Expat Marriage in Dubai: A Comprehensive Guide

12 Jun 2024·0 min read

Dubai is well-known for its mix of cultures and lively expat scene. If you’re an expat looking to tie the knot there, knowing the right steps is key. This knowledge ensures that your marriage will be legally valid in both the UAE and back home. The UAE follows Islamic Sharia law, which affects how expat marriages are registered. Yet, Dubai caters to its diverse population by letting non-Muslim expats marry in ways that fit their own beliefs or customs. For anyone looking to wed in Dubai, getting prepared makes the process much smoother and happier.

Key Takeaways

  • Dubai offers a unique set of procedures for expat marriage registration, catering to the city’s diverse population.
  • Understanding the legal framework, including Sharia law and accommodations for non-Muslims, is crucial for expats planning to marry in Dubai.
  • Expats can choose from various authorities, such as embassies, consulates, Dubai Courts, or religious institutions, to register their marriages.
  • Mandatory pre-marital screening and specific document requirements must be met for a successful expat marriage registration in Dubai.
  • Seeking legal counsel is advised due to the complexity of international laws and the need for worldwide recognition of the marriage.

Understanding the Legal Framework

The UAE’s legal system is based on Islamic Sharia law, affecting how marriages are registered in dubai. Despite this, dubai offers ways for non-muslim expats to marry as per their own beliefs. This shows dubai’s will to help its diverse community, making marriage registration easier for expats.

Dubai’s Legal System and Sharia Law

In dubai, the legal setup follows Islamic Sharia law, especially in matters like marriage. This is vital for expats who want to get married there. It’s important to know how dubai’s laws and Sharia law work together for a smooth registration.

Accommodating Non-Muslim Expats

Dubai makes sure non-muslim expats can marry in ways that suit their religious or national customs. This ensures their marriages are legally recognized, both in the UAE and back home. It shows dubai values inclusivity and respects its varied cultural mix.

The steps for expats to register their marriage in dubai include choosing the right authority and getting the needed documents. They also have to do a health check, have witnesses, and make sure their marriage certificate is legal and translated. With the right advice, expats can make sure their marriage meets their legal needs and is joyfully recognized.

Choosing the Appropriate Authority

Expatriates can pick where to register their marriage in Dubai. Their choice may be influenced by their religious beliefs or nationality. They can go through their

embassy or consulate


Dubai Courts

, or use special places like

churches and temples

for religious weddings. Dubai’s legal system follows Islamic Sharia law, shaping the marriage process. Still, Dubai makes sure it meets the needs of all its diverse residents. This includes allowing non-Muslim expatriates to marry in ways that fit their own cultures or religions.

Authority Details

Embassies and Consulates

Expats can also choose to marry through their home country’s embassy or consulate in the UAE. This way, they can keep to the traditions and rules of their own countries and religions.

Dubai Courts

Dubai Courts offer a civil marriage for expats, no matter their faith. This is helpful for couples of different faiths or nationalities who prefer a non-religious ceremony.

Churches and Temples

If they wish, expats of certain faiths like Christianity or Hinduism can marry in a church or temple in Dubai. But they still need to get a marriage certificate from the proper local authority.

By exploring their options for expat marriage in Dubai, couples can choose what suits their needs best. This includes their religious, cultural, and legal needs. This way, they make sure their wedding is done in a way they want and is legally recognized.

Required Documents

Planning an expat marriage in Dubai means gathering the right paperwork. You’ll need passports, birth certificates, and a pre-marital screening certificate. In some cases, bring your divorce decrees or previous spouse’s death certificates. Always check with local authorities like embassies, consulates, or Dubai Courts for the full list.

Passports and Birth Certificates

Having valid passports and birth certificates is key for getting married in Dubai. They prove who you are and your status.

Pre-Marital Screening Certificate

Couples getting married in the UAE must do a health screening. This makes sure they won’t pass on genetic or infectious diseases to any kids.

Divorce or Death Certificates

If you or your partner was married before, you may need to show divorce papers or a death certificate. This proves your new marriage is valid under the law.

The Pre-Marital Screening Process

In Dubai, all couples planning to marry must go through a pre-marital screening. This checkup looks for genetic and infectious diseases. They want to make sure these diseases won’t pass to their kids. So, it’s a key step before they can officially marry in the city.

Purpose and Importance

The main goal of the pre-marital screening is to protect future families from diseases. It’s a way to guarantee both partners are healthy. If the health screening gives bad news, it could stop the marriage from happening.

This check usually takes about 12 minutes. If it finds a problem, getting married might not be allowed.

Procedure and Cost

In Dubai, the DHA health centers conduct the pre-marital tests. It costs AED 260. Both the bride and groom have to take these tests before they can legally marry.

Witnesses and Their Requirements

For expat marriage registration in Dubai, two witnesses are needed. They must show their ID. This rule stands for all expat weddings in Dubai and those marrying as expats in Dubai. It helps ensure the marriage is legal and valid.

The witnesses in expat marriage laws in Dubai play a vital role. They confirm the couple’s decision to marry. Without them, some expat prenuptial agreements in Dubai might not be legal.

In expat divorce laws in Dubai, witnesses can be very important. They might need to tell about the marriage’s end. Also, expat spousal visas in Dubai rely on their accounts about the wedding’s legality.

For expat interfaith marriages in Dubai, witnesses are critical. They must ensure the marriage follows local laws. Expat wedding planners in Dubai know the details about witness rules for different types of ceremonies.

Witness Requirements for Expat Marriages in Dubai
  • Typically, two witnesses are required for the marriage registration
  • Witnesses must provide valid identification documents
  • For Islamic marriages, the witnesses must be Muslim males
  • Witnesses sign the marriage license or certificate to validate the union
  • Witnesses play a crucial role in ensuring the legality and recognition of the marriage, both in Dubai and potentially in the couple’s home countries

Learning about expat wedding requirements in Dubai is key. Knowing about witnesses is a big part. It makes the marriage process smoother and legally sound for expatriates in Dubai.

witnesses requirements expat marriage dubai

Legalization and Translation

Expatriates in Dubai have to legalize and translate their marriage certificate. If it’s not in Arabic, a legal translation is a must. This step ensures the UAE authorities accept the certificate.

Arabic Translation Requirements

A certified marriage certificate translation dubai is needed. It has to be notarized and stamped for approval. Without this, the government in the UAE won’t regard the certificate as valid.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Attestation

After translating, the mofa attestation dubai is the next thing. The MOFA in Dubai must attest to the certificate. This makes the document legal for use in the UAE.

Sometimes, the embassy from the couple’s home country must also attest the certificate. This makes sure it’s valid in both the UAE and the home country.

Doing the legalization and translation correctly is crucial for expats in Dubai. It ensures their marriage is valid in the UAE and maybe their home country. This careful process makes everything run smoothly and without trouble.

Seeking Legal Counsel

International laws are complex, so seeking legal advice for an expat marriage in Dubai is wise. Specialized legal help ensures the marriage is seen globally. Experts provide advice based on each person’s situation. They help with steps your home country might need for the marriage to be internationally recognized.

Navigating International Laws

Dubai’s legal system follows Islamic Sharia law, which can be challenging for expat marriages in Dubai. It’s vital to understand both the local and international laws for marriage validity. Legal experts in family or Sharia law offer crucial advice. They assist with expat marriages’ legal complexities.

Home Country Recognition

Getting the home country to recognize expat marriages in Dubai is important. Legal advice helps with the necessary steps. This includes what documentation to get and your government’s specific rules. Following these makes your marriage valid in the UAE and your home country.

“Seeking legal advice is critical when marrying as an expat in Dubai. The legal complexities can be daunting, but a qualified professional can guide you through the process and help ensure your marriage is recognized both in the UAE and your home country.”

Partnering with legal experts, expats planning to marry in Dubai ensures they understand the laws. This way, their marriage gets the respect and recognition they want.

Cultural Sensitivity and Respect

When you plan a marriage in Dubai, showing respect for local ways is key. Cultural sensitivity and respect matter. Even though Dubai is modern, you need to follow its cultural norms and laws.

Dubai is full of people from different countries and religions. It’s important to value this cultural diversity and show respect for local customs. This ensures your wedding in Dubai is celebrated well, matching your wishes and the country’s expectations.

Respecting Dubai‘s cultural sensitivity goes beyond just getting married. You need to watch how you act in public and follow the city’s rules. Being discreet in showing affection is wise to avoid trouble.

Understand and respect Dubai‘s cultural sensitivities for a great wedding. It helps ensure your celebration goes well. Plus, it deepens your understanding and respect for the local culture.

Expat Marriage in Dubai

Choosing Dubai for a marriage has key advantages for expatriates. It’s easy to get legally married there. Plus, there are amazing world-class venues and services for weddings. This city is also a meeting point for people from all over the world. It makes Dubai a great place for all kinds of couples to get married.

Advantages and Conveniences

Dubai is known for being open to all and has rules that help expats get married without a lot of trouble. Being a worldwide city means getting married is straightforward. This is great news for expat marriages in Dubai. Without legal headaches, couples can enjoy their special day more.

World-Class Venues and Services

Dubai’s well-known for being a top choice for any kind of celebration, including weddings. It offers expat weddings in Dubai some of the best places and services. You can pick from fancy hotels, beach resorts, and more. Each place is ready to host your dream wedding, with top service and care.

Islamic Marriages in Dubai

In Dubai, if both the bride and groom share the Muslim faith, their marriage is seen as an islamic marriages dubai. Even partnerships where the groom is Muslim and the bride comes from the People of the Book are included. Marriages are either approved by a Sharia court or by a Mazoon, an appointed marriage officer, from the Ministry of Justice.

Sharia Court Proceedings

For a sharia court proceedings dubai marriage, the couple meets a Sharia judge. They go there to legally marry. The judge ensures everything is done correctly. This includes checking the couple’s identities and making sure they agree to the marriage.

Authorized Marriage Officers (Mazoons)

Authorized marriage officers dubai, or Mazoons, also can marry people. They follow Sharia law. These individuals are chosen by the Ministry of Justice to conduct Islamic weddings.

eMarriage Services

The emarriage services dubai by the Ministry of Justice help couples get married in the UAE. This service is online. It makes the marriage process easier for all couples, including those from outside the UAE.

islamic marriages dubai

Non-Muslim Expat Marriages

Non-Muslim expatriates in Dubai can follow their country’s rules for marriage. The process is overseen by their embassies or consulates. This lets them marry in a way that fits their cultural or religious beliefs. It shows how Dubai welcomes people from many places.

Embassy or Consulate Ceremonies

Expatriates may marry in a ceremony at their embassy or consulate in Dubai. The place where they wish to marry might require certain documents. These could include the couple’s passports, birth certificates, and witnesses’ valid IDs. They might also need proof if they were previously married.

Church or Temple Weddings

Christian expats, for example, can wed in Dubai’s churches. They then register their marriage at their embassy or consulate. Others of different faiths can marry at their places of worship, like temples. They follow up by registering the marriage legally.

Interfaith and Mixed-Nationality Marriages

Requirements and Procedures

In Dubai, if one partner is Muslim, marriage follows Sharia law once the non-Muslim converts. For two non-Muslims, they should marry at their embassy in the UAE. It’s vital to register the marriage at both embassy locations for it to be valid.

Embassy Registrations

Couples can register their marriage at their home country’s embassy or consulate if they’re non-Muslims in Dubai. This step makes the marriage legal back home, as well as in the UAE. Different embassies may require various documents like passports and birth certificates.

Requirement Details
Interfaith Marriages Allowed in the UAE, with the non-Muslim partner required to convert to Islam for Sharia law marriage.
Mixed-Nationality Marriages Both non-Muslim partners can register their marriage at their respective embassies in the UAE.
Legal Age Couples must be at least 18 years old to get married in the UAE.
Pre-Marital Screening A mandatory pre-marital screening certificate is required for all marriages in the UAE.
Divorce and Custody UAE law provides guidelines for guardianship and child custody in the case of failed interfaith marriages under Sharia law.

Knowing what’s needed for interfaith mixed nationality marriages in Dubai helps ensure the marriage is valid in both the UAE and their home nations. The process to register at the embassy in Dubai is key. It provides a solid legal basis for your marriage, making all aspects legally secure.

Civil Marriages in Dubai

In early 2021, the UAE started civil marriage for non-Muslims. This allows people to marry without religious ceremonies. It helps interfaith couples or those wanting a non-religious legal marriage. For the 24-hour marriage service in Dubai, non-Muslims can marry and get their certificate within 24 hours. They must be at least 21, one needs to be a Dubai resident, and they must prove they’re single.

Legal Recognition for Non-Muslims

The civil marriage option in Dubai is for the city’s diverse expatriates. It gives a simple, official way for non-Muslims to marry. They can skip the usual religious steps and just focus on the legal marriage part. This offers a straightforward way for couples who prefer this route.

24-Hour Marriage Service

24-hour marriage service in Dubai is unique and fast. It’s for non-Muslims wanting to legalize their marriage quickly. By fulfilling conditions like both being non-Muslims, one being a Dubai resident, and being over 21, couples can get their certificate in just one day. This is great for people with little time or urgent situations.

Expat Marriage Dubai: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you’re an expat looking to marry in Dubai, there are important steps to take. You need a valid residency visa first. Then, you’ll work through necessary documents and the legal process. This guide will help you understand step-by-step expat marriage dubai.

Obtaining Residency Visa

To marry in Dubai, you must first secure a residency visa. This involves finding work or starting a business that offers a visa. Making sure your residency visa dubai is current is crucial for the marriage process.

Gathering Required Documents

A key part of getting married in Dubai is collecting all necessary documents. You’ll need passports, birth certificates, and possibly marriage or death certificates from past marriages. It’s vital to have all paperwork ready for the marriage registration.

Pre-Marital Screening

All soon-to-be-weds in the UAE need a pre-marital screening dubai. This is for health reasons, to check for diseases that could affect children. You must have this certificate to get married.

Choosing the Ceremony Venue

There are multiple options for ceremony venues dubai. You can marry at your embassy, a place of worship, or a civil court. Your choice depends on your faith and your country’s rules.

Legal Registration and Attestation

After your ceremony, you must complete the legal registration attestation dubai. This means getting your marriage officially recognized. It involves getting a marriage certificate, translating foreign documents, and getting the needed approvals from the government.

Following these steps and getting advice from legal experts, expats in Dubai can have a wedding that is legally binding. This is true in Dubai and your home country.


Getting married in Dubai as an expat involves understanding special laws and customs. The UAE is welcoming to different people. But, getting married, especially for non-UAE citizens, means knowing the right steps and who to talk to.

It’s important to follow the rules and get help from legal and embassy experts. This makes sure your marriage is official and how you wish it to be. Dubai’s easy-to-follow marriage rules and top-notch places make it a great choice for all kinds of couples.

For a marriage to work in Dubai, know what is needed, no matter the type of ceremony. Staying up-to-date on the laws and seeking proper legal advice is crucial. Now, talking about expat marriages raises concerns about the laws in UAE and everyone’s rights. We must make sure all parties are equally protected.


What are the key steps for marriage registration for expatriates in Dubai?

Expatriates in Dubai must follow several steps to get married. They need to pick the right authority and gather necessary documents. This includes passports, birth certificates, and a pre-marital screening certificate. They also must arrange for witnesses and ensure the marriage certificate is legalized and translated properly.

What are the required documents for marriage registration in Dubai?

To marry in Dubai, you need your passport and birth certificates. You also need a pre-marital screening certificate. Sometimes, you may need divorce decrees or death certificates from your past marriages. Check with authorities for a complete list of documents needed.

What is the purpose and process of the pre-marital screening in Dubai?

In Dubai, couples must have a pre-marital screening to find out about any genetic or infectious diseases. The aim is to avoid passing these on to children. The screening costs AED 260 and takes about 12 minutes. If the results are negative, your marriage application might be rejected.

What are the requirements for witnesses during the marriage registration in Dubai?

During marriage registration in Dubai, you need two witnesses. They should show their ID as well.

What are the legalization and translation requirements for the marriage certificate in Dubai?

If your marriage certificate isn’t in Arabic, you must get it translated. It might also need to be stamped by the Dubai Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Your home country’s embassy or consulate might also need to verify it.

What are the options for non-Muslim expatriates to get married in Dubai?

Non-Muslim expatriates can marry at their embassy, consulate, or a religious place like a church or temple. Each place can have its own rules for marriage.

How can expat couples with one Muslim and one non-Muslim partner get married in Dubai?

If one partner is Muslim and the other isn’t, they can still marry under Sharia law. This is if the non-Muslim partner converts. Two non-Muslims can marry at their embassies in the UAE.

What is the 24-hour marriage service in Dubai for non-Muslim couples?

Since 2021, non-Muslims in Dubai can marry through civil ceremonies without religious rites. The 24-hour service allows couples to get their marriage certificate within a day. They must be 21, one needs to be a resident, and they must prove they’re single.