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Federal law no. (28) of 2005 on personal status relating to marriage

Personal status law: an overview

Within the UAE, this law regulates marriage, divorce, succession, child custody, maintenance, and guardianship.  It is founded on Sharia law, which combines the Imam Malik School’s Sharia principles with the Quran’s interpretation and the Prophet’s traditions.

Application of law

The provisions of Article (1) have been replaced by virtue of Article 1 of Federal Decree-Law No. (29) of 2020, to read as follows:

Article 1

  1. The provisions of this Law shall apply to all events occurring subsequent to its effectiveness date. It shall retrospectively apply to divorce attestations and divorce lawsuits with no final judgements yet. 
  2. The provisions of this Law shall apply to all UAE nationals unless non-Muslims among them have their own provisions applicable to their own religion and sect. 
  3. The provisions of this Law shall apply to non-UAE nationals unless they adhere to their native laws, subject to the provisions of Articles (12), (13), (14), (15), (16), (17), (27) and (28) of the Federal Law No. (5) of 1985 on Civil Code.

Provisions relating to marriage under federal law no. (28) of 2005 on personal status

  • Engagement

Article 17

  1. Engagement is a request and a pledge for marriage but is not considered marriage.
  2.  Engagement of an impeached woman, even if impeachment is provisional, is prohibited and the engagement of a widow during the period of widowhood may be attacked.
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