Tie the Knot in the UAE: How Expats Can Get Married in Abu Dhabi
Let us guide you through the journey of saying "I do" in the UAE's beautiful capital, Abu Dhabi
4 September 2023
What is a civil marriage and is it recognised?
A civil marriage is the lawful union of a man and a woman under a civil contract, regardless of his or her nationality and religion.
Can foreign expats get a civil marriage in the UAE?
Non-Muslims in the UAE can apply for a civil marriage in Abu Dhabi, under Law No. 14 of 2021 Concerning Personal Status for non-Muslim Foreigners.
Couples seeking to get married in the capital must meet the eligibility requirements.
Who's eligible to apply for a civil marriage in Abu Dhabi?
For couples, here is a list of requirements to be eligible for civil marriage in Abu Dhabi, including what documents are needed, as per the new UAE Family Law amendments in 2022/2023.
How to be eligible for a civil marriage in Abu Dhabi?
- The couple must be a male and female.
- Both parties must be at least 18 years old.
- Both parties must sign a declaration form stating that neither are legally married to anyone else (by law they must be single, divorced, or widowed).
- Both parties must have clear consent to getting married.
Neither parties are required to have a parent's or guardian's approval to apply for a civil marriage, nor are applicants required to get a premarital screening certficate.
List of documents required to apply:
- A completed Civil Marriage Application form, available online. You don't have to print this out as it is an editable PDF that can be filled-in online.
- Declaration form acknowledging that neither parties are currently part of an existing marriage.
- Copy of a valid passport (if you're a temporary visitor)
- Copy of the Emirates ID (if you're a UAE resident)
- If one or both parties are divorced - a valid divorce certificate or court judgment
- If one or both parties are widowed - a death certificate of the deceased spouse
Where can expats get married in Abu Dhabi?
There are two ways that couples can apply for a civil marriage in Abu Dhabi.
Couples intending to marry can apply online through the Judicial Department of Abu Dhabi's official website.. Below is a step-by-step process:
- Visit the Civil Family Court website.
- Login using your UAE Pass (available for both UAE residents and visitors).
- Select 'Civil Marriage', then click on 'Civil Marriage Request'.
- Fill-in the application form with both parties' details (full names, nationalities, passport numbers, etc.)
- Once the application form is complete, upload the Civil Marriage Application form and the other required documents.
- Confirm that the information you added are all correct.
- Submit your request.
Apply in person
If you'd rather apply in person, you can do so by visiting the Civil Family Court in Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi.
The location is circled in red in the map below.
How much does it cost to apply?
Applicants for a civil marriage in Abu Dhabi can expect to pay a fee of AED 300.
How long does the application take to process?
The process is fairly straightforward and usually takes 1 working day to get approved.