Dubai’s New Civil Marriage Law Embraces Modernization


Dubai Introduces Expedited Civil Marriage License Process for Non-Muslim Couples

Dubai, the vibrant metropolis known for its towering skyscrapers, luxurious lifestyle, and progressive outlook, has taken a groundbreaking stride towards modernization with the enactment of its new civil marriage law. The move marks a significant departure from traditional practices, granting residents and expatriates the freedom to marry without religious restrictions. This landmark development not only fosters exclusivity and equality but also aligns Dubai with other global cities that recognize the importance of civil marriages in a diverse society.

This progressive development, effective since February 1, reflects the Emirate’s commitment to facilitating marriages for non-Muslim residents and expatriates. Emirati lawyer and legal consultant, Dian

a Hamade, founder of Diana Hamade Attorneys at Law, confirmed that couples with duly attested PDF docum

ents and valid identification can now obtain their

civil wedding licenses within 24 hours time frame.


Key Provisions of the New Civil Marriage Law

The new civil marriage law in Dubai introduces several provisions aimed at facilitating marriages and promoting exclusivity. Here are some key highlights:

      1. Non-Discriminatory: The law ensures that couples, regardless of their nationality, religion, or ethnicity, have the right to marry through civil ceremonies. It recognizes the importance of personal choice and removes religious barriers, allowing couples to embrace their union with autonomy.

      1. Legal Protection: Civil marriages performed under this law are legally recognized, granting couples the same rights and protections as those married under religious institutions. This includes inheritance rights, custody of children, and the ability to make medical decisions for each other.

      1. Simplified Process: The new law streamlines the marriage process by establishing dedicated marriage offices. These offices provide comprehensive assistance, guiding couples through the documentation, registration, and solemnization procedures.

      1. Voluntary Registration: The law allows couples who are already married under religious institutions to voluntarily register their marriage with the civil authorities. This offers an additional layer of legal protection and reinforces the notion that civil marriages hold equal weight to religious unions.

    Conditions and Requirements Outlined:

    This progressive legislation opens the doors for non-Muslim couples to enter into a civil marriage, provided they meet certain requirements. Hamade has outlined the following conditions that must be satisfied for a civil marriage to take place:

        1. Non-Muslim Status: Both parties involved in the marriage contract, namely the husband and wife, must be non-Muslims. This condition ensures that the law exclusively applies to non-Muslim couples seeking a civil union.

        1. Minimum Age Requirement: The individuals seeking a civil marriage must be at least 21 years old. This age requirement aims to ensure that both parties possess the maturity and legal capacity to enter into a marital contract.

        1. Residency in Dubai: At least one of the individuals must have a valid place of residence in the emirate of Dubai. This condition underscores the jurisdictional aspect of the law, limiting civil marriages to individuals with a connection to Dubai.

        1. Proof of Single Status: The couples must provide evidence that they are single and not already married. This requirement helps maintain the integrity of the civil marriage process and prevents any potential conflicts arising from pre-existing marriages.

        1. Personal Presence or Representation: The individuals seeking a civil marriage must either be personally present during the marriage ceremony or have a representative acting on their behalf. This provision ensures the authenticity and solemnity of the civil marriage ceremony.

      By establishing these conditions, the new law ensures that non-Muslim couples in Dubai can enter into civil marriages while safeguarding the integrity and legality of the process..

      Obtaining a Civil Marriage Contract in 24 Hours in Dubai:

      With the implementation of an expedited process, obtaining a civil marriage contract within 24 hours has become a reality. The steps involved in this time-sensitive procedure are as follows:

          1. Visit a Dubai Courts Service Centre: Begin by visiting one of the designated Dubai Courts service centres. These centres are specifically set up to handle civil marriage contracts for non-Muslim couples.

          1. Complete a Digital Form: Fill out a digital form provided at the service centre. This form captures essential details necessary for the marriage contract, such as the personal information of both parties and their consent to enter into the civil marriage.

          1. Consent Verification: A designated employee will carefully verify the consent of both parties involved in the marriage contract. This step ensures that the decision to marry is mutual and made willingly.

          1. Electronic Signature: Once consent is confirmed, the document will be electronically signed, marking an important milestone in the process. This electronic signature adds a layer of authenticity and ensures the integrity of the marriage contract.

          1. Legal Requirements Review: The document is then sent to a judge who reviews it thoroughly to ensure all legal requirements are met. This step is crucial to guarantee compliance with the laws and regulations governing civil marriages.

          1. Judge’s Signature: Upon verification of the legal requirements, the judge signs the document, certifying its authenticity and compliance. The judge’s signature reinforces the legal validity of the civil marriage contract.

          1. Electronic Documentation and Approval: The marriage contract is officially documented and approved electronically by the relevant authorities. This digital process eliminates the need for physical paperwork and expedites the entire procedure.

          1. Delivery of the Document: The applicants receive a copy of the marriage contract via both text message and email. This ensures that they have a secure electronic copy for their records.

        Civil Wedding License Fees in Dubai:

        To obtain a civil wedding license in Dubai, couples will be required to pay a total fee of AED482. This fee structure includes AED220 as service fees and AED262 as court fees. The implementation of these fees aligns with the federal personal status law, which aims to bolster the country’s standing as a haven for tolerance, family stability, and demographic diversity.

        The fees associated with obtaining a civil wedding license in Dubai are essential to cover administrative costs and ensure the smooth operation of the marriage registration process. These fees contribute to the resources needed to facilitate the necessary procedures, verification, and documentation required for civil marriages.

        It is worth noting that while the fees may vary over time, they are established to provide a fair and transparent system for couples seeking civil unions. The fees contribute to the overall efficiency and accessibility of the civil marriage process, ensuring that it remains accessible to all individuals, regardless of their financial background.

        Dubai’s new civil marriage law represents a landmark step towards embracing modernization and exclusivity. By providing a legal framework that recognizes civil unions, the city aims to empower couples and foster an environment of equality.

        For more details about the marriage procedures in Dubai, contact our family lawyers at +971 4578 6050

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