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February 24, 2022

Getting Married in the UAE

After years spent establishing a career, making life long friends and forging a romantic relationship, many expats choose to tie the knot in the UAE instead of going back to their home country. Here we'll explore what it takes to get married in the UAE, from paperwork to religion and more.
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For most people, getting married in their country of citizenship is a relatively simple process; a marriage license and/or a religious authority and its done! But if you're an expat getting married in the UAE, the process becomes a little more complicated.

Getting Married in the UAE - Muslim Marriages

getting married in the uae islamic wedding

If it's a Muslim man and woman are getting married in the UAE, you have two options on where that marriage can take place. You can either get married in a court in front of a judge, or you can have a “Ma’azoon” (the Islamic Sheikh) come to the wedding venue to complete the legal aspect.

Regardless of where you choose to get married, the conditions to be met beforehand remains the same:

  • The legal male guardian of the bride must be present. Usually it is the father of the bride. Where the father is unable to attend, an attested & translated (to Arabic) letter of consent must be provided. Where the father is deceased, an attested (and translated to Arabic) death certificate must be provided & instead a brother or uncle (from the father’s side) must be present. If no male relatives are available to act as a legal guardian, documents proving this would have to be presented.
  • If the bride is divorced or widowed, the documents proving this (death certificates, previous marriage & divorce certificates) would have to be attested, translated to Arabic & presented to the authority.
  • A fully attested birth certificate of both parties will need to be presented, along with their passports & ID copies.
  • Two male witnesses must be present (with their original passports & ID copies).
  • Marriage blood test certificate – this will be provided by the health authority in the emirate.
  • For expats, some consent/status documents may be required from your embassy – you will need to check with your relevant embassy early on to avoid any delays in your marriage.

Getting Married in the UAE - Non-Muslim Marriages

certificate g1530a3e30 1920

As per our understanding, non-Muslim couples cannot get married in any courts in the UAE. Marriages can be completed in:

  • A church
  • A temple
  • The respective embassy of either the groom or bride. These would be considered foreign documents and will have to be attested to be legally used in the UAE.

Those documents will most likely be issued in English, so for them to be considered legal documents in the UAE, they would have to be:

  • Stamped by a Notary
  • Attested by the UAE Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice & translated to Arabic.

Some countries require that their citizens submit an intent to marry document up to two months prior to the date of marriage. Again, you should check with your embassy early on in the process to avoid any delays.

The other documents needed are some of the same as for Muslim marriages and are:

  • A fully attested birth certificate for both parties, along with their passports & ID copies.
  • Marriage blood test certificate – this will be provided by the health authority in the emirate.
  • For expats, some consent/status documents may be required from your embassy – you will need to check with your relevant embassy early on to avoid any delays in your marriage
marriage licence application

Mixed Religion Marriages

A mixed religion marriage, in UAE terms, is a marriage that happens between a non-Muslim woman and a Muslim man. The UAE is a Muslim country, and Islam does not allow for Muslim women to marry non-Muslim men. For a non-Muslim man to marry a Muslim woman, he would have to legally convert to Islam, and a certificate proving such will have to be provided at the time of marriage.

Our Advice - Start Early!

The last thing you want delaying the happiest day of your life is bureaucracy and paperwork! Make sure you find out everything you need in your specific case & you definitely want to get started on putting it all together as early as possible so your big day goes off without a hitch!

You can find information here at the UAE Government website and get in touch with us for the attestation & translation requirements here. Alternatively, feel free to give us a call on +971 (0)4 871 6718.

Get in touch by phone, email, or Whatsapp. We're available between Monday - Friday, 8:30AM - 5:30PM.

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Declan Ramsden

By Declan Ramsden

Declan is a Content Creator at Vital Certificates. He studied English Literature for 4 years before joining the company. Outside of work, he enjoys listening to retro music and reading classic novels – particularly Charles Dickens!
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