British expats in UAE found support group to help divorced or separated women

Published:  30 Jan at 6 PM
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After becoming aware that divorce and separation was affecting a growing number of married expats, two Dubai-Based teachers have started a support group to help desperate women start over.

Fiona Cameron and Anne Prince, themselves the victims of broken relationships, decided to start the Leaving Dubai group after they became aware that expats whose marriages had fallen apart have literally nowhere to run for advice and help. According to Prince, relationship breakdowns affect one in three expat marriages and, for women, it’s a bureaucratic and emotional nightmare.

There’s no-one who can give the right answers or even practical advice, she added, saying that working in the UAE puts huge pressures on established relationships due to patterns of socialising and keeping up with the crowd. The British Embassy, she said, will not help in the case of child custody or travel bans, and lawyers are an expensive luxury.

Women who separate from their husbands in Dubai have immediate problems with their sponsorship and visas, and may have to leave straight away. Those who manage to stay face loneliness, financial problems and the difficulties of being a female alone in a Middle Eastern country, with children complicating the issue still further.

Both Prince and Cameron have bitter personal experience of the issues involved and the strength needed to combat them, as both their marriages broke up in the emirate. Leave Dubai offers free advice and information along with monthly meetings of the support group, and advises women to share their experiences and seek advice wherever possible.
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