Dubai: In Islam marriage is a legal contract between a man and a woman and aims at safeguarding the rights of the couple.Expatriate Muslims of all nationalities can marry in the UAE at the Sharia court which issued their residence visas. Those on a visit visa cannot register their marriage at the Sharia court.

According to the law, the husband must be a Muslim, but the wife can either be a Muslim, Christian or Jew, in order to be able to marry at a Sharia court.


The couple must have valid residence visas. However, if the wife is entering the UAE on a visit visa with her legal guardian, the residence visa of the husband will be enough to complete the marriage process.They applicants should present the medical report of the wife who is on a visit visa. This can be obtained from a government clinic or hospital.

On the other hand, if the husband is on a visit visa, the papers of the wife’s legal guardian (father, step father, mother, brother) are required for the medical of the husband.

If the wife is divorced or a widow, a proof of her status must be submitted to the court.However, if her divorce is pronounced by a court judgment, a statement that the judgment is not subject to an appeal, must be submitted.

Legal guardian

If the judgment is issued by the Court of Appeal, a statement that it is not subject to cassation must be taken from Court of Cassation.

If the wife is Muslim and her legal guardian is a non-Muslim, a letter from her Consulate saying that there is no objection to the marriage, must be attached.This must be ratified by the Foreign Ministry, with its legal translation into the Arabic language. The translation must be certified by the Ministry of Justice.

If the wife is a Christian or a Jew, residing in UAE, the attendance of her legal guardian, or the guardian’s deputy, is required.If there is no legal guardian, the judge can act as the legal guardian.Two Muslim witnesses should also be in attendance. (If the wife is a Christian or a Jew, the court will accept two witnesses from her religion.)

The couple also are required to check the conditions set down by their countries such as the authorisation of marriage, proof of social status and all other documents. The application fee is Dh60.The couple need to present their original passports or copies, and also the passport of the legal guardian and proof of the identity of the two witnesses.

Steps to be taken when you are ready

  • Go to the Sharia court and give verbal information to the certification department at the court and then submit the papers.
  • Pay the required fees.
  • Appear at the court with the witnesses in front of the judge for examination of the application.
  • If the papers are issued abroad, they must be approved by the Foreign Ministry in UAE.
  • If the papers are drafted in a language other than Arabic, a translation endorsed by the Ministry of Justice is required.
  • Christians can marry at any of the churches in the UAE. But they can only register their marriage in their home country.
  • People of other religions such as Buddhists, Hindus, Sikh or Bahai can get married at their embassies or consulates.