Marriage and Pregnancy in the UAE

Marriage and Pregnancy in the UAE

Family Law – UAE and UK

We all know that the UAE can sometimes be confusing in terms of paperwork and ensuring that everything obeys the law, but did you know the steps needed to register your child’s birth? What about a passport, Emirates ID, and residence visa? Yes, even babies need these important documents. Thankfully, Dee is here to explain the process and to guide you through the many steps involved.

After marriage, some of you will be thinking of having children. There will be many considerations for you when deciding to have children in Dubai, including where the baby is to be born (UAE or your home country), which hospital you wish to attend (government or private), which gynaecologist you wish to see and what facilities will be available in the UAE for you and the baby. Whilst living in the UAE, it is vital to be aware of the laws and your rights in respect of general family life, including marriage and children. 

In this article, I will outline various considerations and procedures to assist you in making informed decisions. You should be aware that it is extremely important for a woman to be married if she is pregnant in the UAE. When pregnant and attending the hospital, you will be expected to produce your original (attested) marriage certificate along with your passports and visas. Bearing in mind the aforesaid, expatriate unmarried mothers should either marry immediately or return to their home countries for the birth of their child. 

When deciding to have children, you should ensure that your medical insurance (which is compulsory in the UAE) covers maternity benefits (a standard cover is mandatory) and it would be a good idea to check the level of the benefit so that you can plan accordingly. Many hospitals offer maternity packages so make sure you do your research beforehand so you are aware of potential costs.

If the mum to be is working, you will need to inform your employer as soon as possible and consider your rights in respect of maternity leave and other entitlements. You may also want to refer to your individual company policy as well as being aware of your rights under the UAE Federal Labour Law. Article 30 states that “a working woman is entitled to maternity leave with full pay for a period of forty-five days including the time before and after delivery…” and Article 31 says, “in addition to any prescribed rest period, a working woman nursing her child shall, during the eighteen months following the date of delivery, be entitled to two additional breaks each day for this purpose, neither of which shall exceed half an hour”. 

After the birth of your child, various formalities need to be followed in respect of the registration of the birth. Once your baby is born, you will need a birth certificate. You have up to 30 days to register the birth in the UAE. The hospital will provide you with a notification of the birth. This is the document that allows you to apply for the birth certificate. If the notification is in Arabic, you will need to get it translated into English. The Arabic and English certificates will need to be attested at the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

One or both of the parents will need to obtain an application form from the Birth Certificate Office (at Al Baraha Hospital). You should have the application typed by an official typist at the centre and present the application along with the originals and copies of both parents’ passports (with residence permits), a copy of your attested marriage certificate and the discharge summary from the hospital, whereupon the birth will be registered. You may also want to register the child’s birth in your home country, in which case advice should be sought from the authorities in your home country as to requirements and procedures.  

In the UAE, there are several other documents you have to apply for when your baby is born and it would be a good idea for you to have knowledge of these and an understanding of the requirements so that following the birth of the baby, you can deal with the formalities (I am aware that there are various agencies who can assist you with the formalities for a charge, so you may want to consider this). You have 120 days to arrange other formal documents such as your baby’s passport, visa, Emirates ID, and medical insurance. If the documents are not obtained within this time, you will be fined for each day after the expiry of the 4 month period.  

You will need to apply for a passport for your new baby and you should therefore make enquiries with your respective embassies as to how to go about this. They will be able to advise of the various documents that you will need to submit with the application form, including documents to prove your child’s identity and the child’s eligibility for a passport of that particular country. 

Once you have the passport, you can apply for an Emirates ID card for the baby. You can get this at the Emirates Identity Authority. Again, you will have to submit various documents such as the original birth certificate, original passport and Emirates ID card of one parent and the baby’s original passport. Once you have the Passport and Emirates ID, you will need to apply for a Residence Visa for the baby. 

If you require specific information on obtaining any of the documents stated above or information on the procedure for the same, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me.  Here at James Berry & Associates, we deal with a vast range of legal services, therefore if you require any specific advice in any other area of law, please do get in touch and we can point you in the direction of the appropriate lawyer.


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