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Emirati polygamists 'must apply for permits' to visit spouses in latest coronavirus restrictions: Police chief Open in fullscreen

Kamal Afzali

Emirati polygamists 'must apply for permits' to visit spouses in latest coronavirus restrictions: Police chief

The permissibility of visiting scattered spouses is a legal grey area [Getty]

Date of publication: 10 April, 2020

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In the UAE, where polygamy is common, men who have more than one wife in one home are in a state of disarray.
The disruption wrought by the global coronavirus pandemic is proving an unprecedented challenge to all aspects of life, not least physical relationships.

While those living under one roof and not having to self-isolate are considered fortunate, the enforced proximity can be an issue for some.

In the UAE, where polygamy is common, men who have more than one wife in one home are in a state of disarray.

With Dubai still under curfew and movement heavily curtailed, the persimissibility of visiting spouses scattered across the city is a grey area.

On Tuesday, presenter of a show on Dubai TV probed the city's police chief on the matter, who complained of being overwhelmed by requests from men unsure about the legality of "leaving the home of one wife to visit the other". 

Saif Al-Mazrou'i relayed firm instructions - "Those with two wives, or even four, must respect the program of national disinfection and apply for permits.'' 


Read also: Wives can refuse sexual advances from husbands during coronavirus epidemic

The presenter then suggested polygamists were making last ditch attempts to ensure lockdowns was spent with their partner of choice.

Al-Mazrou'i said he would not comment on domestic affairs but prayed "Allah helped them".

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

Read also: Nasheeds and pining ballads: What songs are Arabs listening to during coronavirus lockdown?

Dubai, one of the seven emirates in the UAE, suspended marriages and divorces "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".



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