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Getting Married in UAE as a Non-Muslim: Step-by-Step Process

In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), non-Muslim individuals have the option to apply the provisions of Personal Laws if they wish to get Married in UAE as a Non-Muslim. This is in accordance with Article 1(2) & (3) of the Federal Law No. 28 of 2005 on personal status, as amended, (the ‘UAE Personal Laws’). The Article states that UAE Personal Laws shall apply to the citizens of the UAE, except that non-Muslims amongst them have special provisions applicable to their community or confession. Further, the provisions of the same Law shall apply to non-citizens, except if any of them insists on implementing the law of their country when getting married in the UAE. 

Civil Marriage Law for Non- Muslims in the UAE

The Federal Decree-Law No. (41) Of 2022 On the Civil Personal Status (the ‘Decree Law’) is the civil marriage law for non-Muslims in the UAE. It shall apply non-Muslim nationals of the country and non-Muslim foreigners who are residents in the country unless they opt to be governed by their home countries with regards to marriage, divorce, inheritance, wills and proof of parentage.

Requirements for Civil Marriage of Non-Muslims in UAE

As per Article 5 of the Decree Law, for a civil marriage contract to be established, the following conditions shall be met: 

  1. Both the husband and wife have attained at least (21) twenty-one Gregorian years; and that age shall be established by any official document issued by the state of their nationality.
  2. Marriage should not take place between brothers, sons, grandchildren, uncles, or aunts, and any other cases specified by the Executive Regulations.
  3. The married couple explicitly express their consent to marriage before the Authentication Judge and that there is nothing that legally discredits their consent.
  4. The married couple must sign the disclosure form.
  5. Other conditions specified by this Decree-Law’s Executive Regulations.

Procedures for Getting Married in UAE as a Non-Muslim 

Step 1: Submission of Marriage Application

Marriage procedures may be concluded before the authenticating judge with a competent court by the submission of an application formulated in accordance with the standard form prepared for this purpose. This is important to note that all the other conditions and procedures stipulated in this Decree-Law and its Executive Regulations must be fulfilled.

Step 2: Decide the terms of marriage agreement

The husband and wife must fill out a form designed specifically for this purpose in front of the authentication judge in order for their marriage to be formally recognized. They also have the right to negotiate the terms of the agreement and to invoke any provisions related to the rights of each spouse during and after their marriage, particularly with regard to joint custody of their children.

Step 3: Disclosure of any previous marriage (if any)

The marriage contract must include:

  • A disclosure from both spouses about any previous marriages.
  • The date of divorce, if applicable.
  • The wife’s confirmation that she is not currently married to someone else.
  • The husband’s acknowledgment of the same, required if his law prohibits polygamy.
  • The husband must also disclose any existing marital relationships to the judge who authenticates the marriage contract.


Step 4: Authentication and Registration of Civil Marriage Contracts

After the verification of documents and all conditions required for the marriage has been completed, the authentication judge shall authenticate the marriage contract, which will be recorded in the designated register.

Note: The contract must include proof of consent from each spouse, either verbally or in writing. The Executive Regulations of the Decree-Law will specify the approved bilingual contract form for civil marriage.

Alternative Options for Non-Muslim Marriage in UAE

The other alternative for a non-Muslim may be to marry according to the provisions of the UAE Personal Status Law. This is as per Article (1) of Federal Decree-Law No. (41) Of 2022 on Civil Personal Status, which states that “the persons governed by the provisions of this Decree-Law, as named in Clause (1) of this Article, may agree to apply other legislation regulating family or personal status matters currently in force in the State instead of applying the provisions of this Decree-Law.

Therefore, Non-Muslims can conclude marriage formalities at:

  • the embassy or consulate of their country in the UAE
  • or at a temple or a church, as per their religion.

It is noted that some countries require their citizens to file an application of intention to marry at their embassy or consulate in the UAE. You are advised to check with your embassy and proceed accordingly. The marriage must also be registered in the embassies of both partners in the UAE.

Seek Assistance of Dubai Court Marriage 

At Dubai Court Marriage, our marriage lawyers are well-versed in navigating the legal preconditions laid down by the Personal Laws for Non-Muslims of the UAE. They assist couples to get married in the UAE without any hassle. We understand that non-Muslim couples who want to marry in UAE have different needs, so we are here to assist you with the following:

  • We provide detailed support on the documentation required and the eligibility criteria for civil marriage.
  • We can assist you in accurately filling out all the mandatory forms and making the proper disclosure.
  • We help in scheduling the marriage procedure, which is conducted by the authorized authentication judge.
  • In addition, our commitment is also focused on adherence to all the rules and procedures specified under the Decree-Law, including its Executive Regulations.

Contact us today to book a consultation and learn more about how we can streamline your non-Muslim marriage process in the UAE.

Hazim Darwish Practicing law for almost a decade, he has in-depth knowledge on UAE legislation with particular expertise on family law, and regulatory compliance for business organizations. Hazim Darwish also provides counsel on legal rights and obligations in the UAE to clients, including individuals and businesses subject to investigation or prosecution under Criminal Law by major regulators.