Dubai: Marriages can be complicated business, even more so when the bride and groom come from different parts of the world.
A Gulf News readers wrote in, enquiring about the process that needs to be followed if Muslim expatriates in the UAE wish to get married.
She asked: “Which documents need to be submitted to Dubai Courts for a marriage between two Muslim expatriates? This is for a case related to my family. The bride is Indian and the groom is Pakistani, both are Muslim and holders of a UAE residence visa. So, in this case what are the documents that can be required by Dubai Courts? Are there any specific documents required to from their respective embassies? What is the processing time and how easy is it to complete the procedure? I am asking this question through Gulf News as I am unable to find the information online and certain agencies are charging a fee to just guide an expat. Also, I heard that the documents differ based on nationality. So, please let me know.”
These are the general requirements for a marriage to take place at a UAE court:
• Approval of the bride
• In Dubai, at least one party to the marriage contract (husband, wife or wife’s guardian) should have a residence visa in the UAE. In other emirates, both bride and groom must be UAE residents.
• A positive pre-marital screening certificate for the couple issued from the concerned public healthcare facilities in the UAE.
By making pre-marital screening mandatory, the UAE aims to arrest the spread of communicable diseases such as AIDS. Marital screening test must be done through one of the medical centres of the:
• Ministry of Health and Prevention
• Department of Health - Abu Dhabi
• Dubai Health Authority.
Based on the medical screening certificate, application for marriage may be denied if one of the parties suffers from a:
• genetically inherited blood disease
• transferable disease.
How to submit a request for a court marriage
Even before the coronavirus-related restrictions were implemented, UAE courts allowed applicants to request for marriage certificates online.
The UAE's Justice Ministry has launched an online system, which is the first of its kind in the Middle East region. All you need to do is to open the website, fill up the form and upload the requisite documents. Once the application is finalised, the registrar shall be appointed to complete the process. The aim of this service is to condense the period required to acquire marriage certificates.
Ministry of Justice
To register for a marriage contract: https://www.moj.gov.ae/en/services/services-categories/general/marriage-contracts.aspx
Contact: 800 333 333
To register for a marriage contract: https://www.dc.gov.ae/PublicServices/ServiceDetails.aspx?serviceid=1508&lang=en
Contact: 04 3347777
Abu Dhabi Judicial System
Contact: 800 2353
Gulf News raised the reader’s specific query with Mohamed Elmasry, junior associate at Al Suwaidi and Company, Advocates & Legal Consultants, who said that while documents may slightly differ based on your country’s specific regulations, there are some basic documents which need to be submitted:
1. Original Identity Cards for the concerned parties and the witnesses. These need to include the visa page of your passport for expatriates.
2. Bride and groom should produce a medical test report from a government hospital inside the UAE and it should be according to the approved model of the Health Authority.
3. In case of death of the bride’s father, they should produce a Death Certificate.
4. In case of divorce or widowhood of bride, they should produce an official document proving that she is divorced or widow and it should be stamped by the relevant authorities.
5. An official Power of Attorney of the absent party during the Marriage Contract.
6. Any document issued from abroad or by the consulate or embassy should be attested and translated to Arabic.
What is the process?
According to Elmasry, the process is easy and effortless.
“The UAE's Justice Ministry has launched an online system, which is the first of its kind in the Middle East region. All you need to do is to open the website, fill up the form and upload the requisite documents. Once the application is finalised, the registrar shall be appointed to complete the process. The aim of this service is to condense the period required to acquire marriage certificates,” he said.
At the court appointed date and time, all the involved parties are required to be present in order to complete the necessary procedures.
Cost of getting the marriage certificate
• Registration Fee Dh200
• Knowledge Dirham Dh10
• Innovation Dirham Dh10
While there are no specific requirements stated by either Indian or Pakistan embassies, the parties are also advised to reach out to their respective embassies or consulates, to find out what the procedure would be for attestation of the marriage certificate.
• Indian Embassy (Abu Dhabi) 02 449 2700
• Indian Consulate (Dubai) 04 397 1333
• Pakistani Embassy (Abu Dhabi) 02 444 7800
• Pakistani Consulate (Dubai) 04 397 3600
Depending on your nationality, you would need to contact the consular authority in the UAE.