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Press Dossier   News Category    Legal    New UAE law: Dubai residents can now get marriage licences in 24 hours

Khaleej Times, Saturday, Feb 04, 2023 | Rajab 13, 1444

‏New UAE law: Dubai residents can now get marriage licences in 24 hours

Emirates: Non-Muslim couples getting married in Dubai will be able to get their civil wedding licenses in just 24 hours, as part of a new federal decree-law that came into effect on February 1. “If the applicants have their documents in PDF, duly attested and have their original IDs, they can get a licence in 24 hours,” confirmed Emirati lawyer and legal consultant Diana Hamade, founder of Diana Hamade Attorneys at Law.

“Dubai Courts announced the launch of the ‘Civil Marriage for Non-Muslims’ service, to regulate family matters for non-Muslim foreigners, by applying civil principles in regulating family cases, according to certain requirements,” she added.

The new Federal Personal Status Law of 7 pages covers marriage, divorce, and inheritance of non-Muslim nationals and expats residing in the UAE. It will regulate marriage conditions and the procedures of contracting and documenting the marriage before the courts and specify the procedures of divorce that can be initiated jointly or unilaterally.

The new decree-law also organises the procedures for settling the financial claims after divorce, and the arrangement of joint custody for the children. Moreover, the decree-law puts in place the procedures for inheritance and testaments (wills) and proofs of paternity.

It has been welcomed by legal practitioners as a step in the right direction.


According to Diana Hamade, the new law regulates the conditions of marriage and allows non-Muslims to marry in a civil manner, provided some conditions are met. These conditions are:

- Both parties to the contract (husband and wife) have to be non-Muslims.

- Their age must not be less than 21 years.

- One of them must have a place of residence in the emirate of Dubai.

- They must prove that they are single

- They must be personally present or have the presence of someone acting on their behalf

“It is essential to note that the original ID is required together with all electronic documents to be in PDF format,” she said. “It has to be translated into Arabic by a legal translation approved by the UAE Ministry of Justice and attested duly by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in the United Arab Emirates.”

Last week, the Dubai Global Wedding Excellence (GWE) retreat and forum has revealed a list of why more people are choosing the city as the best place for weddings. Picture perfect spots, year-around sunshine, ease of travel and wide range of cuisines and hotels were some of the reasons why more couples have been increasingly picking Dubai for a destination wedding.

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