Resident Guide | Family & Society

When expats tie the knot

Marriages between people of different nationalities and religions are common in the UAE, whose residents come from about 200 countries.

  • By Bassma Al Jandaly, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 01:20 July 2, 2007

When expats tie the knot
  • Image Credit: Gulf News
  • Expatriates planning to get married in the UAE have a number of options depending on their religion and nationality.

Dubai: Marriages between people of different nationalities and religions are common in the UAE, whose residents come from about 200 countries.

The authorities here have simplified the procedures to facilitate people to get married.

Expatriates planning to get married in the UAE have a number of options depending on their religion and nationality.

To marry before a Sharia court in the UAE, the man must be a Muslim and the woman can be Christian, Muslim, Jewish or from any other religion.

A Muslim woman cannot marry a non-Muslim in the country.

If the expatriates who are planning to get married are not Muslim and are from different nationalities, they have to contact the consulate or the embassy of the country of origin of either the man or the woman, depending on where they are planning to register their marriage.

Even if a couple marries at the court, the church or the temple here, they need to register their marriage in their country.

They can do so by filling forms at the consulate or embassy of either spouse, depending on their choice. They have to be present in person at the consulate or embassy.

The man and woman have to submit at the consulate or embassy copies of their passports with valid residence visas along with the copies of their application.

Those who are on visit visas cannot get married here.

Missions of different countries have different requirements for getting the marriage registered.

Each spouse must produce original or legalised birth certificates, certificate of marital status, if divorced, single or widowed. If the spouse was divorced in the UAE, he or she must submit an authorised copy from the court in the UAE which mentions the exact date of divorce.

In case of being widowed an authorised copy of the death certificate of the former spouse is needed from the court here.

Or if that happened back in their home country such document can be obtained from their home countries and should be attested by the foreign ministry, and the UAE embassy in the home country.

Documents needed

- If the man and woman are of different nationalities and their religions allow them to marry in a court, they have to apply to the marriage officer at the Sharia court with all required documents such as passport copies, photos, fees, the wife's guardian's approval and other documents.

- Requirements for marriage in the UAE between expatriates who are of different nationalities could vary from one another depending on the requirements of their respective countries.

- It is important for a couple to consult their countries' missions in the UAE to get additional details about the requirements.

- If they are Christian couples of different nationalities they can get married in church.

- Hindu couples can marry at the Hindu temple in Dubai. These marriages are not registered by the court here.

- If the couples do not follow any religion they have to marry at the embassy or consulate of one of the spouses.

- One must register the marriage certificate in their consulates and the couples must bring original documents with them.

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