In 2021, Abu Dhabi issued a new law to introduce the concept of civil marriage for the first time in the region.
This page aims to answer some frequently asked questions to help you understand the rules and procedures related to civil marriage in Abu Dhabi.
The Civil Marriage Procedure
Step 1- Select the following link and complete the application : https://www.adjd.gov.ae/sites/eServices/EN/Pages/NMRequest.aspx . If you are not familiar with the UAE Pass App, please go to the following webpage for more information: The UAE Pass app - The Official Portal of the UAE Government . It is recommended that you use Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge when making your application.
Your application will be checked by the registration team and you will receive a notification within 10 working days via SMS or e-mail to confirm whether your application was approved or rejected.
Pay the court fee (300 AED) using the payment link in the application approval correspondence.
Following payment of the court fee, the team will contact you by telephone or e-mail within 5 working days to arrange a suitable time and date for the marriage ceremony.
Attend the marriage ceremony at the Civil Family Court within the ADJD main court building (next to Zayed Sports City). You should enter through gate 5 and you will be required to present the Al Hosn Green Pass or a negative PCR result
that was taken within the previous 48 hours.
Receive a copy of the marriage certificate.
What is civil marriage?
A civil marriage is the lawful union of a non-Muslim man and woman solemnized as a civil contract without religious ceremony. It is based on non-religious rules and is regulated by Article 4 and 5 of the Civil Marriage Law No. 14 of 2021.
What is the difference between civil marriage and a marriage under the personal status law?
||Marriage under Sharia Law
|Father ( Guardian ) approval
What are the conditions?
The conditions that must be met for the marriage application to be approved are as follows: -
1. Both parties must provide their consent
2. Both parties must be at least 18 years’ old
3. The parties must not be related by the first or second degree
4. The parties must not be married to any other person
Do i need to be a resident of the UAE to get married?
You do not need to be a resident of the UAE to apply for a civil marriage. Tourists are encouraged to obtain a civil marriage, regardless of where they live. You can apply from anywhere in the world through the online portal. However, please do note that once you have submitted your application and paid the court fee, you will need to travel to Abu Dhabi for the civil marriage ceremony.
Click here to see how you can enjoy your stay in Abu Dhabi: https://visitabudhabi.ae/en .
Where does the marriage ceremony take place?
The marriage ceremony takes place in the Civil Family Court in the ADJD main court building (next to Zayed Sports City).
What should I bring with me to the ceremony?
You must present the Al Hosn Green Pass or a 48 hour negative PCR test when entering the Court building. You must also bring your passport and Emirates ID (if applicable).
How much does it cost to get a civil marriage?
The civil marriage fee is 300 AED.
How should I submit my marriage agreement?
First, it is important to be aware that having a marriage agreement is not mandatory. However, should you wish to submit a marriage agreement, you should submit it with the civil marriage application as a supporting document. There is an additional fee of 150 AED for the marriage agreement to be notarized.
What documents do I need to submit with the application?
Copy of both parties’ passport
Copy of both parties’ Emirates ID (if applicable)
If previously married, proof that the marriage is now dissolved (eg. divorce judgment or death certificate)
How long does the process take?
Upon submission of your application, it can take up to 10 working days for your application to be approved by the registration team. Once your application is approved and you have paid the fee, you should receive an email or telephone call from the court within 5 working days. The court will then arrange an appointment for the marriage ceremony in accordance with your preferred date and time, subject to the court’s availability. The marriage certificate will be issued at the conclusion of the ceremony.
When can the marriage ceremony take place?
The marriage ceremonies may take place on the following dates and times:
All appointments are subject to the courts availability and are allocated a 30-minute time slot. Times may vary during Ramadan and the Court is closed during public holidays.
How long does the marriage ceremony take?
The Court aims to conduct marriage ceremonies within 15 minutes.
Can I take pictures during the marriage ceremony?
Yes, you may take pictures during the marriage ceremony and it is possible to bring a photographer with you to the ceremony.
Can I bring family and friends to the marriage ceremony?
Each couple can bring a maximum of 4 guests with them to the marriage ceremony.
What should I do once I receive my marriage certificate?
When you receive your marriage certificate, it is recommended that you get it notarized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Can someone who is a Muslim obtain a civil marriage?
Yes, it is possible for Muslims to use the civil marriage service as long as they are not a citizen of the UAE.
Is this marriage valid in my home country?
Civil marriage is like any other official marriage; it is approved and issued by the Court and will then need to be attested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Can I get a civil marriage if I am a Muslim and my partner is a Non-Muslim?
Yes, it is possible for a Muslim and Non-Muslim person to obtain a civil marriage through the Civil Family Court. However, kindly note that a Muslim who is a UAE citizen cannot obtain a civil marriage:
This page will help you understand the rules and procedures related to civil divorce for non-Muslim’s in Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabi introduced a new law in 2021 for the first time in the region to regulate non-muslims family matters under civil and non-religious rules and regulations (not sharia law).
1. What is no fault divorce?
No- fault divorce is a divorce in which neither party is required to blame
the other for the breakdown of the marriage. The family court will therefore
grant a divorce in response to the no-fault divorce application without
requiring evidence of the reasons behind the marriage breakdown.
2. How is no fault divorce different to divorce under sharia law?
||No fault divorce
||divorce under sharia
|Reasons for divorce
|Equal unilateral divorce
||No, only husband can decide to get a divorce
|Custody of children
||Joint custody by default
||Mother to get custody till the age of 11 only
|Length of procedures
||Within one month
|Language of proceedings
||English and Arabic
|ADR ( mediation stage )
||Mandatory before going to the court
3 Who can benefit from applying no fault divorce?
This law applies to non muslims only residing in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
Unless he proves the opposite, a person is deemed a non muslim for the purpose of this law if:
He or she is a citizen of a country not a member of The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation unless he/she affirms otherwise or if the family law of his country is not based on sharia law.
For applicants holding the citizenship of a country member of the Arab League countries, an official document showing the religion of the person might be required.
4. Who can apply for no fault divorce?
Either the husband or the wife can apply for a no-fault divorce. The person
making the application must be an Abu Dhabi resident or the marriage
certificate must have been issued in Abu Dhabi.
5. What are the required documents?
The documents required to support the no-fault divorce application are
1. Copy of the marriage certificate
2. Copy of ID (passport, Emirates ID and residency visa)
3. Employment contract
4. Last 6 months’ bank statements (for all accounts)
6. How can I make a financial claim ?
If you cannot reach an amicable financial settlement upon divorce, you
can apply for a financial order using the post-divorce application for a
7. What happens to the children after a divorce?
Joint custody is automatically applied upon divorce unless one parent
waives his/her right to joint custody. You can also dispute the joint custody if you have valid reasons by submitting an application to the court using the child custody dispute form.
Joint custody is a form of child custody where custody rights are awarded
to both parents. This is in relation to both physical and legal custody.
Joint legal custody means that both parents share major decision making
such as medical care, religious upbringing and education. Joint physical
custody means that the child/ren spends equal or close to an equal
amount of time with both parents.