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Marriage Between Non-Muslims in Dubai

Dubai, UAE is home to hundreds of different nationalities from across the globe. This is why it is not surprising that the number of non-Muslim marriages in Dubai between ex-pats is double or even triple that of Muslim marriages between Emiratis. Over the same 3-year period, almost 10,000 marriages were registered with the Dubai Courts for non-Muslim ex-pat couples.

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Can a non-Muslim couple marry at Dubai Court?

Non-Islamic couples are not allowed to marry at Dubai Court. If the man, however, is Muslim and the woman is a non-Muslim, the couple will be able to proceed with court marriage in Dubai, specifically at Dubai Court. A Muslim woman, on the other hand, isn’t allowed in getting married at Dubai Court if the man is non-Muslim and any marriage will be considered void.

It is advised that non-Muslim residents of Dubai, UAE get married at a different emirate or through their respective embassies. Lots of non-Muslim couples also get married with their affiliated church or temple. Just remember that a religious marriage in Dubai between ex-pats takes a longer process to legalize in the country as there’s a need for attestation of the marriage requirements from several government departments. This includes the respective embassies of the couples, the Ministry of Justice in UAE, and the UAE Ministry/Dept of Foreign Affairs.

Although each embassy in Dubai follows the same procedures and legislation that are applicable in the home country, the duration of paperwork will differ accordingly.

Is it possible to have a Christian wedding in Dubai?

If you’re Christian, you can marry at your nearest church or any church in the UAE. Christian marriages in Dubai are conducted in accordance with the rites and ceremonies of the Catholic church. The following conditions are to be met in order to be eligible for a Christian wedding:

  • At least one contracting party is baptized
  • The couple has to attend a minimum of one monthly premarital seminar of the couple’s chosen church
  • If a contracting party to a marriage has been divorced, the couple has to meet the reverend prior to the approval and scheduling of the church wedding
  • The religious ceremony has to take place within the church
  • Neither party to a church wedding is a Muslim
  • The bride and the groom should be at least eighteen years of age

Read also: Christian Weddings in Dubai Church

Documents required for church weddings in Dubai are as follows:

  • Birth certificate of both bride and groom (attested)
  • Passports of bride and groom including visa page for UAE residents (copies)
  • Pastor’s letter or certificate of baptism (for at least one contracting party)
  • Marriage affirmation or affidavit or any similar document that proves each party is allowed in marrying (can be processed with the respective embassies of the couple)
  • Confirmation that neither of the parties is a Muslim
  • Final divorce papers or final divorce decree, if necessary
  • Death certificate of the late spouse, for a widow or widower
  • Former marriage certificate, if necessary
  • Two witnesses who are both over the age of 18]
  • Valid passports of the two witnesses (copies and originals)
  • Receipt of payment of applicable fees

The most common venues for Church weddings in Dubai are in Bur Dubai Holy Trinity and Jebel Ali Christ Church. A group seminar is mandatory for couples planning to wed with one session lasting between three to four hours.

How can I have a Hindu marriage in Dubai?

For Hindi couples or ex-pats in Dubai, at least one party to the Hindu marriage must be a citizen of India and possesses a valid UAE residency permit. The process of Hindu marriage in Dubai involves the following:

  • Completion of the notice for intended marriage
  • Notification of the marriage published in newspapers both in the UAE and in India (if there are no objections after thirty days, a couple will get the scheduled date for the marriage solemnization)
  • Submission of the requirements to the marriage committee of the Hindu temple for approval (identification papers of the groom, the bride, and the witnesses)
  • The signing of the relevant paperwork at the consulate (must be attended by the groom, the bride, and the witnesses)
  • Following the ceremony, the Hindu couple will get the official marriage certificate
  • Attestation of the official marriage certificate at the respective embassies of the newlyweds

Read also: Hindu Marriage Ceremony in Dubai

When making an application for a Hindu marriage, bring the following paperwork:

  • Birth certificates and passports (for the bride, groom, and witnesses)
  • Completed application forms
  • Resident ID cards
  • Passport size photos (must be colored and recent)
  • Sworn affidavit with attestation from the Indian embassy showing both parties are free in getting married
  • A divorce decree (must be final that’s issued by competent courts)
  • A certificate of no impediment for marriage from the embassy of a non-Indian party

To know more about non-Muslim marriages in Dubai, call us here in Dubai Court Marriage today for a consultation!

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.