lawyers and advisors, with whom he collaborates and discusses “choice of law and the jurisdictional options available to husbands and wives in and out of the region.

For the past ten years, Michael has been representing and advising (English law only) husbands and wives in the region, in respect of pre- and postnuptial agreements, divorce jurisdiction and financial claims, claims following an overseas divorce, and the international relocation of children.


Anne Jackson One Life Coaching.
Offical guidance on divorce in the UAE.
Federal Law No 28 of 2005 for Personal Affairs.

Talk to us

If you require further information or advice from our team of expert family lawyers, please contact a member of our team or call us on +44 (0) 203 002 5833  Alternatively you can complete our online enquiry form and we will be in touch as soon as possible.