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Non-Muslim foreigners can now opt for a civil contract marriage in Abu Dhabi.

What is a Civil Marriage?
As per Abu Dhabi judicial department, “A civil marriage is the lawful union of a non-Muslim man and woman and it is solemnized as a civil contract, without a religious ceremony.” Abu Dhabi Government permits civil marriage for non-Muslims as per its Law No. 14 of 2021 Concerning Personal Status for non-Muslim Foreigners.

What documents are required to solemnize a Civil Marriage?                                                         

In Abu Dhabi, an adult man and woman can solemnize their marriage by producing the following documents:

1. Emirates Id
2. Passport copy
3. A filled and signed application form
4. Civil contract governing the marriage signed by both the Applicants
5. If divorced, the final decree of divorce
6. In the case of a deceased spouse, the concerned death certificate is required to be submitted
7. Applicants must not be citizens of any country belonging to The Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
8. Applicants must be non-Muslims by birth (i.e. Proof of Religion)
9. If marriage was declared invalid, a proof of the same is required

What is the process to solemnize the civil contract marriage?

Applicants must carry all the above-mentioned documents before the court in person or they can attend the court via video conferencing as well. They must also provide a document expressing their religion and a proof of confirmation of the non-presence of a continuous marriage must be attached. The court will verify the documents and contact the couple within three working days to issue the marriage certificate.

Who approves the Civil Contract marriage?

A notable judge of the judiciary can approve the marriage after all the criteria are met by the couple seeking to solemnize their marriage through a civil contract.

What relaxations have been granted by the government?

The Abu Dhabi government allows the couple to avail this civil marriage process via video conferencing as well, wherein the parties need to be present before the judge via video conferencing with all the required documents. After the documents are verified, the government issues a digital marriage certificate to the couple.
The second relaxation granted is that, in solemnizing a civil marriage, no medical certificate is required from either party to the marriage.
The third relaxation is that there is no requirement of approval from the guardians of the Applicants.

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