United Arab Emirates (UAE)



2018 population growth rate


Estimated prevalence among girls and women

There are no national statistics on female genital cutting (FGC) in UAE. One small scale study published in 2011 by the Dubai Women’s College magazine, Desert Dawn, found that 34% of 200 women had been cut.

Source: The National

Type practised

Unknown. Small scale studies suggest that girls in UAE undergo Type I or Type IV FGC.


Unknown. Dr Ahmed Al Haddad, Grand Mufti of the UAE, noted that if cutting is going to take place it should be done at birth, although it is not a requirement of Islam.

Source: The National


Medical practitioners in private clinics or homes.

Legal status

FGC is legal in the UAE, however the Ministry of Health prohibits it being performed in state hospitals and clinics. This does not prevent parents getting their daughters cut in private clinics or at home.

Challenges to ending FGC

  • A dearth of research and statistics on FGC practices in UAE make the issue difficult to tackle.
  • From the little information available, it appears that FGC is highly medicalised in UAE. FGC’s occurrence in medical settings appears to legitimise the practice, and can perpetuate misconceptions that it is not harmful to girls. There are also anecdotal reports of girls from outside the UAE being taken to cities like Dubai to undergo the procedure in medical environments.
  • The majority of the UAE’s population is Muslim and many consider FGC a religious tradition, despite it not being an obligation of any religion. This belief may mean FGC continues despite one small study finding that 99% of Emiratis men surveyed opposed the practice, as did 82% of women.

Source: The National

Human Development Index ranking

34 in 2018 index, based on 2017 data.

Infant mortality rate

6.6 deaths per 1,000 live births (2016).

Maternal mortality rate

6 deaths per 100,000 live births (2015).

Source: Human Development Index