Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi Civil Family Court, the first and only English-speaking family court in the Arab region, has seen more than 20,000 couples applying for civil marriage – or 40 civil marriage applications per day – representing a 100-per cent increase in civil marriage applications over the last two years.

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Tourists comprise 20% 

Counsellor Yousef Saeed Al Abri, Undersecretary of the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department, said the court has also noted that 20 per cent of all applications for civil marriage in Abu Dhabi are from tourists, representing more than 120 different nationalities.

The landmark Law No. 14 of 2021, which legalises civil marriage in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, took effect in January 2022.

The 100-per cent increase in applications reflects Abu Dhabi’s pioneering position as the UAE capital is the only city in the region that allows civil marriage without any restrictions for both residents and tourists, regardless of their nationality or faith and regardless of where they live in the world.

Hassle-free marriage

Abu Dhabi is becoming a popular location for couples from different backgrounds who want to have a simple hassle-free marriage process, including the fast-track marriage service which saw 3,000 express civil marriage applications submitted – allowing couples to get married on the same day.


The rise in applications from interfaith nationalities shows that Abu Dhabi is committed to being diverse, accepting, and tolerant.

This makes Abu Dhabi an attractive Abu Dhabi is becoming a popular destination for global marriages.

Counselor Yousef Al-Abri applauded the Civil Family Court’s digital services, highlighting its role in showcasing Abu Dhabi’s commitment to providing high-quality and innovative court services, in line with the vision of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President of the UAE, Deputy Prime Minister, Chairman of the Presidential Court, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department, to provide one of the most advanced and modern family courts in the world.

The undersecretary underscored Abu Dhabi’s commitment to providing expatriates with a world-class, contemporary, and innovative family court.

Counselor Yousef Al-Abri

This commitment is reflected in the high demand for the court’s digital services, such as civil marriage, no-fault divorce, civil inheritances, and civil wills, from expats around the world.

Digital services

Counselor Al-Abri pointed out that the Abu Dhabi Civil Family Court follows international best practices when applying civil rules to foreigners’ family matters. The court stands out for its innovative digital procedures, including bilingual services (Arabic and English) available throughout the entire process – from registration to rulings.

This ensures foreign litigants can easily understand all procedures and overcome potential language barriers.

How to apply

To apply for civil marriage, simply visit ADJD website, fill up and submit the application form.

As the whole registration process is done online, anyone from anywhere worldwide can apply, with express same-day service available.