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How to get married in Dubai for foreigners

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A lot of foreigners or expats in Dubai are used to having to prepare a plethora of documents just to be able to live legally in the city. This is significant especially for couples who are looking to settle down in Dubai as paperwork for marriage can be finalized up to a year.

Dubai follows Sharia Law which makes the complicated process of marriage just a tad more complex as something so simple as living together is deemed illegal unless proper documentation is provided.

The diverse scope of religions present in the city also provide unique scenarios for legalization under Sharia Law such as:

A Muslim man can marry a non-Muslim woman, but a Muslim woman cannot marry a non-Muslim man unless he converts into Islam

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What are the documents required to legally get married in Dubai

Find the official list of documents from https://u.ae/en/information-and-services/social-affairs/marriage

  • In Dubai, at least one party to the marriage contract (husband, wife or wife’s guardian) should have a residence visa in the UAE.
  • Couple’s Birth Certificates in english
  • Couple’s Passports (original and photocopies)
  • Passports of Witnesses (original and photocopies)
  • UAE Medical Fitness Certificate and Blood Test
  • For divorce
    •  Final divorce papers
    •  Former Marriage certificates
  • ·         For widows
    • Death certificate of previous spouse

Do note that all English documents have to be

  • Officially translated into Arabic
  • Notarized at the Dubai Courts (both English and Arabic documents)
  • Authenticated by the Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Authenticated by the embassy of the couple’s country
    • If the couple have different nationalities, both embassies requirements need to be met

Situations that complicate getting married in Dubai

1.    Getting married while pregnant

UAE law does not allow any kind of sexual relationship outside of marriage. Having a child out of wedlock is considered a crime 

2.    Getting married for different religions

As mentioned, UAE law does provide leeway for couples who want to marry despite having different religions. However, these situations need to be consulted by their respective embassies for best case scenario, 

3.    No access to documents through embassy

The nature of embassies does have the tendency to provide documents for long periods of time which makes finalizing the wedding a difficult task 

There are a lot of hurdles that you need to clear if you really want to be married in Dubai. For most expats who already live here, being able to celebrate this special day with people you are close to and having the UAE experience is great. However, there are other great options to situate yourself in without having to wait for a long period or spend a lot of money, such as getting married in Georgia.

You will find below a table to compare getting married in Dubai or in Georgia      

 Dubai/UAEGeorgia
Documents NeededCF BlogpostPassport Copy
Family ConsentMost of the casesNone
TimeIf Muslim about a week, If non-Muslim about a few weeks to a few monthsHalf a day
ReligionMattersDoesn’t matter
Embassy/LegalizationUAE is not part of the Apostille convention (needs to legalize on each embassy)Already a part of the Apostille convention (no need to legalize on each embassy) 

As you can see getting married can be easy. But mostly for its citizens. As soon as a couple represents different countries, nationalities or religions the process can become very complicated and includes a lot of paperwork. Meanwhile almost all you need in Georgia is your passport.

Do you know someone who would appreciate this advice? Don’t hesitate to share the article with them!

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