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Woman’s Guide to Getting married

A Woman’s Guide to Getting married in Dubai

The happiest day of a couple’s life is the day they tie the knot and ride into wedded bliss. Between choosing a beautiful wedding dress and finalizing the perfect venue, couples often get caught up in the whirlwind of their dream wedding leaving out the most important details of the wedding, their marriage paperwork.

Marriages in the UAE vary across the Emirates. While other Emirates solemnize non-Muslim marriages, Dubai Courts solemnize only Muslim marriages. The law identifies marriage as a legal contract between a man and a woman, aimed at protecting the rights of the couple and their children.

Dubai Courts perform marriages of a Muslim woman and man, and a Muslim man to a Christian or Jewish woman. However, the court does not grant the marriage of a Muslim woman to a non-Muslim man.

Non-Muslim residents in the UAE can only get married through their embassies.

Interfaith Marriage Laws in the UAE

Here Comes the Bride

While the man requires no documentation, the woman must submit a Power of Attorney from her biological father granting no objection to her marriage. In case her father is deceased, the father’s death certificate must be produced, after acquiring attestations from the below governing bodies:

  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the home country
  • UAE Embassy in the home country
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Dubai
  • Ministry of Justice (Arabic translated certificate)

Depending on the marital status, religion and nationality of the woman, as per Dubai Courts other legal conditions will apply;

  • For single women, a Singleness Letter should be written in front of the assistant of the judge also known as the ‘Mathon’.
  • In case the woman was a divorcee, she requires a Power of Attorney from her father stating no objection to the court marriage and a ‘Continuing of Divorce’ document from the Dubai Courts. However, if the woman converts to Islam, a converting document is required along with a certificate as proof of her undertaking and passing Islamic education.
  • If the bride was previously divorced and converted to Islam, no POA from the father or brother is required. The authority of the judge would be all-encompassing, simply because a non-Muslim cannot be a guardian for a Muslim girl.
  • If the woman is a GCC national, she must obtain the approval from the embassy of her country to marry any other nationality.
  • In case an Emirati woman is seeking marriage with an expat Muslim groom, the father or brother should be present for the marriage. Without either, the marriage cannot be solemnized by Dubai Courts.
  • A Muslim woman cannot solely represent her self in Dubai Court. The woman’s guardian and two male witnesses should be present at the marriage.

In an Islamic marriage, the couple can request the Mathon to list marital conditions for the couple individually or together in the marriage certificate.

Let’s Get You Married

With a 3.4% increase in marriages across the UAE in 2019, an increasing number of marriages are registered every year. Each Emirate has a different marriage requirement, making it important to consult a marriage lawyer to decide which Emirate is best suited to tie the knot.

To save yourself the stress that comes with marriage paperwork, consult with HHS Lawyers to manage all your documentation hassle-free, while you glide joyfully into your happily ever after.

 

M. Al Khairy, LL.B. 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. Al Khairy 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. Read more