It is not common for expats to get married in Qatar as marriage is more procedural than anything else and there is a lot of paperwork and admin to do. Furthermore there are restrictions imposed on certain marriages either by the laws in Qatar or by the churches themselves. Couple have to get married only at approved venues, thus a beach wedding is not possible. Hotels hold gorgeous wedding receptions so while the actual ceremony may be a bit dry, the reception can be as extravagant as you want it to be. If you wish to get married in Qatar we have a list of procedures for you to follow.
Muslims have to marry in the Sharia Court and non Qatari Muslims must provide a letter from their sponsor in order to marry. A Muslim man may marry a non-Muslim woman however if a Muslim woman wishes to marry a non-Muslim man, the man must convert to Islam otherwise the marriage will not be able to proceed. Similarly each church may have it’s own restrictions on who they will marry, for example the Catholic church will only conduct a marriage ceremony if one of the parties is Catholic and the other is a Christian.
Once two people decide to get married they should first contact their embassy to ensure that a marriage in Qatar will be recognized by their respective countries. Some embassies conduct marriage ceremonies if the couples meet their requirements. The embassy will require certain documents before a marriage will be approved, this differs from country to country but some of the documents that you may require includes:
An Application Form
Divorce decree if applicable
Genetic Screening Test Results
British citizens will have to post an intention of marriage for three weeks to give any third parties the opportunity to come forward and contest the marriage.
The churches could require documents such as certificates of eligibility, confirmation and baptism depending on the church. A certificate of non-impediment to marry will be required to prove that your marriage is not objected to and that you are not already married.
This certificate must be obtained by both the bride and the groom and can be obtained from their embassy.
Before the marriage the bride and groom will have to undergo genetic screening to ensure their genetic compatibility. This is done mainly to prevent inter-marrying between cousins. During this screening the couple will also be tested for transmittable diseases and their medical histories will be reviewed. The results will be released three weeks after the test and one cannot make an application for a marriage certificate without these results.
Once the bride and groom are married they will have to get their marriage certificate attested. Firstly they will need to translate their marriage certificate into Arabic. Then they need to take it to the Ministry of Justice and register their marriage. Thereafter they have to have it attested at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is advisable to have the marriage certificate attested at the embassy of the couple’s origin as well.
Health centers that provide a free genetic screening
Airport Health Center
Al Gharafa Health Center
Al Khor Health Center
Al Rayyan Health Center
West Bay Health Center
Ministry of justice - Moj.gov.qa
Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Mofa.gov.qa
Anglican Church - http://www.epiphany-qatar.org/weddingsinqatar.html
The Catholic Church - http://www.rosarychurchqatar.com/fulldescription.php?id=11&pg=timings
See also churches in Qatar
and embassies in Qatar