Civil Marriage in Dubai for Foreigners – 2024 Guide

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has issued a new federal decree-law that came into effect on February 1, 2024, and will apply to all non-Muslim foreigners residing in the country. Federal Decree-Law No. 41 of 2022 on Personal Status for non-Muslim foreigners will bring significant changes to family legislation and regulate civil marriage in Dubai for foreigners, divorce procedures, inheritance, testaments, and proofs of paternity. The law ensures equality between men and women in their rights and obligations.

If an expat does not request the application of the new personal status law, the court will default to applying the current law to the relevant matter. The current Shariah Law-based Federal Personal Status Law No. 28 of 2005 governs the rights of all parties. The Federal Personal Status Law is part of the UAE’s ongoing efforts to modernize its legal system. This article provides an overview of the new law and necessary conditions required for civil marriage in Dubai for foreigners.

Conditions required for civil marriage in Dubai for foreigners:

Application of the Law


The new decree-law will apply to non-Muslim foreigners residing in the United Arab Emirates, except for those who wish to use their country’s law. Non-Muslim foreigners may also choose to implement other legislation on family or personal status in force in the United Arab Emirates instead of this decree-law.

Civil Marriage Requirement


Article 5 of Federal Decree-Law No. 41 of 2022 on Civil Personal Status outlines the five conditions that must be met for a civil marriage in Dubai for foreigners to be valid.

  • The first condition is that both spouses must be at least 21 years old, as verified by official documents from their respective countries of nationality.
  • Second, the marriage cannot be between siblings, children, grandchildren, uncles, or any other cases specified by implementing regulations.
  • The third condition is that each spouse must declare their consent to marriage and ensure there is no legal impediment to their acceptance of the marriage. Factors such as age or mental capacity may discredit consent to marriage.
  • The fourth condition is that both spouses must sign a disclosure form containing information about prior marriages and the absence of existing marriages.
  • Finally, any other conditions for civil marriage in Dubai for foreigners will be determined by implementing regulations, which provide additional explanations and conditions beyond those stated in the decree-law. Currently, there are no additional conditions for civil marriage beyond those listed in the decree-law.

Unilateral Divorce

The law also allows for unilateral divorce, which can be requested and granted by either spouse in court without having to justify the reason for divorce or blame the other party.

Factors for Determining Divorce Alimony


Divorce alimony will now be calculated based on several factors, such as the length of the marriage, the wife’s age, the financial Status of both parties and the extent of the husband’s responsibility for the divorce.

Child Custody

Under the new law, both the father and mother will equally share parental responsibility for their children after divorce unless one party can meet the child’s interests, or one of them waives custody rights in writing or applies to the court to remove the other party from joint custody for a valid reason.

Distribution of Property

  • If a non-Muslim passes away without a valid will, their surviving spouse will inherit 50% of their estate.
  • If the deceased has any surviving children, the remaining 50% of the estate will be divided equally among all children, without discrimination between males and females. It is a significant advancement in promoting gender-based equality in inheritance and is a positive change.
  • However, if the deceased has no children, the estate will be equally divided among the surviving parents.
  • If only one parent is alive, they will receive half of the estate, while the other half will be divided equally among the surviving siblings.
  • If both parents have passed away, the estate will be divided equally among the surviving siblings without prejudice.

Condition to obtain Civil Wedding License in One Day


In United Arab Emirates under a new federal decree-law that came into effect on February 1, a non-Muslim couple getting married in Dubai can obtain their civil wedding licenses within just 24 hours of their weddings. Please take note of the following to obtain the civil wedding license in Dubai within 24 hours:

  • Civil wedding license in Dubai it is crucial to have the original ID and all electronic documents in PDF format.
  • Additionally, the documents must be translated into Arabic by a legal translator approved by the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Justice and attested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in the United Arab Emirates.

Required Documents for Civil Marriage in Dubai for Foreigners

The Dubai Courts website outlines the documents necessary for a civil marriage contract.

  • A Power of Attorney must be submitted if the couple chooses to use a legal representative.
  • To establish that the couple is legally single, they must provide an attested marital status certificate from their embassy.
  • During the application process, the couple must present their original passport and Emirates ID, and one must possess a copy of a valid Dubai residency permit.
  • To begin the civil marriage contract application process, the couple must ensure that all the required documents are translated into Arabic and attested.



Getting married in the UAE can be complex, particularly for foreign couples. However, with the assistance of a marriage lawyer.

At DubaiCourtMarriage, the process can be made much more straightforward and stress-free. Whether it is a civil marriage or a religious one, a knowledgeable and experienced marriage lawyer can help couples navigate the legal requirements and ensure that all necessary documents are properly prepared and submitted. With the proper legal guidance, foreign couples can rest assured that their marriage will be legally recognized in the UAE and that they can start their new lives together with peace of mind.