ABU DHABI, Sept 20: An Emirati woman has sought leave to have a sex change operation in what would be a first for the United Arab Emirates, newspapers reported on Tuesday.
The application to the court in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi comes after a change in the law took effect earlier this month legalising gender reassignment surgery.
Lawyer Ali al-Mansouri told Gulf News the 29-year-old woman always felt strongly that she was not the gender she physically appeared to be.
"Ever since she was three, the woman felt instead that she is actually a male. She would have an intense desire to have a male body and to be accepted by others as a male and would feel her true identity is male," he told the paper.
He said his client's feeling that her body does not reflect her true gender caused her severe distress, anxiety and depression.
"She has been undergoing physical and psychological care since 2012 and a medical commission had recommended that she undergo a sex-change surgery."
The court said it would hear the case on September 28.
The new Medical Liability Law that came into effect earlier this month allows for sex change operations on medical grounds.
"The surgical procedure... is permitted if it is part of a treatment for gender dysphoria in transgender people, as advised by a medical commission to be set up for this purpose," the law says.