Unlike in other countries in the Middle East, citizens and residents of the United Arab Emirates can complete legal religious or court marriages. The Sharia court recognizes marriage between people of different faiths. UAE nationals are also allowed in marrying foreign nationals or expatriates awarded with UAE residency.
Conditions of Marriage between UAE National and a Foreigner:
- The UAE national must first send in an application to the local court for permission to wedding someone with a different nationality. As soon as the application is approved, other formalities can then be taken care of.
- Religious practices, particularly the conversion of the non-Muslim man or woman to Islam, must be agreed upon and completed prior to marriage.
- Both contracting parties to the court marriage have to in full agreement to the marriage
- A foreign woman has to have the written permission of her current sponsor to marry a UAE national
- An Emirati woman who is married to a foreign national will become the permanent sponsor of her husband. The Emirati woman who will marry a foreign national must have written consent of being the permanent sponsor of the husband and any children they will have. Take note: children who are born of non-Emirati fathers but have Emirati mothers will automatically be Emirati citizens through descent regardless of their place of birth. The children can apply to receive Emirati citizenship when they reach 18-years old.
- The contracting parties to a court marriage in UAE must not have twice the age of the other party.
- Foreign man or woman shouldn’t have been a previous member of a foreign country’s military and should not be on any list of banned foreign countries to enter UAE
- The foreign man or woman must possess an appropriate family residence and a valid UAE residence permit
- The foreign man or woman must provide a certificate that shows he or she has no previous criminal record in any country, including the United Arab Emirates
- Contracting parties to a marriage must complete drug testing and complete medical examinations to check for AIDS and other illnesses
- If the UAE national belongs to the UAE Armed Forces or has been under the employment of the UAE Ministry/Dept of Foreign Affairs, special permission has to be obtained from the employer before getting married
- Certification of marital status has to be presented and approved by UAE Ministry/Dept of Foreign Affairs, Ministry/Dept of Foreign Affairs of foreign national’s home country, and the consulate that represents the foreign national’s home country in the UAE
- The birth certificate of the foreign national has to undergo the necessary attestation procedures with several different regulatory bodies in his/her home country and the UAE
- The prospective groom of an Emirati woman should not be stateless
- A citizen of Bahrain or Saudi Arabia that wishes to Emirati woman must have the consent of his country
- An Ajman national has to obtain approval of Ajman Sharia Court if he is marrying a foreign woman that is not from GCC countries
- If the foreign national’s father is not Muslim, a letter of no objection must be issued from the bride’s embassy or consulate
- Widowed or divorced women must be able to produce evidence of their marital status e.g. death certificate of a deceased spouse or final divorce decrees
Take note: the UAE government encourages the marriage between an Emirati woman and an Emirati man in order for the country to both build and maintain stable, consolidated Emirati families. Encouraging Emiratis to wed their fellow Emiratis also allows the fortification of the Emirati demographic and social structure.
Are there grounds for denial of marriage between an Emirati and foreigner in UAE?
If any of the conditions listed above are not met, it is likely that the marriage application of a foreigner and Emirati will be denied by the local- authorities. Additionally, based on medical screening certificates presented by the couple, the application of marriage will be denied if either of the contracting parties to a marriage has a transferrable disease or blood disease that is inherited genetically and can be passed on to the offspring.
Should I consult with a marriage lawyer in UAE prior to undergoing court marriage?
Lots of people ask whether it’s absolutely necessary to talk to a marriage attorney in UAE prior to marrying a foreign national or Emirati. Our recommendation is to speak with a team of lawyers and legal advocates in Dubai, UAE. Apart from all of the emotional components that comprise a marital relationship, there’s a couple of serious financial consequences with marriage. UAE family laws can also differ from the family code of a foreign national’s home country. That being said, it’s in the best interests of a couple to consult with a legal team even before compiling the requirements for marriage.
To talk to our marriage attorneys in UAE, contact us here in Dubai Court Marriage today!