With Dubai’s economic boom comes millions of expatriates moving into the bustling city. Many professionals mingle and live in the region and they’re alone, making it inevitable for them to meet, fall for each other, and plan on getting married. Some couples are of the same ethnicity; however, there are also couples that seek marriage with partners of different countries and backgrounds.
Dubai and the rest of the UAE permits the marriage of the same and or different nationalities in its borders. Even those that are not citizens or residents in the country can get married for a spectacular destination wedding! But, the rules can differ based on the religion and nationality, among other factors. Here are the procedures for marriage in the UAE for Muslims and non-Muslims alike:
For an interreligious wedding in UAE wherein the couple is of different faiths, the groom or bride will have to convert into Islam if one is Muslim, may it be the man or the woman.
Islamic marriage for expats
For residents of UAE who are Muslims, but aren’t locals or UAE nationals, the marriage procedure would be different. It will involve:
- The attorney, guardian, or father of the bride being present before the Dubai Court Marriage Section or to any relevant local authority
- The bride and the groom having valid UAE residence visas
- Presence of two male witnesses that are Muslims
- Furnishing of proof of being a divorcee or widow/widower, if applicable
- Photocopies of passports along with other documents for identification for witness for the marriage and the guardian of the bride
- In the event wherein the bride’s father isn’t Muslim and the bride is Muslim, the bride has to contact the embassy and acquire a no-objection letter that is translated or written in Arabic. Take note: the no-objection letter has to go through the attestation process, particularly with the MOFA or Ministry/Dept of Foreign Affairs
- The license for marriage in UAE will only be given once all documents are completed and furnished and when the fee for marriage is settled
A new couple can have a marriage certificate in UAE attested in order to have it verified and acceptable in other countries. This may be done with the Ministry/Dept of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice, and embassy of the countries wherein the groom and the bride are nationals.
Islamic marriage for UAE nationals
The marriage procedure will differ for UAE nationals but it can be similar to the process for marriage for UAE residents that are from other countries. The couple has to complete the contract under Shariah Law. The wedding also has to take place in Islamic Courts’ Marriage Section. For a UAE national, the bride may be non-Muslim. For the male or groom, he has to be Muslim.
- For the couple to get married, both the groom and the bride have to be UAE nationals/have the right residency permits.
- Dowry has to be paid to the bride directly with a written agreement for bride’s dowry. In the event that there is no dowry, it’s to be stated in a contract which has to contain the signatures of all those that are relevant.
- Father of the bride has to be in the court during the marriage
- There should be two adult men as witnesses
- Presentation of the bride and groom’s valid passports is a must along with photocopies
- Crucial identification documents of the bride’s guardian or father have to be presented. Witnesses also should have their documents for identification purposes.
- In the event that the father won’t be able to attend the marriage ceremony for any reason, there has to be a consent letter to be produced with a signature that can be verified by authorities. A declaration of death is needed if the father of the bride is deceased. Also, a letter of agreement to the marriage is needed from the brother or uncle of the bride.
- The bride should also ask from her native country’s embassy or consulate for a no objection certificate if the bride’s father isn’t a Muslim
- For a bride that has been divorced or widowed by a deceased husband, there has to be documentary evidence or proof produced.
For a Christian wedding in Dubai
Residents of Dubai that are of Catholic faith or Christian don’t have to follow the Islamic rules and regulations for marriage in UAE. The couple would be advised to go to their respective embassies in completing details in obtaining a valid marriage license.
In UAE, getting married involves a lot of steps and formalities which all need to be completed. In order to make the process a lot easier on the soon to be married couple, it is best to seek the help of seasoned marriage lawyers in UAE like HHS Lawyers.