What to Know Regarding Marriage for Expats in UAE


April 13: Expatriates in UAE, regardless of nationality, background, or religion, can get married in a court, temple or church within the country. For Muslims, they are able to perform marriage ceremonies in Shari’a Courts or at home with an authorized religious clerk.

 Preconditions for marriage for expats in UAE

  • Approval of the guardian of the bride for the marriage to take place. In case the father is absent, the male next-of-kin can be the bride’s guardian. In rare cases, a cleric sheikh may be able to assume the role of the guardian.
  • The bride and the groom both need to be UAE residents. If one or either parties are not able to present documentation that offer proof of nationality or UAE residency, then a court has the discretion to reject the application for marriage.

Requirements for expat marriage in UAE

  • Birth certificate;
  • Original and copy of emirates ID;
  • Original and copies of passports of the groom and bride;
  • Pre-marriage medical test certificates;
  • Marital status certificate – this is a document that states whether the certificate holder is single, divorced or widowed. A certificate of marital status has to be attested and Arabized or translated into Arabic. Details regarding attestation of certificate of marital status can be taken from experts that provide UAE attestation services. If the person has never been married, then he/she can create an affidavit and have the embassy to notarize the document.

Take note: requirements can vary, depending on the nationality or religion of the parties, which is why it is important for a couple to consult with marriage lawyers in UAE to get more specific advice regarding the requirements for marriage in the country.

As soon as the requirements are compiled along with the application for marriage to be submitted to a local court, marriage can be performed officially with two witnesses present. The certificate of marriage will then be issued days following the ceremony.

Church wedding in UAE

Churches may perform marriage in UAE; however, there is a requirement and that is for both parties to be Christians. When a marriage is conducted inside a church, marriage certificate will be obtained from a local court still.

If you wish to have a full wedding ceremony within a church in UAE, then you will have to go through a number of counselling sessions as well as regular services prior to the wedding ceremony. Also, for Catholic church weddings, there's a need to register documents such as christening and birth certificates prior to couples being approved to conduct church weddings.

Embassy marriage in UAE

Some embassies perform marriages for nationals, but not all embassies do so, which means you need to check first with your country’s embassy in UAE.

As mentioned earlier, the requirements for marriage in Dubai or anywhere in the UAE can vary depending on your nationality, faith, or denomination. This is why it is crucial to speak to a marriage lawyer in Dubai, so you have a more concrete answer to the procedure and requirements associated with the joyous occasion. Marriage lawyers in UAE are able not only to help you compile your requirements, but also to register your marriage to local authorities. Click here for more details about this topic.

Author's Bio:

M. Al Khairy, LL.B.

10+ years of experience

Marriage and Family Law

M. Al Khairy is a marriage lawyer from an internationally recognized law firm in UAE, HHS Lawyers. He supports individuals in completing procedures for marriage in UAE, irrespective of nationality or religion. Many of the lawyers in HHS Lawyers, including M. Al Khairy, are leaders within their respective fields and their practice areas are ranked highly by legal directories.


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