The UAE has the highest divorce rates in the region, leading many to now question whether traditional forms of marriage - where parents pick a suitor for their children - are becoming a burden on society.Despite the government's best attempts to make marriage a union for life, divorce is a growing trend in the UAE.
The issue has been a frequent topic of discussion on the radio, where on-air presenters have attempted to patch up family rifts and find solutions through dialogue.Blame game One of the most popular radio programmes in the UAE is How to deal with marital problems, which aims at spreading awareness, and targets young couples.Meanwhile, the government has launched family counselling programmes to help tackle the rising rate of divorce, in addition to the Marriage Fund - which aims to promote "family life".Recently, the Marriage Fund conducted a field study to look at the growing tendency of divorce between young married couples.More than 50 percent of female divorcees blame their husbands for the breakdown of the marriage, while 70 percent of men blamed their former wives, the study found.
This tendency for divorcees to blame their former spouse for the breakdown in their relationship is leading groups such as the Marriage Fund to believe that a lack of dialogue is one of the main reasons why so many marriages fail in the UAE.
The study also showed that a high percentage of Emirati men marry foreign spouses, and a lack of communication or understanding of their partner's culture or language is contributing to their separation.
More than 50 percent of marriages between Emirari subjects and non-Emiratis end in divorce.
In another effort by the government to tackle the problem, the department of family development has set up a hotline for couples to discuss domestic issues - although many Emiratis say that the problem is not to do with reconciling with their spouses but that they were not suited to each other in the first place.
Dancing in the dark Abed, an Emirati subject who recently separated from his wife, says that a major reason for divorce in the UAE is to do with the traditional mode of union in the country - arranged marriages."A lack of common interests between married couples is one of the main reasons for divorce," he said.
"Your spouse is chosen for you by your family, especially your mother.