Consistent with the last several years of figures, it appears that divorce is continuing to increase in areas such as the UAE, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
Many are reporting that there are social changes going on beneath this trend, especially between husbands and wives. Wives in particular have become more independent over recent years, both financially and intellectually. They are now more likely and more able to question their roles and their marriages, especially if their marriage was arranged at a very young age, or too hastily.
It can be assumed that this trend will continue. There are more Saudi Arabian women in Saudi universities than there are men, so it is expected that the labour force will continue to take on well educated women, forcing the men to adjust.
In Dubai, for example, divorce was up by 26% in 2012 compared to 2011. This is part of a wider trend where divorce also increased by 10% between 2009 and 2010, and by 13% between 2010 and 2011. Iraq is reporting similar increases in divorce rates, with divorce figures doubling between 2004 and 2011.
These modern culture changes are also affecting marriage rates; Emirati marriages are reported to be falling, apparently due in part, to younger people preferring to become educated first.
Interestingly, The Dubai Statistics Centre did report a statistical oddity, with December 2012 showing an increase in marriages. However, this was apparently due to couples seeking to marry on 12-12-12.