Abu Dhabi is the capital and the largest emirate of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It is home to a diverse population of expatriates and tourists from different countries and cultures. For non-Muslims who want to get married in Abu Dhabi, there is a new option available i.e. civil marriage. It provides legal recognition and protection for their relationship and their children, as well as social acceptance and integration. It also allows them to choose their partner regardless of their faith or nationality. In this article, we will explain the requirements and the procedure for getting a civil marriage in Abu Dhabi court.
What is Civil Marriage?
Civil marriage is a legal option for the following categories of people who wish to marry in Abu Dhabi:
- Non-Muslims or citizens of non-Muslim countries.
- Interfaith couples who do not want to face any religious restrictions or conversions.
- Muslims who are not UAE citizens and are not already married.
How to Apply for Civil Marriage?
To apply for a civil marriage, the following steps must be followed:
- Fill in the civil marriage registration form in Arabic and English, which is available online or onsite.
- Provide the required documents, such as passport or Emirates ID, proof of no existing marriage, and marriage agreement (optional).
- Pay the prescribed fee, which is AED 300 for a regular service or AED 2,500 for an express service.
What are the Benefits of Civil Marriage?
By having a civil marriage, the following benefits can be enjoyed:
- Two options are available for the processing of the application: the regular service, which takes up to 10 working days, or the express service, which takes only one working day and allows choosing the ceremony date.
- The date and time of the marriage ceremony can be chosen, which can be done electronically or at the court’s premises.
- The terms of the marriage contract can be agreed upon, which will define the rights and obligations of the spouses during and after the marriage.
- The non-Muslim Family Court in Abu Dhabi can hear and resolve civil family matters.
Scope of Application of the Law on Civil Marriage and Family Matters
The Resolution No. (8) Of 2022 concerning the Marriage and Civil Divorce Procedures in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, regulates civil marriage and its effects and all civil family matters for the following categories of people:
- Non-Muslim citizens of the UAE.
- Foreigners who have the nationality of a country that does not primarily apply Islamic law in personal status matters, as per the list in the guidelines issued by the Chairman of the Judicial Department – Abu Dhabi (the department). If a foreigner has more than one nationality, the nationality that corresponds to their residence in the country will be considered.
- People who got married in a country that does not primarily apply Islamic law in personal status matters, as per the list in the guideline issued by the Chairman of the Department.
- People who got married according to the provisions of civil marriage.
- Any other case for which the Chairman issues a decision.
Civil Marriage Requirements and Procedure
- Requirements for Civil Marriage in Abu Dhabi
To get married in a civil ceremony, the following requirements must be met:
A civil marriage is valid only if the following requirements are fulfilled:
- Age: Both spouses have attained the age of 18 years, and their age is verified by an official document issued by their country of nationality.
- Consent: Both spouses have given their consent to the marriage in an explicit manner, and there is no legal impediment to their consent.
- Capacity: Both spouses have the necessary mental capacity to enter into a marriage contract.
- Kinship: The spouses are not related by blood or adoption, such as siblings, parents, children, grandparents, or uncles and aunts.
- Monogamy: Neither spouse is already married to another person.
- Declaration Form: Both spouses must sign the declaration form.
The Chairman of the Department may impose any other conditions for civil marriage. The spouses are not required to submit a pre-marriage medical examination certificate or to have witnesses for the marriage ceremony.
Civil Marriage Procedure before the Court of Civil Family Matters
To conclude a civil marriage contract before the court, the following steps must be followed by the couples who are covered by the law:
- Application: The spouses must fill in the civil marriage registration form in Arabic and English, which is available on the Department’s website. They must attach the required documents and pay the prescribed fee. They must also disclose any previous marriage for each of them, with the date of divorce if applicable, and declare that they are not currently married to anyone else.
- Verification: The court will check that all the requirements for civil marriage are met and that the procedures are followed correctly.
- Approval: If the application is approved, the court will contact the spouses within three working days from the date of submission to set a date for issuing the marriage certificate. The spouses must be present before the court, either electronically or at the court’s premises.
- Authentication: The notary will authenticate the marriage contract and issue the bilingual civil marriage certificate according to the form attached to this decision. The certificate will be recorded and stored in the electronic civil marriage registry.
The procedure for getting a civil marriage in Abu Dhabi is simple and fast. The couple must submit an online application to the Judicial Department of the court, wait for three to five working days for the court to invite them for the formal ceremony, attend the ceremony at the court and sign the marriage contract in front of a judge, and receive the marriage certificate from the court.
Seek Assistance of Marriage Lawyers at Dubai Court Marriage
Are you looking for a hassle-free way to get married in Abu Dhabi? If yes, then you need the expert guidance and assistance of marriage lawyers at Dubai Court Marriage. They are the experienced in handling court marriage cases for residents and tourists of any background, nationality, or religion. They will help you with the following services:
- Assessment of your eligibility and requirements for civil marriage in Abu Dhabi
- Assistance with the application process and the submission of the necessary documents
- Authentication and legalization of your civil marriage certificate by the UAE authorities
- Resolution of any legal issues or disputes that may arise during or after your marriage.
With marriage lawyers at Dubai Court Marriage, you can enjoy a smooth and stress-free marriage experience in Abu Dhabi. Don’t wait any longer.
Contact marriage lawyers at Dubai Court Marriage today and get ready to tie the knot in Abu Dhabi!