“From ‘I do’ to ‘Mabrouk,’ tying the knot in the UAE requires more than just love, it needs a clear understanding of the country’s marriage laws.

Whether you’re an expat dreaming of a fairy-tale wedding in the desert, a local planning a traditional ceremony, or a couple seeking to marry under Sharia law, this guide will walk you through the necessary steps, requirements, and costs.

Let the marriage talk begin!

Who Can Marry Whom In The UAE, And What Are The Processes

There are three types of weddings in the UAE. They are weddings between non-Muslims, Muslim expats and UAE Nationals

Between non-Muslims

A marriage between non-Muslims is called a civil marriage in the UAE according to articles 4 and 5 of the UAE Marriage Law.

This marriage does not require both partners to be from the same faith.

Any Non-Muslim UAE resident, tourist or visitor can get married under this law.

Both partners should have given their free consent and should be above the age of 18.

There is an additional feature of signing a form in which they state they are not married at that moment.

For civil marriages, none of the partners needs consent from their parents or guardians.

This marriage should also be registered in the respective partners’ embassies as well.

However, some documents must be produced in front of the Interactive Case Registration service of the Judicial Departments of the UAE for the process to start.

Some of the necessary documents include the following:

  • Completed and signed marriage certificate form 
  • Copy of passport of both the parties 
  • Emirates ID of both the parties 
  • Proof of declaration
  • Agreement to marry

Between UAE National Muslims

The second type of marriage in the UAE is where both the bride and groom are Muslims, or at least the groom is Muslim.

This marriage is conducted under Islamic Sharia Law. According to the Sharia law, the man can have up to four wives.

However, he must be able to produce and cater to all of their needs and fulfill his obligation to all four.

This type of marriage must be registered with a Sharia Court in the UAE.

None of the partners should be twice the age of their partner.

The minimum age of marriage is 18 years old; however, if any of the partners is less than that age, then again, the court has to intervene and assess the situation.

A premarital screening must be conducted, and the certificate should be provided, among other documents, for the marriage.

According to Sharia Law, two male Muslim witnesses must be present from the groom’s side, and the bride should have her father’s consent. Moreover, if the bride is widowed or divorced, then relevant proof must be provided to the court. 

The marital screening must be conducted at health centres of the Ministry of Health and Prevention, Department of Health or Dubai Health Authority.

The marriage may not be possible if any of the partners have an inherited blood disease or an infectious disease. Moreover, marriages must be conducted by the Sharia courts through authorized marriage officers called Mazoons

Between Muslim expats

The third type of marriage in the UAE is between Muslim expats.

Muslim expats must adhere to more or less the same rules and laws as UAE nationals since they also have to follow the Sharia Law.

Some of the key points to note about marriages between Muslim expats are: 

  • Both parties should be Muslims
  • If one of the partners is a Muslim convert, then proof of conversion might be shown
  • Both of the parties should have a residence visa for the marriage 
  • Two Muslim male witnesses needed for the groom 
  • Copies of Passports, ID cards, and both certificates are needed
  • Premarital screening to look out for any heredity blood disease or transferrable disease 
  • If any one of the spouses is a widow or divorcee, supporting proof must be attached. 

These are the three types of marriages common in the UAE and the documents needed to do them.

The UAE takes its marriage laws very seriously, so it is vital to know the laws of the land before tying the knot. 

Where Can You Get Married In The UAE

You have to get married in Civil Court in case of non-Muslims. Moreover, you can also get married in a Church or the respective embassy.

Muslims must get married in the Sharia Court under the supervision of the Mazoons. Moreover, they can also get married inside Mosques. 

Cost Of Marriage Registration In UAE 

The breakdown of the cost of marriage in the UAE is given below, but these are just the essential costs of registration without any functions. 

  • The premarital screening test, which is a requirement by the civil and the sharia court from designated medical centres, will cost you between AED 250 to AED 900
  • The fees of the Sharia and Civil court for marriages are set at AED 1,800
  • Some of your documents as an expat will need Attestation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and this Attestation will cost you AED 160 per document
  • Legalizing your marriage certificate will entail some procedures in your home country if you’re an expat, and the cost varies from country to country. However, the starting prices are from AED 165

How Long Does It Take To Get Married In The UAE 

It takes up to four weeks to get your marriage certificate, depending on the court and the emirate.

Getting Married in UAE 1

The Estimated Cost Of A Wedding In The UAE 

Weddings are a very costly affair, where the sky is the limit. Hence, it is no doubt that weddings in the UAE are also a very extravagant fair.

The prices of commodities in the UAE are sky-high as well due to the fact that most things are imported which raises the overall expenses. 

Overall the ordinary people in UAE splash on marriages are about AED 95,000. A general breakdown of some of the costs is as follows:

  • Food is the most costly item on the list. On an average wedding, the cost of the food consumed could easily be in the range of AED 35,000 to AED 40,000
  • The cost of booking the venue for the event can cost you a hefty AED 30,000
  • Drinks are charged separately in the UAE and will cost you around AED 16,000
  • Good Photographers these days are hard to find, and if you do find one in the UAE, they will easily set you back AED 5,000
  • The cost of the decorations and cake, which some say are the most important part of a wedding, will collectively set you back an easy AED 5,500

Conclusion

Embarking on the journey of marriage in the UAE is indeed an exciting adventure, entwined with local customs, legal requirements, and financial considerations.

Whether you choose a simple court marriage or a grand celebration, preparation is key.

We hope this guide will serve as your roadmap, making your transition from engaged to married as smooth as possible. Here’s to a lifetime of happiness in the UAE!

Check out our guide on UAE wedding traditions you should know!