Planning a wedding in Dubai is one thing, while officially getting married in Dubai is another. There are several regulations that govern getting married in Dubai, particularly for non nationals.
Are you planning on getting officially married in Dubai? If so, keep in mind that Dubai offers different procedures depending on your nationality, religion and residency status, and like other countries, there are certain legal requirements and conditions that must be met.
Under the Sharia Law applicable in the UAE, marriage is the only legal bond for a man and a woman to establish a relationship and have children. It is prohibited for an unmarried man and woman to live together or share a closed space.
Marriage in Islam is a legal contract between a man and a woman, aimed at safeguarding the rights of the couple and their children. The marriage contract should be registered in a Sharia court in the UAE, which ensures that the marriage meets legal requirements. For non-Islamic marriages, couples should contact their church or embassy and follow the marriage laws applicable there.
Here is an overview of marriage procedures in Dubai:
Islamic Marriage Procedure in Dubai:
- At least one party to the marriage contract (husband, wife or wife’s guardian) should have employment or residence visa in Dubai. Spouses should bring their national ID and passports for proof of their identity and visa status.
- A spouse’s age should not exceed double of their partner. If either spouse is less than 18 years of age, approval of the Chief Justice of Personal Status Court should be obtained.
- You need to apply electronically using Dubai Courts website (www.dubaicourts.gov.ae) before going to the courts. Dubai Courts offers online services for marriage applications through its portal. You will find an online Marriage Contract form to fill out. The form requires you to name 2 witnesses.
- Once you submit the online application, you will receive a reference number by e-mail which you should mention during your visit to Dubai Courts.
- Both of you should get a which is issued by a Dubai government hospital or a clinic. Pre marital medical tests are mandatory in the UAE. The Certificate is issued a few days after you take your tests and you must collect it from the same healthcare center you tested at.
- Both spouses should present themselves, along with the bride’s father and 2 Muslim male witnesses. In case, the bride’s father is no longer alive, relevant death certificate to be shown and the presence of the closest male guardian is required (example brother, uncle, cousin, adult son, nephew). If the bride’s father is alive but unable to come in person, he can delegate a proxy guardian who must be of the same religion as that of the bride’s father.
- The fee for the marriage contract at Dubai Courts varies from AED 60 to AED 500 depending on the procedures. The authorized marriage officers at Dubai Courts will advise you on this.
Dubai Courts has more than 20 authorized marriage officers (Ma'zoons) to perform marriage ceremonies, draw up the marriage contract and check all documentation.
In addition to the conditions given above, there are other special conditions for newly converted Muslims, divorcees, widows, widowers and for marriage of UAE female with expatriates.
- Newly converted female Muslims should submit ‘certificate of embracing Islam’ and certificates from any Islamic centre approved by the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments (Awqaf).
- Divorcees should submit official certificate / divorce judgement.
- Widows and Widowers should submit death certificate of their late spouse.
- All certificates not issued in the UAE should be legally translated into Arabic. Power of attorney and other certificates issued from a country outside the UAE should be legally translated and ratified by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of that country, UAE Embassy of that country, UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and UAE Ministry of Justice.
Non Islamic Marriage Procedure in Dubai:
- For non-Islamic Marriages there are different procedures which also depend on the nationality and religion of the couple.
- At least one of the couple must have a UAE residency.
- Non-Muslims may not marry in Dubai Courts, but can get married in their embassy or a church. However, a Muslim man can get married to a non-Muslim woman in Dubai Courts.
- 2 witnesses are required who have to produce their IDs.
- You need to have complete birth certificates, 10 year valid passports and photocopies, passports and photocopies of the 2 witnesses and the pre-marital medical certificate.
- Your marriage certificate may need authentication by the Ministry of Justice. This authentication will have to be further authenticated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Then, you need to visit your embassy, to obtain the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' authentication for using it in your own country.