During the first half of 2018, the Human Rights Department of Dubai Police has recorded as many as 42 cases of child abuse in the emirate, compared to 29 in the same period last year.
According to Lt. Col. Saeed Al-Hali, the Director of the Women and Child Protection Department at Dubai Police, this 44.8 percent increase includes twelve cases of sexual harassment, nine cases of violence against children, and eight cases of neglect to a child's right to education.
Additionally, Al-Hali noted that 21 cases were related to children between the ages of 11 and 18 years with the majority of the victims being girls.
Furthermore, 42 percent of the recorded cases during the first half of 2018 related to UAE nationals, while in 48 percent of the cases last year, the father of the family was often the reason behind the abuse. This number is currently down to 1 percent for this year.
In 2016, the UAE government introduced the Child Protection Law
The 2016 revised version of the Federal Law - formerly named Wudeema Law - was drafted in the memory of Wudeema, an eight-year-old Emirati girl who was horrifically abused to death in Dubai in 2012.
The law not only protects children under the age of 18 from abuse and neglect but also supports their basic right to education, healthcare, and shelter.
Under the UAE Child Protection Law, excessively disciplining a child is prohibited as is leaving a child unaccompanied by an adult at home, seating a child in the front of the car, and shouting and screaming at the child.
The law applies to anyone who comes in contact with a child, whether it's a parent or a teacher. Violators of the law could potentially face fines as high as 50,000 dirhams ($13,611) as well as up to 10 years in prison in reported cases involving physical or sexual abuse.
Still, that hasn't stopped people from committing heinous crimes against children
In September 2017, a 6-year-old Emirati girl died in the UAE's capital city after her parents left her in a vehicle for six hours. The child eventually suffocated to death in the vehicle, Abu Dhabi Police said at the time.
In November 2017, Nidal Eisa Abdullah, the man who raped and killed 8-year-old boy Obaida in May 2016, was executed.
Abdullah had kidnapped the Jordanian boy Obaida Sedqi from his father's auto repair shop in Sharjah and drove him to Al Mamzar beachside, where he raped and strangled him to death in his car with a red ghutra.
The convict, who was under the influence of alcohol at the time, then took Obaida's body and threw it under a tree on the outskirts of Dubai.