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Dubai suspends marriage and divorce during virus lockdown

Wednesday April 8 2020

A man wearing a face mask in Duba

A man wearing a face mask gazes at the Dubai skyline from a window, during a lockdown imposed by the authorities in a bid to slow down the spread of the novel coronavirus in the Emirati city on April 5, 2020. PHOTO | KARIM SAHIB | AFP 

AFP
By AFP
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Dubai,

Coronavirus lockdowns may make or break relationships, but in Dubai marriages and divorces have been suspended "until further notice" to avoid gatherings that could spread the disease.

Dubai's justice department said Wednesday that the decision was among the "measures to prevent the spread of the pandemic" rolled out in the emirate which is under a strict lockdown.

Justice Khaled al-Hawsni of the family court also said on the department's website that couples who have already completed marriage formalities must not organise wedding parties "even among their immediate circles".

The United Arab Emirates has recorded more than 2,000 cases of the coronavirus, and 12 deaths.

All citizens and residents other than those in essential services require a permit to leave their homes.

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ANXIETY

Dubai, one of the seven emirates that make up the country, has come to a virtual halt with its famous mega-malls and sprawling hotels shuttered.

Life under the lockdown has raised many questions among anxious citizens.

One Emirati man contacted police to ask whether he needs a permit to visit his second wife, the Gulf News daily reported, without saying what the answer was.

Polygamy is allowed in the country, with men allowed to have four wives at the same time, in accordance with Islamic law.