How can non-Muslims get married in Abu Dhabi?

In 2021 a rather revolutionary for the United Arab Emirates draft law was adopted, which changed the legal framework for marriage, guardianship of minor or incapacitated children, property inheritance, and divorce for non-Muslims in the capital of the Emirates – Abu Dhabi.

Under this law, tourists and expats who do not practice Islam can now marry in a non-Muslim civil court in Abu Dhabi. Whereas previously the wedding ceremony could only be by Muslim religious ceremony, visitors to the UAE can now get married many times faster and without the need for a medical examination and the permission of a guardian. In addition, the new law allows the couple to enter into a marriage contract. Such a marriage and contract will be considered legal, both within the kingdom and outside of it.

Civil marriage contract for a non-Muslim couple in UAE

All these legislative steps are aimed at making life easier for many tourists and expats coming to and living in the Emirates. The liberalization of the marriage laws should make Abu Dhabi more attractive to tourists. Of course, such legislative changes are not enough to make the life of non-Muslims full, and even with the new law on marriage for foreigners, the kingdom is significantly inferior in its simplicity to countries such as Georgia.

Georgia today is the benchmark for ease and speed of marriage and is a real wedding Mecca for a huge number of couples from all over the world. For example, you can get married in as little as 24 hours and you don’t even have to be a citizen or have a residency permit.

If you would like to learn more about quick marriages in Georgia, contact the manager of Shu Wedding Agency and we will be happy to answer all of your questions.

Abu Dhabi wedding for a foreigner under the new law

The new law has the following procedure for getting married:

  • You must first apply electronically on the non-Muslim Personal Status Court Abu Dhabi website for marriage.
  • Check all the lines of the form carefully, make sure you have provided all the necessary information and send it to the Interactive Case Registration (ICR) service.
  • Together with the form you should send the following documents: copy of passport, UAE resident ID, copy of death certificate or divorce certificate if this is not the first time the woman is getting married.
  • In the online case registration service select the section “Applications for non-Muslim Personal Status” and the type of request – “Civil Marriage”.
  • Within three days, the court will review your request and if all documents and application are clear, you will be contacted and scheduled for the day of the ceremony.
  • On the appointed day, the couple signs all the necessary documents and receives an electronic marriage certificate.

You can get civil marriage only in Abu Dhabi and on the condition that you are a citizen of a country which is not a member of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and does not practice Islam. If you have citizenship from one of the OIC countries but do not practice Islam, you must provide the relevant documents.

The entry into force of the new wedding law in Abu Dhabi will make life much easier for non-Muslim foreigners who live there, but the law does not apply to other emirates. This means that in Dubai, for example, the marriage law for non-Muslims remains just as complicated and uncomfortable.