In 2021, Abu Dhabi issued a new law to introduce the concept of civil marriage for the first time in the region.
This page aims to answer some frequently asked questions to help you understand the rules and procedures related to civil marriage in Abu Dhabi.
The Civil Marriage Procedure
Step 1- Contact us to prepare the required forms.
Step 2- Answer the questions and submit the following supporting documents:
- Copy of both parties’ passport
- Copy of both parties Emirates ID (if applicable)
- If previously married, proof that such marriage no longer exists (eg. divorce judgment or death certificate)
Step 3- Pay the court fee
Step 4- The court will contact you by telephone or email within five working days following submission of your application to arrange the marriage ceremony appointment.
Step 5- Attend the marriage ceremony at the Civil Family Court within the ADJD main court building (next to Zayed Sports City). You should enter through gate 5 and you will be required to show security a negative PCR result that was taken within the previous 48 hours.
Step 6- Receive a copy of the marriage certificate.
What is civil marriage?
A civil marriage is the lawful union of a non-Muslim man and woman solemnized as a civil contract without religious ceremony. It is based on non-religious rules and is regulated by Article 4 and 5 of the Civil Marriage Law No. 14 of 2021.
What is the difference between civil marriage and a marriage under the personal status law?
|Marriage under sharia
|Father ( Guardian ) approval
What are the conditions?
The conditions that must be met for the marriage application to be approved are as follows: –
- 1. Both parties must provide their consent
- 2. Both parties must be at least 18 years’ old
- 3. The parties must not be related by the first or second degree
- 4. The parties must not be married to any other person
Who can get married under the civil marriage rules?
Due to limitations in the jurisdiction of this Court, if you are a citizen of one the following countries, unfortunately at this time it is not possible to obtain a civil marriage:
|Bahrain (Muslims only)
|Bangladesh (Muslims only)
|Egypt (Muslims only)
|India (Muslims only)
|Indonesia (Muslims only)
|Iraq (Muslims only)
|Jordan (Muslims only)
|Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
|Lebanon (Muslims only)
|Malaysia (Muslims only)
|Morocco (Muslims only)
|Nigeria (Muslims only)
|Sri Lanka (Muslims only)
|Syria (Muslims only)
|UAE (Muslims only)
Do i need to be a resident of the UAE to get married?
No. Tourists are encouraged to obtain a civil marriage, although the application process is slightly different- they will need to send their completed application form and supporting documents to be processed.
Where does the marriage ceremony take place?
The marriage ceremony takes place in the Civil Family Court in the ADJD main court building (next to Zayed Sports City).
What should I bring with me to the ceremony?
You must have a 48 hour negative PCR test which you will be required to present to security before entering the building. You must also bring your passport and Emirates ID (if applicable).
How should I submit my marriage agreement?
First, it is important to be aware that having a marriage agreement is not mandatory. However, should you wish to submit a marriage agreement, you should submit it with the civil marriage application as a supporting document. There is an additional fee of 150 AED for the marriage agreement to be notarized.
What documents do I need to submit with the application?
- Copy of both parties’ passport
- Copy of both parties’ Emirates ID (if applicable)
- If previously married, proof that the marriage is now dissolved (eg. divorce judgment or death certificate)
How long does the process take?
You should receive an email or telephone call from the court within five working days following submission of the application. The court will then arrange an appointment for the marriage ceremony in accordance with your preferred date and time, subject to the court’s availability. The marriage certificate will be issued at the conclusion of the ceremony.
When can the marriage ceremony take place?
The marriage ceremonies may take place on the following dates and times:
- Monday: 9:00am-1:30pm
- Tuesday: 9:00am-1:30pm
- Wednesday: 9:00am-1:30pm
- Thursday: 9:00am-1:30pm
- Friday: 9:00am-11:00am
All appointments are subject to the courts availability and are allocated a 30-minute time slot. Times may vary during Ramadan and the Court is closed during public holidays.
How long does the marriage ceremony take?
The Court aims to conduct marriage ceremonies within 15 minutes.
Can I take pictures during the marriage ceremony?
Yes, you may take pictures during the marriage ceremony.
How many guests can I bring with me to the marriage ceremony?
Each couple can bring a maximum of 4 guests with them to the marriage ceremony. It is important that you send an email at least two days before the ceremony with the full names of each guest.
What should I do once I receive my marriage certificate?
When you receive your marriage certificate, it is recommended that you get it notarized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Can someone who is a Muslim obtain a civil marriage?
Yes, it is possible for some Muslims to use the civil marriage service but it depends on the nationality of the applicant. Please refer to the list above.
Is this marriage valid in my home country?
As every country has their own rules and regulations, if you have any concerns about the validity of the marriage in your home country, you should speak to your embassy based in the UAE.
Can I get a civil marriage if I am a Muslim and my partner is a Non-Muslim?
Yes, it is possible for a Muslim and Non-Muslim person to obtain a civil marriage through the Civil Family Court. However, please refer to the list above to check whether the person who is a Muslim is of a nationality that is not permitted to obtain a civil marriage.
Are the court fees included in this service?
No, but we can arrange to pay the fees for you.