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Civil Marriage in the UAE: Eligibility, Requirements, Cost and Procedures

Are you interested in getting married in the UAE without following any religious law? If so, you might want to know more about civil marriage and how it works in the country. Civil marriage is a legal way of getting married and registering your marriage according to the laws and regulations, regardless of your faith or nationality.

In this article, we will explain who is eligible for civil marriage and family law in the UAE, what are the requirements and procedures for getting a civil marriage, and what are the benefits of choosing this option.

Civil Marriage in the UAE

Civil marriage is a legal option for non-Muslim couples who want to get married in the UAE without following any religious law. Civil marriage allows interfaith marriages as well. One of the benefits of civil marriage is that it does not require a medical examination or a guardian’s consent for the spouses. This makes the process easier and faster for the couples who want to have a civil marriage.

The civil marriage in the UAE is conducted and registered in accordance with the laws and regulations irrespective of any religious law. The registry maintained by the department and in which civil marriage contracts that are concluded and registered before the department are registered.

Who is Eligible for Civil Marriage and Family Law in the UAE?

Law No. 14/2021 On Civil Marriage and its Effects in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi (the Law) regulates civil marriage and its consequences, as well as all civil family matters, for the following groups of people:

  1. Citizens who are not Muslims.
  2. Foreigners who belong to a country that does not follow Islamic law as the main source of personal status law. If a foreigner has more than one nationality, the one that matches their residence in the country will be applicable.
  3. Couples who got married in a country that does not use Islamic law as the primary basis of personal status law.
  4. Couples who had a civil marriage according to the rules of the law.
  5. Any other situation that the chairman decides to include under the law.

How to Get Married Under Civil Law

Civil law allows people to get married and register their marriage according to the laws and regulations, without following any specific religious law. To have a civil marriage, the spouses need to meet these requirements:

  1. Age: Both spouses must be at least 18 years old, and they must prove their age with an official document from their country of origin.
  2. Free will: The spouses must clearly agree to the marriage, and there must be no legal obstacle to their consent.
  3. Mental capacity: The spouses must be able to understand and make decisions for themselves.
  4. No forbidden kinship: The spouses must not be related by blood, such as siblings, parents, grandparents, or cousins.
  5. No polygamy: Neither spouse can be married to someone else at the same time. The chairman may also add other conditions for the civil marriage.
  6. The spouses do not need to have a medical examination or witnesses for the civil marriage to take place.

Documents You Need to Apply for a Civil Marriage in the UAE

To get a civil marriage in the UAE, you need to submit some documents to the court. These documents are:

  • A marriage application form that you and your spouse have filled out and signed
  • Copy of both parties’ passport
  • Copy of both parties’ Emirates ID (if applicable)
  • A proof that you are not married to anyone else (for both of you)
  • A marriage agreement (if you have one).

Abu Dhabi has a special court for non-Muslim families that can deal with your civil marriage and other family issues.

How to Apply for a Civil Marriage in the UAE

If you are eligible for a civil marriage under this law, you can get married in the court by following these steps:

  1. If you want to have a civil marriage under this law, you need to apply to the civil marriage department’s authentication judge by filling out the online form for civil marriage registration in Arabic and English. You also need to meet the other conditions and procedures in the law. You don’t need to have a medical examination before the marriage.
  2. The authentication judge will conduct the marriage ceremony after you and your spouse fill out the form for the marriage. You and your spouse can agree on the terms of the marriage that you will follow and that will be your reference for your rights and duties during the marriage and after divorce.
  3. You need to attach the necessary documents and pay the fee. You also need to tell the court if you or your spouse have been married before, when you got divorced, and that you are not married to anyone else right now.
  4. The court will check that you meet all the requirements for a civil marriage and that you have completed all the procedures.
  5. If your application is approved, the court will contact you within three working days from the date you submitted the application. The court will set a date for issuing the marriage certificate. You and your spouse need to be present in front of the court, either online or at the court’s headquarters
  6. The notary will certify the marriage contract and issue the civil marriage certificate in both languages, according to the form attached to this decision. The certificate will be recorded and stored in the electronic civil marriage registry.


Civil Marriage Fees in the UAE

If you want to have a civil marriage in the UAE, you need to pay a fee to the court. The normal fee for a civil marriage is 300 AED. But if you want to speed up the process or choose a specific date for your marriage, you can use the express marriage service for 2,500 AED.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Civil Marriage in the UAE?

  • The time it takes to get a civil marriage in the UAE depends on the type of service you choose. If you choose the standard service, you need to wait for up to 10 working days for your application to be approved by the registration team.
  • After your application is approved and you pay the fee, the court will contact you within 5 working days by email or phone to set a date for the marriage ceremony. You will get your marriage certificate at the end of the ceremony.
  • If you choose the express service, you can get your application processed within 1 working day and you can pick the date and time for the ceremony. This way, you can get your marriage certificate faster and more conveniently.

How may Dubai Court Marriage assist you?

A marriage lawyer at Dubai Court Marriage can assist you in various ways, such as:

  • Preparing a prenuptial agreement that regulates your property rights and obligations during and after the marriage.
  • Applying for a civil marriage certificate that is legal and valid in the UAE and other countries.
  • Advising you on the requirements and procedures for a civil marriage, such as age, consent, documents, and fees.
  • Representing you in any family disputes or issues that may arise from your civil marriage, such as divorce, custody, alimony, or inheritance.

For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us.