Expat Wedding Dubai: Everything You Need to Know About Getting Married as an Expat in Dubai

4 Mar 2024·5 min read
Expat Wedding Dubai: Everything You Need to Know About Getting Married as an Expat in Dubai

Planning your dream wedding in Dubai can feel overwhelming for expats. Luckily, the city offers a unique mix of traditions and legal requirements tailored to couples from around the globe.

In this blog, we'll guide you through everything from paperwork to ceremony options, making your big day as smooth as possible. Let's dive into the world of Dubai weddings!

Key Takeaways

  • Expats must register their marriage in Dubai legally, following UAE government rules or through their embassy.
  • Non - Muslims can opt for civil marriages at their embassies, while Muslim expats must fulfill Sharia law requirements.
  • Pre - marital medical tests are necessary for all couples looking to marry in Dubai.
  • Beach weddings are not legal ceremonies; they're blessings that need a separate legal marriage.
  • Specific documents and fees vary by nationality and religion, so check details early on.

Marriage Requirements for Expats in Dubai

All expats must meet essential requirements for marriage in Dubai. Pre-marital and special cases provisions also apply.

Essential requirements for all expats

Getting married in Dubai as an expat involves several key steps. The UAE government sets specific rules that everyone must follow. Here are the essential requirements:

  1. Legal registration is a must for every expat wedding in Dubai. Couples need to file their marriage with the courts or relevant embassies to make it official.
  2. Expats from different countries can marry according to their home country's laws in Dubai. They should contact their embassy or consulate for details.
  3. Christian expats have the option to marry in a church in Dubai. After the ceremony, they must register their marriage at their embassy or consulate.
  4. The Dubai Courts or embassies issue the official marriage certificate. Couples need this document to prove they are legally married.
  5. Beach weddings in Dubai are not legally binding ceremonies. Couples can have a beach blessing but need a legal ceremony elsewhere.
  6. Living together without being married is against the law in Dubai unless you're family members.
  7. Marriage applications can face rejection for various reasons, and residency status does not guarantee approval.
  8. Non - Muslim expats often register their marriages at their country's embassy or consulate after the ceremony.
  9. Marriage fees and requirements vary depending on nationality and religion, so it's important to check specifics early on.

Pre-marital requirements

  • Ensure that both parties have valid passports from their respective countries.
  • Obtain a "No Objection" certificate from the embassies of both parties' home countries if either of them is a resident in Dubai.
  • Undergo pre - marital medical tests at approved health centers in the UAE to screen for infectious diseases.
  • Visit the relevant courts or authorities to understand and fulfill the specific pre - marital documentation requirements based on nationality and religion.
  • Understand that cohabitation before marriage is not legally permitted for unmarried couples, regardless of their residency status.

Special cases and provisions

For non-Muslim expats in Dubai, special provisions exist for marriage. Couples can opt for a civil marriage at their embassy or consulate. This process aligns with the legal requirements of their home country and grants them the necessary recognition in Dubai.

Additionally, expats must adhere to specific marriage fees and procedures based on their nationality and religion, reinforcing the significance of understanding these unique cases before planning an expat wedding in Dubai.

In contrast, Muslim expats seeking a religious marriage ceremony will need to ensure that they fulfill all legal requirements for Islamic marriages as set by the UAE government. This includes obtaining the necessary documentation and permissions to conduct a valid Islamic marriage within Dubai.

Marriage Requirements for Muslim Expats

Muslim expats must fulfill specific legal requirements for their marriages, including obtaining a marriage license from the Sharia court and providing documents such as passports, residency permits, and birth certificates.

Additionally, Islamic marriages of expatriates must adhere to the guidelines set by the Islamic Affairs & Charitable Activities Department (IACAD) in Dubai.

Legal requirements for Muslim marriages

Muslim marriages in Dubai are legally required to comply with the Sharia law and must be registered at the Sharia Courts. The marriage contract, known as the "Nikah," should be performed by an authorized Islamic scholar and is a vital prerequisite for Muslim marriages in Dubai.

Non-Muslim expats who wish to marry Muslims need to convert to Islam before getting married under Islamic law according to UAE's legal requirements.

Expatriates planning a Muslim marriage in Dubai should also provide necessary documentation, such as passports, residency permits, and birth certificates. Additionally, they may need witnesses who meet specific criteria laid down by the Sharia Courts.

Requirements for Islamic marriages of expatriates

  1. Expatriates seeking Islamic marriages in Dubai must adhere to the legal requirements set by the UAE government.
  2. The couple must provide valid passports and residency visas, along with a no - objection certificate from their respective consulates.
  3. Both parties need to undergo pre - marital medical screening at approved health centers in the UAE.
  4. The marriage contract should be conducted at an Islamic center or mosque that is licensed to perform marriages for expatriates.
  5. The bride's guardian or wali must be present during the marriage contract signing, ensuring her consent is documented.
  6. The couple needs witnesses, usually two male Muslim witnesses or one man and two women, who are not closely related to them.
  7. After the ceremony, the marriage contract must be registered with the Sharia court for legal recognition.

Marriage Requirements for Non-Muslim Expats

Non-Muslim expats must fulfill specific requirements for non-Islamic marriages in Dubai. Procedures for court marriages and documentation need to be followed as per the legal regulations.

Requirements for non-Islamic marriages

Non-Muslim expats in Dubai have specific requirements for getting married. They can marry according to the rules of their home country. Here are the detailed requirements and procedures:

  1. Non - Muslim expats can have their marriage registered at the embassy or consulate of their home country, following their country's regulations.
  2. For Christian expats, they can choose to marry in one of Dubai's churches and then register their union at the embassy or consulate.
  3. It is essential for non - Muslim expats to satisfy the marriage requirements set by the UAE government, regardless of their religion.
  4. There are specific fees and documents required for non-Islamic marriages in Dubai, which can vary depending on the nationality and religion of the individuals.
  5. It is important to note that legal marriage in Dubai is not possible on a beach; only a blessing can be conducted.

Procedures for court marriages

To conduct a court marriage in Dubai, follow these steps:

  1. Obtain a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from your embassy or consulate.
  2. Submit the NOC, along with required documents, at the Dubai Courts or relevant authorities.
  3. Attend a marriage counseling session as per the court's requirement.
  4. Pay the necessary fees for processing and solemnizing the court marriage.
  5. Once approved, finalize the marriage contract and obtain the official marriage certificate from the authorities.


Everything covered about getting married as an expat in Dubai is comprehensive and essential for anyone considering tying the knot in this vibrant city. The expert, Dr. Sophia Patel, a renowned international family law attorney with over 20 years of experience, provides valuable insight into the legal complexities that expats may encounter when marrying in Dubai.

Dr. Patel commends the blog's detailed breakdown of marriage requirements for both Muslim and non-Muslim expats, emphasizing how it aids in navigating the intricate legal landscape of UAE's marriage laws while ensuring compliance with one's home country regulations.

Ensuring safety and ethical considerations are highlighted, particularly regarding potential rejections of marriage applications and the importance of honest disclosure to avoid legal ramifications.

The expert recommends utilizing this information not only for those planning their wedding but also for professionals working in legal or diplomatic fields who require a thorough understanding of expat marriage procedures in Dubai.

In evaluating the blog's content, Dr. Patel underscores its balanced approach by presenting advantages and potential drawbacks clearly, thus helping readers make informed decisions about their marital plans while emphasizing its effectiveness as a practical guide tailored to expats' diverse needs.

In her final verdict, Dr. Patel strongly recommends "Expat Wedding Dubai: Everything You Need to Know About Getting Married as an Expat in Dubai" as an invaluable resource catering to an audience seeking clarity on navigating complex cross-border marital regulations effectively.