Marriage registration in the UAE for foreigners

Регистрация брака в ОАЭ для иностранцев

Territorial borders have long ceased to be an obstacle to the development of personal relationships, so the question of how to get married in the UAE does not lose relevance. Dubai remains the most popular destination for living, with most of its population made up of foreigners. Let’s look at what marriage registration looks like in the UAE and what those who plan to legalize a relationship and live in one of the most actively developing countries in the world need to know.

International couples

A country with a diverse and multicultural population creates a unique environment for international couples. There are several possible options for how to get married in the UAE, we will tell you about each of them below. In terms of further adaptation, much depends not on the nationality of family members, but on their attitude to life. Having a job with steady earnings, real estate in Dubai makes you feel at home.

Approaches to mixed marriages

In the United Arab Emirates, a tolerant attitude towards representatives of any nationality, including mixed unions, which are not uncommon. It is only important to follow local traditions and observe the norms of behavior. The Government of the country is actively working to support Emirati families, strengthen the social and demographic structure, and stimulate alliances between Emirati citizens. The Department of Marriage Subsidies (MoCD) has been established for this purpose.

Регистрация брака в ОАЭ для иностранцев

Religious Aspects: UAE Islamic Marriage

Muslim family relations are regulated in accordance with Sharia law and can be concluded in the following cases:

  • when both partners are Muslims;
  • when a Muslim and a woman from “Ahl Al-Kitab” (people of other nationalities mentioned in the Quran) get married.

Marrying a Muslim to a non-Muslim woman is allowed, but a Muslim woman cannot marry a non-Muslim in Dubai unless he has converted to Islam.

Polygamy is not prohibited according to local laws. A Muslim can have up to four wives, provided they are given equal living conditions and the same treatment. Most marriage ceremonies are conducted according to Islamic traditions and Sharia law, as religion has a significant impact not only on the relationship between men and women, but also on every stage of everyday life.

Legal requirements

The legislation interprets marriage as a legal union between a man and a woman, the purpose of which is to protect the rights of spouses. In Dubai, at least one of the participants in the marriage union (husband, wife or wife’s guardian) must have the status of a resident. In other emirates, both spouses must be residents of the country. The remaining requirements vary depending on the religion and citizenship of the future spouses.

Requirements for Muslim foreigners

  • The marriage contract must be officially registered in the Sharia court.
  • The minimum age of a bride and groom wishing to get married in the UAE is 18 years old, or a judge’s permission must be obtained.
  • The age of one of the spouses should not be twice the age of the other, unless approved by a judge.
  • The personal presence of both parties is mandatory.
  • The presence of the bride’s father or his representative and two male Muslim witnesses is required.
  • A Muslim bride must obtain the consent of her father or guardian. If her father is a non-Muslim, it is necessary to obtain a certificate of non-objection from her country’s consulate or embassy in the UAE.
  • In the event of the death of the bride’s father, the presence of the closest guardian, for example, an older brother, is required.
  • Divorced and widowed women must submit documents confirming their status.

Couples must provide a certificate of premarital medical examination issued by authorized medical institutions. This survey is aimed at preventing the spread of infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS.

Special conditions for UAE citizens

If an Emirati citizen plans to marry a foreigner in the UAE, she must comply with the following conditions:

  • Get the consent of your parents or guardian.
  • When working or serving in the armed forces, the consent of the employer is required.
  • The citizenship of an Emirati woman should be obtained by birthright, and not acquired by dependency.

A foreign groom must have citizenship, and not be stateless. Legal residency is required. It can be obtained, for example, when buying an apartment in Dubai. When applying for registration of a relationship, you must provide an official certificate of no criminal record.

Регистрация брака в ОАЭ для иностранцев

Requirements for non-Muslim foreigners: civil marriage in the UAE

This aspect will be of interest to UAE expats and tourists who do not profess Islam and want to get married in Dubai or Abu Dhabi on secular principles. It is important to note that such a union does not require a premarital medical examination or the consent of the bride’s father or guardian.

Civil registration in the Abu Dhabi Civil and Family Court is available to anyone, regardless of their nationality or religion, with the exception of Muslims. Tourists also have similar rights. Those wishing to get married must meet the following requirements:

  • Both sides should not be citizens of a State professing Islam.
  • Mutual consent of the parties is required.
  • Both parties must be over the age of 18.
  • The parties should not be relatives of the first or second degree of kinship.

You can apply for marriage in the UAE through the official website of the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD) or through the ADJD centers. To do this, you need an application, copies of the passports of both parties or their Emirates ID (for UAE residents), as well as proof of termination of the previous union, if there was one.

To register a marriage in Dubai as a civil contract, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Both partners must be non-Muslims.
  • The age of each partner must be at least 21 years old.
  • One of the parties must be a citizen of Dubai.
  • The couple must provide proof that they are free from other marital obligations.

The parties will be required to provide originals of passports and Emirates ID, as well as a copy of a valid residence permit. It is also necessary to provide a certificate of marital status from the embassy of the country of origin.

All documents submitted in English or other languages must be translated into Arabic and signed by a lawyer translator accredited by the UAE Ministry of Justice, as well as certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MOFAIC).

Religious ceremonies for non-Muslims

Believers can hold a marriage ceremony in the UAE in places of worship or in the diplomatic missions of their states. You can get married in a Christian church in the UAE. For those planning a Hindu or Jewish ceremony, it is enough to find an appropriate religious institution. It is important to remember that for secular organizations it will not be considered valid until registration with the relevant state institutions.

The wedding procedure in the UAE

For expats wishing to apply for marriage in Dubai, the procedure is as follows:

  • Submitting an application through the eZawaj system, which is available on the website of the Ministry of Justice.
  • Provision of necessary documents, including passports, birth certificates, certificates of absence of criminal record.

Then you need to pay the fee and come to a meeting with a judge who will consider the application. If the decision is positive, the certificate can be obtained online by filling in the required information.

Регистрация брака в ОАЭ для иностранцев

Tips and recommendations

They can be viewed from several positions:

  • If we are talking about a couple who already live in the United Arab Emirates, it remains only to carefully study the opportunities provided by local legislation for foreigners. You can also use the help of professional agencies that not only organize the wedding itself, but also tell you what documents are required for marriage through the embassy in the UAE, in a religious institution or as a civil contract.
  • For couples who just want to have a romantic ceremony on the Persian Gulf coast, it may be easier to organize a celebration, and to register at their place of residence. This will avoid additional costs for consultations on the required documents, their translation and confirmation.

The legislation of the state allows you to choose your own format for any situation.


On our portal, you can get useful information about the peculiarities of life in the United Arab Emirates, as well as find a home in Dubai or any other region of the country. The portal’s managers are ready to advise on the selection and purchase of real estate. Check out the latest offers from developers and agencies right now!


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