Marriage Procedure for expats in the UAE

Marriage Procedure for expats in the UAE

Family Law – UAE and UK

We receive many enquiries on the process of marriage in the UAE.  A client kindly agreed to share her thoughts on the process of marriage in Abu Dhabi.  In light of the enquiries made by clients, we believe that the following is a useful procedural guide for anyone looking to marry at the Family Court at the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department.  

Q. Where do you normally live?

A. In Dubai.

Q. Why did you choose to have a marriage in Abu Dhabi?

A. I had heard from friends that the process is simple and quick.

Q. Was it easy to obtain information about the process? 

A. Yes, we completed an application for a civil marriage through the ADJD portal, by logging in via my U.A.E. Pass.  Either of the parties can use their UAE pass to apply.

Q. How easy was the portal to navigate?

A. We were very anxious in case we did something wrong however, the process was straightforward and it was easy to use the portal.  Once you log in to the system and select the Civil Marriage option, you are directed to a tab where you fill out the Civil Marriage Application.  

Q. Did you have to submit any documents online? 

A. Yes, we had to submit our Passport copies; and our Emirates ID copies, as my husband was previously married, we had to submit evidence that his marriage was dissolved; There was also an option to submit a Prenuptial Agreement so we uploaded our Agreement. I also want to mention that if one of the parties were not living in the UAE, a copy of their passport would suffice.

Q. What happens next ?

A. You are then prompted to make payment via an email confirmation and payment link which is sent within 3- 4 hours of you confirming the contents of the application.  

Q. How much was the application fee?

A. I paid the standard fee of AED 300.  After I made the payment, I received a confirmation email which informed me that the final date and time will be confirmed by the ADJD.  I was informed that the final appointment date and time would usually be 30 days after payment.  In my case, I received a date which was 1 month from the date of our application. 

Q. Was there an option for a fast track process?

A. Yes for anyone who wants to get married on a specific date, they have the option to pay AED 2,500 to have the marriage ceremony on the next day or a day of their convenience. 

Q.  What happened on the day of the civil marriage?

A.  We both had to present our Emirates IDs/passports at the ADJD’s reception.  We received an email prior to the day of the wedding outlining the requirements for the day including dress code requirements.  

Q. On the day of the wedding, were you allowed to take your family or friends with you?

A. Yes, guests are also permitted to attend but must provide their identification documents on the day and adhere to the ADJD dress code.

Q. How long did the wedding ceremony take? 

A. The wedding formalities were completed in less than 15 minutes.  

Q. Did you receive your marriage certificate immediately?

A. Yes our marriage certificate was ready by the time we completed the ceremony as we just needed to comply with the formalities ie Signing the certificate in front of the Registrar.

Q. Was the certificate in English?

A. Yes.

Q. Any other information that you would like to share?

A. We were informed that the Marriage Certificate is valid in the UAE however if it is to be used in another Country, it would need to be attested in the usual manner.     

As can be seen, the process is straightforward and can allow one to marry in a relatively short time with reasonable costs.  

As the above is only a guideline, the process or timelines may vary and you should always make enquiries directly with the relevant department.  

For advice in relation to any aspect of marriage either prior to or after the marriage, please contact our Family Department.

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