In the bustling city of Dubai, where towering skyscrapers touch the clouds and innovation is a way of life, on Friday, August 4, 2023, the headlines were ablaze with news that has taken the city by surprise. Dubai clinics have been witnessing a staggering surge – a surge of hope, empowerment, and choice.
It has been two years since the United Arab Emirates (UAE) introduced groundbreaking legal reforms, granting women more autonomy over their reproductive decisions.
One of the most significant changes has been the legalization of egg freezing, a medical procedure that allowed women to preserve their fertility for later stages of life and Dubai is witnessing the profound impact of those reforms.
The morning sun bathed Dubai’s skyline in a warm glow as Aisha, a young marketing executive, stepped into the gleaming entrance of the modern fertility clinic.
The walls were adorned with inspirational quotes and images of women from all walks of life, highlighting the strength and choices that modern women could embrace
Aisha had always been ambitious, juggling her career aspirations with her dreams of starting a family. The new legal provisions have given her a chance to explore both paths without compromise.
As Aisha settled into the consultation room, she listened intently to a fertility specialist who has seen her fair share of transformation since the reforms. Her specialist explained the process of egg freezing, assuring Aisha that she was not alone in her decision. In fact, clinics all over Dubai had been inundated with women from various backgrounds who were now empowered to make choices that aligned with their goals.
According to Torkia Mahloul, COO of Ovasave, there has also been a surge in egg freezing procedures globally
“While there are no publicly available national statistics, we have observed a significant increase in women showing interest in their fertility and opting to freeze their eggs in the UAE. This trend aligns with the global pattern seen in markets like the US and Europe, where egg freezing procedures have been growing at a rate of more than 25 percent annually,” Mahloul said.
“There has been a notable shift in mentality, with prominent women and influencers in the UAE openly sharing their egg freezing journeys on social media platforms. The response to these stories has been overwhelmingly positive, indicating a growing acceptance and understanding of egg freezing as a recommended solution for women who are considering having a child after the age of 35.”
The story echoed across the city. From high-powered CEOs to young artists, women were no longer confined by the ticking biological clock
They could now take charge of their destinies, choosing to freeze their eggs until they were ready to start a family, whenever that might be. The decision is not only celebrated but also normalized, as conversations about reproductive freedom has become more commonplace.
Dubai’s clinics have invested in state-of-the-art equipment and research, ensuring that the egg freezing process is safe, effective, and accessible to all.
News outlets and social media have been ablaze with stories of courage, determination, and empowerment. The hashtag #MyChoiceMyFuture is trending as women share their experiences, highlighting the societal shift that is underway. Support groups have formed, bringing together women who were on similar journeys, fostering a sense of community and camaraderie.
Two years after those groundbreaking legal reforms, the landscape has transformed
The clinics that once saw a modest number of women exploring egg freezing are now bustling with activity, embodying the dreams and aspirations of countless women who were becoming more aware of their reproductive health options and future careers.
Currently the law in Dubai stipulates that human embryos can be frozen for up to five years
This is extendable with the consent of relevant parties – and that single women can freeze their eggs provided they are used for their own pregnancy after marriage with their husband’s sperm in an IVF procedure. However, surrogacy as well as egg and sperm donations remain illegal in the UAE.
And so, as the sun set over Dubai’s horizon on that August evening, the city radiated with a newfound energy – an energy fueled by the knowledge that women were not just shaping their own destinies, but also the future of generations to come.