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Interfaith Marriage Laws in the UAE

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a country that welcomes people from different cultures and religions to live and work together. The UAE is known for its tolerance and respect for all faiths. However, when it comes to marriage, there are some rules and regulations that apply to different groups of people, depending on their nationality and religion. In this article, we will explore the legal aspects of interfaith marriages in the UAE, and how they vary across different emirates and communities.

What is an interfaith marriage?

An interfaith marriage is a marriage between two people who belong to different religions or faiths. For example, a Christian marrying a Muslim, or a Hindu marrying a Buddhist. Interfaith marriages can also be called mixed marriages or inter-religious marriages.

Interfaith marriages can pose some challenges and opportunities for the couples and their families, as they may have to deal with different beliefs, values, traditions, and practices. However, interfaith marriages can also be enriching and rewarding, as they can foster mutual understanding, respect, and harmony among different cultures and faiths.

Read more about –How to Get Married in Dubai – Complete Guide for Expats and Nationals

Are interfaith marriages allowed in the UAE?

The answer to this question depends on several factors, such as the nationality, religion, and residence of the couple. Generally speaking, the UAE allows interfaith marriages, but there are some conditions and procedures that need to be followed.

  1. Non-Muslims

Non-Muslims can marry each other in the UAE, regardless of their faith, as long as they obtain a civil marriage certificate from the relevant authorities. Non-Muslims can also marry in their respective embassies, consulates, or religious places, such as churches, temples, or gurdwaras. However, they need to register their marriage in the UAE courts and the embassies of both partners to make it legally valid.

Non-Muslims (expats) can either contact their consulate/embassy in Dubai or other emirates to fully understand the registration procedure for interfaith marriages. They can also seek the help of marriage lawyers in Dubai who can help them with registration and resolve legal complications, if any.

  1. Muslims

Muslims can marry each other in the UAE, according to the personal status law, which is based on Islamic law. For a marriage to take place under the Personal Status Law, certain conditions would have to be met. These are:

  • The bride must approve of the marriage.
  • Both parties must be residents of the UAE. However, in Dubai, at least one party to the marriage should have a residence visa.
  • A pre-marital screening certificate should be obtained. This is issued by the public healthcare facility in the UAE. This ensures that any communicable disease is not spread.
  • Marriage ceremonies between Muslim couples are performed by the Personal Status Court of Dubai and are governed by personal status law.

When it comes to Muslims, interfaith marriage can be complicated. In UAE, the law permits a Muslim man to marry a non-Muslim woman, but only if she is a Christian or a Jew. These are considered the “people of the book” religions. However, the law does not allow a Muslim woman to marry a non-Muslim man without proof of his conversion to Islam.


Emirati citizens can marry foreigners in the UAE under certain conditions. These conditions vary depending on the religion, nationality, and gender of the parties involved. Some of the common conditions are:

  • The Emirati citizen must obtain permission from the local court to marry a foreigner.
  • The foreigner must have a valid UAE residence permit and a clean criminal record.
  • The foreigner must convert to Islam if the Emirati citizen is Muslim.
  • The Emirati woman must have the written consent of her father or guardian to marry a foreigner.
  • A foreign national who has served in another country’s army is not eligible to get married in the UAE.
  • The age difference between the parties must not exceed twice the age of the younger party.
  • A special permit for the wedding is required for those who work for the UAE’s defense or foreign affairs ministry.
  • All the papers of the foreign national must be approved by the UAE government and the embassy of their home country before they can marry in the UAE.

Read more about – Are interfaith marriages in the Emirate of Dubai legal?

What are the legal requirements for interfaith marriages in the UAE?

The legal requirements for interfaith marriages in the UAE vary depending on the nationality, religion, and residence of the couple. However, some of the general requirements are:

  • The bride and groom must be at least 18 years old, or have the consent of their guardians if they are younger.
  • The bride and groom must give their explicit consent to the marriage, and prove that there is no legal impediment that prevents them from marrying.
  • The bride and groom must obtain a pre-marital screening certificate from a public health facility in the UAE, to ensure that they do not have any communicable diseases.
  • The bride and groom must obtain a marriage certificate from the relevant authorities, such as the court, the embassy, or the religious place, and register it in the UAE courts and the embassies of both partners.

What are the latest laws that allow interfaith marriages in the UAE?

The UAE has recently introduced some new laws that aim to make interfaith marriages easier and more accessible for non-Muslims and foreigners. Some of these laws are:

  1. The Abu Dhabi Law No. 14/2021 On Civil Marriage And Its Effects In The Emirate Of Abu Dhabi & Regulation, which allows non-Muslims to have a civil marriage in Abu Dhabi, without having to follow the personal status law or the laws of their home countries. The new law is applicable to non-Muslim foreigners and nationals in Abu Dhabi. This law allows civil marriages between non-Muslims in Abu Dhabi, without the need for a medical examination certificate or a religious ceremony.
  2. The Federal Decree-Law No. 41 of 2022 on Civil Personal Status for Non-Muslims, which came into effect on February 1, 2023. This law allows non-Muslim couples to get their civil wedding licenses in just 24 hours, without having to follow the personal status law or the laws of their home countries. The law also regulates the procedures for divorce, inheritance, wills, and paternity for non-Muslims. The law applies to all non-Muslims residing in the country, unless they choose to adhere to the application of their country’s law or the UAE laws.

You may want to know- Getting Married in Dubai: What are Legal Requirements for Expatriates

Interfaith Marriage in the UAE: How HHS Lawyers Can Help You

HHS Lawyers is a leading law firm in the UAE that specializes in interfaith marriage cases. We have a team of experienced and qualified lawyers who can guide you through the process of getting married in Dubai UAE, regardless of your religion. We can help you with:

  • Registering your marriage at the Sharia court, embassy, consulate, or place of worship.
  • Obtaining a pre-marital medical certificate and other required documents.
  • Dealing with any legal issues or disputes that may arise from your interfaith marriage.
  • Protecting your rights and interests as a married couple in the UAE.

Whether you are a Muslim or a non-Muslim, HHS Lawyers in Dubai can help you achieve your dream of marrying the person you love. We have helped many clients in similar situations and we know how to handle the complexities and sensitivities of interfaith marriage in the UAE. Contact HHS Marriage Lawyers today and let us help you make your interfaith marriage possible and hassle-free.

Hazim Darwish

Hazim Darwish, is a Senior Partner of HHS Lawyers in UAE. Practicing law for almost a decade, he has in-depth knowledge on UAE legislation with particular expertise on legal drafting, contract drafting, labor disputes, family law, and regulatory compliance for business organizations. Hazim Darwish also provides counsel on legal rights and obligations in the UAE to clients, including individuals and businesses subject to investigation or prosecution under Criminal Law by major regulators.