Travel.State.Gov > International Parental Child Abduction > Country Information > United Arab Emirates International Parental Child Abduction Information
Embassies District, Plot 38, Sector W59-02, Street No. 4.
Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.
Telephone: +(971) (2) 414-2200
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(971) (0) 2-414-2200
Fax: +(971) (2) 414-2241
U.S. Consulate General Dubai
Corner of Al Seef Rd. and Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Rd
Telephone: +(971) (4) 309-4000
Emergency Telephone: +(971) (4) 309-4000
Fax: +(971) (4) 311-6213
The normal work week in the UAE is Sunday through Thursday.
For information concerning travel to the United Arab Emirates, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy and Consulate General, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see country-specific information for the United Arab Emirates.
The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Child Abduction. The latest report is located here.
The United Arab Emirates is not a signatory to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention), nor are there any bilateral agreements in force between the United Arab Emirates and the United States concerning international parental child abduction.
Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country. Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in the United Arab Emirates and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances.
The Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children's Issues provides assistance in cases of international parental child abduction. For U.S. citizen parents whose children have been wrongfully removed to or retained in countries that are not U.S. partners under the Hague Abduction Convention, the Office of Children's Issues can provide information and resources about country-specific options for pursuing the return of or access to an abducted child. The Office of Children's Issues may also coordinate with appropriate foreign and U.S. government authorities about the welfare of abducted U.S. citizen children. Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance.
United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children's Issues
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
Unless it is in violation of an Emirati court order, parental child abduction is not a crime in the United Arab Emirates.
Parents may wish to consult with an attorney in the United States and in the country to which the child has been removed or retained to learn more about how filing criminal charges may impact a custody case in the foreign court. Please see Possible Solutions - Pressing Criminal Charges for more information.
Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country. United Arab Emirates courts may take into account U.S. court orders as part of their rulings for legal custody, but this practice is not applied consistently. Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in the United Arab Emirates and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances.
The Office of Children's Issues may be able to assist parents seeking access to children who have been wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States. Parents who are seeking access to children who were not wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States should contact the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the United Arab Emirates for information and possible assistance.
Neither the Office of Children's Issues nor consular officials at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the United Arab Emirates are authorized to provide legal advice.
The U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, posts a list of attorneys, including those who specialize in family law. Also, the U.S. Consulate in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, posts a list of attorneys, including those who specialize in family law.
This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the following persons or firms. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.
The United Arab Emirates does not provide mediation services directly. Parents should consult with an Emirati attorney to learn of possible mediation services in the United Arab Emirates.
While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country. It is important for parents to understand that, although a left-behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located. For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney if planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent. Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:
The U.S. government cannot interfere with another country’s court or law enforcement system.
To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney in the country in which the child is located.
For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney.
Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.
For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.
Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information.
DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction.