Civil Marriage for Non-Muslims in Abu Dhabi
Non-Muslims in the UAE now have the option to get married in a civil ceremony after Abu Dhabi opened its new non-Muslim Personal Status Court. Pursuant to Law No. 14 of 2021 Concerning Personal Status for non-Muslim Foreigners, Abu Dhabi Government allows civil marriage for non-Muslims.
What is a civil marriage?
A civil marriage is a lawful union of a non-Muslim man and woman, solemnized as a civil contract. The marriage is based on secular rules. Civil marriage allows marriage between interfaith couples too.
Who can get married under the new law?
UAE residents, tourists and visitors can apply to get married under the new law, provided that the applicants are non-Muslims, or citizens of a non-Muslim country.
What are the key legal requirements for a civil marriage?
The key legal requirements for a civil marriage are that:
- The legal age of both parties should not be less than 18 years
- There should be free consent of both parties
- Both parties should sign a declaration form acknowledging that they are not married to anyone else at that moment.
- Applicants for a civil marriage are not required to have their father’s or guardian’s approval or a premarital screening certificate.
How to apply?
You can apply online, through the Interactive Case Registration (ICR) service on the website of the Judicial Department-Abu Dhabi or onsite by visiting the Family Court building in Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi.
The following documents must be submitted:
- A completed and signed marriage application form
- A copy of passport, or Emirates ID (of both parties)
- A proof of no record of existing marriage (for both parties)
- Marriage agreement (optional).
After they get their certificate, couples are encouraged to have this notarized to prevent conflicts with their home embassies.
Abu Dhabi established a non-Muslim Family Court in the emirate to hear and resolve family matters involving non-Muslims.