Registration of marriage in UAE for foreigners

Registration of marriage in UAE for foreigners

Territorial boundaries have long ceased to be an obstacle to developing personal relationships, so the question of how to get married in UAE does not lose relevance. The most popular destination for life remains Dubai, most of the population of which is foreigners. Let's look at marriage registration in Dubai and what those who plan to legitimise their relationship and live in one of the most actively developing countries in the world need to know.


International Couples

A country with a diverse and multicultural population creates a unique environment for international couples. There are several options for getting married in the UAE. We will talk about each of them below. In terms of further adaptation, much depends not on the nationality of the family members but on their attitude to life. Having a job with a steady income and property in Dubai makes you feel at home.

Approaches to mixed marriages

The authorities of the United Arab Emirates are tolerant of all nationalities, including mixed unions, which are not uncommon. It is only necessary to follow local traditions and observe the norms of behaviour. The country's government actively supports Emirati families, strengthens the demographic structure by encouraging unions between Emirati citizens. For this purpose, the authorities established MoCD's Marriage Grants Department.

Регистрация брака в ОАЭ для иностранцев

Religious aspects: Islamic marriage in the UAE

Shariah law governs Muslim family relationships. They may be contracted in the following cases:

  • When both partners are Muslims;
  • When a Muslim man and a woman are from the Ahl Al-Kitab (people of other nationalities mentioned in the Quran).

It is legal for a Muslim man to enter into a marriage union with a non-Muslim woman. On the contrary, a Muslim woman cannot even think about how to get married in Dubai to any non-Muslim man. Besides, unless he has converted to Islam.

Polygamy is not prohibited under local laws. A Muslim man can have up to four wives, provided they have equal living conditions and equal treatment. Islamic traditions and Sharia law conduct most marriage ceremonies, as the religion has a strong influence not only on relations between men and women but also on every stage of daily life.

Dubai court marriage requirements

The law interprets marrying in Dubai as a legally approved union between a man and a woman, the purpose of which is to protect the rights of the spouses. One or both parties to the union (wife or wife's guardian and husband) must be Dubai's resident. In the rest of the emirates, both spouses must be residents of the country. The remaining marriage requirements in Dubai depend on the religion and nationality of the prospective spouses.

Requirements for Muslim foreigners

  • The marriage contract must be officially registered with a Shariah court.
  • The minimum age of the bride and groom planning wedding in UAE is 18, or a judge's authorisation must be obtained.
  • One spouse ought not be twice older than the other unless approved by a judge.
  • Personal presence of both parties is mandatory.
  • The bride's father or his representative and two Muslim male witnesses are required to be present.

A Muslim bride's father or guardian must express their consent. If her father is a non-Muslim, the bride must provide a no-objection certificate from the corresponding consulate or embassy in the Emirates.

  • In case of death of the bride's father, the nearest male guardian, such as an older brother, must be present.
  • Widowed or divorced women must present the relevant documents.

Couples must provide a certificate of premarital medical examination issued by authorised medical institutions. This examination aims to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases.

Special conditions for UAE nationals

If an Emirati national woman and a foreigner think how to marry in UAE, she must comply with the following conditions:

  • Obtaining guardian or parental consent.
  • The employer's consent is required if working or serving in the armed forces.
  • The Emirati woman's citizenship must be obtained by birthright and not by dependency.

A foreign groom must have citizenship and not be stateless. Having legal residency is mandatory. It can be obtained, for example, when buying apartments in Dubai. When applying to register the relationship, a foreign groom must provide an official certificate of no criminal record.

Регистрация брака в ОАЭ для иностранцев

Civil marriage in Dubai for foreigners

This aspect will interest UAE expats and tourists who do not profess Islam and think over getting married in Dubai or the capital on secular principles. It is important to note that such a union does not require a premarital medical examination or the consent of the bride's father or guardian.

Civil registration at the Abu Dhabi Civil and Family Court is available to anyone except Muslims, regardless of nationality or religion. Tourists also have similar rights.

Those wishing to do so are ought to meet these requirements for marriage in Dubai:

  • Both parties must not be citizens of the state practising Islam.
  • Mutual consent of the parties is required.
  • Both parties shall be 18 or older.
  • The husband and wife must not be first or second-degree relatives.

You can apply for marriage in the UAE through the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department's official website or ADJD centres. It requires Emirates ID (for UAE residents) or both parties' passports copies, an application form, and proof of dissolution of the previous union if there was one.

Partners must match the following criteria to formalise a marriage in Dubai as a civil contract:

  • Both partners must not profess Islam.
  • Each partner must be older than 21.
  • Any of bride or bridegroom must be Dubai's citizen.
  • Both sides must show proof that they are free from other marital obligations.

The parties must provide a copy of a valid residence permit, original passports, and, of course, Emirates IDs. They also must provide a certificate of marital status from the embassy of the country of origin.

All documents provided in English or other languages must be translated into Arabic, authenticated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MOFAIC), and certified by a legal translator who has been officially accredited by the UAE Ministry of Justice.

Religious ceremonies for non-Muslims

Believers can have a marriage ceremony in the UAE at places of worship or the diplomatic missions of their states. It is possible to have a Christian marriage in a church in the UAE. Those planning a Hindu or Jewish ceremony need to find an appropriate religious institution. It is important to remember that it will only be considered valid for secular organisations once registered with the relevant government offices.

Dubai marriage procedure

For expats wishing to apply for marriage, Dubai offers the following procedure:

  • Applying through the eZawaj system, available on the Ministry of Justice website.
  • Submission of the required documents, including birth and criminal record certificates, their passports, and Dubai court marriage fees payment.

The couple must then pay the fee and meet with a judge to review the application. If the decision is favourable, they can obtain the certificate online by filling in the required information.

Registration of marriage in UAE for foreigners

Tips and advice

Several cases may occur in this perspective:

If the couple already lives or stays in the country, the only thing left to do is carefully study the opportunities provided by the local legislation for foreigners. It is also possible to seek the help of professional agencies that will not only organise the civil wedding in Dubai but also advise on what legal papers are obligatory for marriage through the embassy in the UAE, in a religious institution, or through a civil contract.

For couples who want to have a romantic ceremony on the Gulf Coast, it may be easier to organise the ceremony there, and the registration will take place at their residence. This solution will exclude additional costs for consultations on the required documents, their translation and certification.

The state's legislation allows you to choose your format for any situation.


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