The Abu Dhabi Court of Appeal has overturned a ruling issued by the Abu Dhabi Court of First Instance that would have deported a 40-year-old woman who is the daughter of an Emirati citizen but does not hold UAE citizenship.
The woman was arrested in 2022 after trying to leave the country using her sister’s passport. She was charged with entering the country illegally and impersonating another person.
The Court of First Instance sentenced the woman to one month in prison and deportation. However, the Court of Appeal overturned the deportation ruling, citing a law that prohibits the deportation of spouses or first-degree relatives of UAE citizens.
The woman’s lawyer, Ali Al Abbadi, said that the ruling was a “victory for justice” and that it would allow the woman to return to her family.
“This case has several humanitarian dimensions,” Al Abbadi said. “The UAE law takes into account such humanitarian matters. It is true that the woman made a mistake by trying to obtain her sister’s passport, but she is the daughter of an Emirati citizen who holds the nationality of the UAE.”
The woman’s case has drawn attention to the issue of stateless people in the UAE. There are an estimated 100,000 stateless people living in the country, many of whom are the children of Emirati fathers and foreign mothers.
The UAE does not recognize the children of Emirati fathers and foreign mothers as citizens, even if they were born in the country. This leaves them stateless and without access to basic rights, such as education, healthcare, and employment.