Here's a complete guide on the rules couples must follow and the places where they can exchange vows.
Question: My fiancé and I live in Dubai. We are non-Muslims and wish to get married in the UAE. How should we go about this?
Answer: Pursuant to your queries, as you and your fiancé are non-Muslims residing in Dubai, the provisions of Federal Decree Law No. 41 of 2022 on Civil personal Status are applicable.
In the UAE, non-Muslim individuals may apply the provisions of Personal Laws for non-Muslims if they intend to marry in the UAE. This is under Article 1(1) of the UAE Personal Laws for Non-Muslims, which states,
"The provisions of the present Decree-Law shall apply to non-Muslim citizens or the UAE, and to non-Muslim foreigners who reside in the State unless one of them invokes the application of their respective law, in relation to matters of marriage, divorce, estate will and proof of affiliation, without prejudice to Articles 12, 13, 15, 16 and 17 of the reference Federal Law No. 5 of 1985."
Furthermore, non-Muslim individuals (bridegroom and the bride) who wish to get married in the UAE through the respective Personal Status Court must be at least 21 years of age, and each individual to the marriage (bridegroom and the bride) needs to expressly declare before the judge his and her consent to marry and both the individuals (bridegroom and the bride) need to sign the disclosure form. The conditions related to civil marriage of non-Muslims in the UAE are mentioned in Article 5 of the UAE Personal Laws for Non-Muslims, which states,
“The civil marriage shall be conditional upon the following:
1. Both spouses must be at least twenty-one (21) years of age. Age is proved by any official document issued by their respective countries of nationality.
2. Marriage must not be between siblings, children, grandchildren or uncles, and any cases specified by the implementing regulations
3. Each spouse must expressly declare before the certification judge his/her consent to marriage and that there is nothing which would legally prevent the acceptance of his/her consent
4. Spouses must sign the disclosure form.
5. Any other conditions set out by the implementing regulations of this Decree Law”.
Additionally, the procedures of civil marriage for non-Muslims in the UAE are mentioned in Article 6 of the UAE Personal Laws for Non-Muslims, which states,
“Procedures for civil marriage contract and its certification
1. Civil marriage procedures may take place before the certification judge in the competent court, by filing an application using a form prepared to this effect, and subject to the other conditions and procedures set forth in the present Decree-Law and its implementing regulations.
2. Marriage shall take place by filling out the form prepared to this effect by both spouses before the certification judge. Spouses may agree on the conditions of the contract, and the contract shall, as between them, prevail in terms of the rights of spouses during marriage and post-divorce rights, especially the joint custody of children.
3. The marriage contract form shall include the disclosure by the spouses of any prior marriages along with the date of divorce, if any, and a declaration by the wife that no marriage is still effective. The husband must submit this declaration in the event that the law of his home country does not permit polygamy. In any event, the husband must disclose any existing marriage relationship before the certification judge.
4. The contract must include an indication of the consent of each of them, verbally or in writing.
5. The implementing Regulations of this Decree-Law shall specify the approved bilingual contract form for civil marriage.
6. After verifying the fulfillment of all the conditions of a civil marriage contract, and after completing the procedures stipulated in this Article, the certification judge shall ratify the marriage contract and the contract shall be entered in the register maintained for this purpose.”
Based on the aforementioned provisions of law, you and your fiancé may consider marrying before a Judge in the Personal Status Court of Dubai upon fulfilling the aforementioned requirements mentioned in UAE Personal Laws for Non-Muslims. You and your fiancé may also consider marrying in non-Muslim religious centres (churches, Hindu temples or temples) in Dubai which are approved by the Community Development Authority of Dubai.
Furthermore, if you and your fiancée are Indians, or if one among you is an Indian you may consider getting married at the Consulate General of India-Dubai under the provisions of the Indian Foreign Marriage Act of 1969. However, if you are of other nationalities, you may check with your embassy or the consulate general in the UAE if it provides services for conducting marriages for non-Muslim residents of UAE.
News Source: Khaleej Times