Getting Married Legally In Abu Dhabi – A Step By Step Guide For Expats
Thinking of tying the knot in Abu Dhabi? The capital city of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has recently introduced new civil marriage laws that have significantly simplified the process for expatriates to get married in the emirate. These new laws, which came into effect in 2023, have removed many of the previous restrictions and requirements, making it easier and more convenient for expats to tie the knot in Abu Dhabi. In this article, we will provide an overview of the new civil marriage laws in Abu Dhabi and guide expats through the process of getting married in the emirate.
Under the new civil marriage laws, expats from all nationalities are eligible to get married in Abu Dhabi, regardless of their religion or beliefs. However, both parties must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind to enter a legal marriage. If either party is under the age of 18, parental consent is required. Additionally, both parties must be legally free to marry, meaning they are not currently married to someone else and have no legal impediments to marriage.
To get married in Abu Dhabi, expats will need to provide the following documents:
– Valid passports for both parties
– Original birth certificates for both parties
– A certificate of no impediment to marriage (issued by your home country’s embassy or consulate in the UAE)
– A medical certificate of fitness for marriage (issued by a UAE-licensed medical facility)
– Two passport-sized photographs of each party
– A completed marriage application form (available from the Abu Dhabi Civil Family Court)
It is important to note that all documents must be translated into Arabic and attested by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
Marriage License Application:
Once you have gathered all the necessary documents, you can apply for a marriage license at the Abu Dhabi Civil Family Court. The application process typically takes around 10 working days, and the license is valid for six months from the date of issuance. During this period, you must complete all the legal requirements for marriage, including attending pre-marital counselling sessions and signing the marriage contract.
Pre-Marital Counselling Sessions:
UAE law requires all couples getting married in Abu Dhabi to attend pre-marital counselling sessions. These sessions are designed to help couples understand the rights and responsibilities of marriage and to provide them with the tools to build a strong and lasting relationship. The counselling sessions are typically conducted by a licensed counsellor or therapist and can be arranged through the Abu Dhabi Civil Family Court.
Signing the Marriage Contract:
The marriage contract, known as the ” عقد الزواج ” in Arabic, is a legal document that outlines the rights and obligations of both spouses. The contract is signed in front of a marriage registrar and two witnesses. The registrar will read the contract aloud, and both parties will be required to sign it in the presence of the witnesses.
Receiving Your Marriage Certificate:
After signing the marriage contract, you will receive a marriage certificate issued by the Abu Dhabi Civil Family Court. The marriage certificate is an official document that recognizes your marriage under UAE law. It is important to keep the marriage certificate safe and secure, as it may be required for various legal purposes in the future.
Plan Your Wedding Blessing:
For some, after they are legally married, they wish to mark the occasion with a proper celebration and ‘wedding blessing’. If you wish to do this, you can utilise websites like www.brideclubme.com, to source your dream wedding venue and vendors for your special day and celebration with friends and family.
The new civil marriage laws in Abu Dhabi have made it easier and more convenient for expats to get married in the emirate. With simplified procedures and fewer restrictions, expats can now navigate the process of getting married in Abu Dhabi with greater ease. By following the steps outlined in this article and ensuring that all the necessary documents are in order, expats can look forward to a smooth and successful marriage in the beautiful city of Abu Dhabi.
Download the civil marriage application form available on Abu Dhabi Judicial Department website here.
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