Having a Civil Marriage in UAE

Having a Civil Marriage in UAE

Family Law – UAE and UK

We regularly get asked about the process for non Muslims to marry in the UAE.  Until recently, at least one of the parties to the marriage would be required to hold a Residents Visa and could undergo a religious ceremony depending on their religion.  Divorce Law No. 14 of 2021 in Abu Dhabi now allows for the implementation of Civil marriages as long as neither party to the marriage are Muslims (Expats and tourists) coming from an Islamic Country which apply Sharia law in family matters ie. countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan, India, Lebanon to mention a few.  For applicants holding the citizenship of a Country that applies Sharia Law, an official document showing the religion of the person might be required.  

Article 4 of Law No.14 of 2021 in Abu Dhabi outlines that the parties to the marriage must be over the age of 18, must not be first degree relatives and they must both expressly consent to the marriage.  Article 5, goes on to outline the process for the civil marriage.  

Applications can be made online at https://www.adjd.gov.ae/  or through one of the typing centres available in malls in Abu Dhabi.  The application Form requires details of both parties including their passport details.  The parties are also required to confirm their current marital status.  If previously married or widowed, proof of the Divorce or death of previous spouse will be required.  

The parties will then need to sign a joint declaration to consent to the marriage and confirm that they are not married to any other person at the time of making the application.   The Court will check the documents and provide a date for the marriage.  

Once all the formalities have been met, on the date of the marriage, the Judge will issue a marriage certificate and file it in the Civil Marriage Registry.  The parties will receive an original stamped certificate.  The fee for the marriage certificate is AED 500.

At present, the process is only available in Abu Dhabi.  It is hoped that the other Emirates will follow suit.  

The above is a general overview and for further information or advice in relation to any family matters, please contact our Family Department

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