Marrying Another Expat in Dubai – How Things Work

There are a lot of social services that expatriates living and working in Dubai are not entitled to. You cannot expect to get unemployment benefits or a state pension when you retire. A lot of people think that it is not possible for them to get married in Dubai either. This is definitely not true. You can get married provided that you make the appropriate legal arrangements. In fact, some couples need to get married as cohabiting with a partner is illegal in the country.

It is not uncommon for Dubai men to marry expat women, while the reverse is very rare. Still, most expatriates in the emirate marry other foreigners. This article intends to cover this particular situation and what you have to do, if you want to become husband and wife.

All individuals intending to get married in Dubai have to undergo a special medical test in order to obtain a medical fitness certificate. This document is proof that none of the partners has a life threatening infectious disease that can affect both of them. You cannot get married without this certificate, so you need to make an appointment to have the testing as soon as you decide to have a wedding. Keep in mind that such tests are only performed in government hospitals and medical clinics which are affiliates of the Ministry of Health.

A new rule was introduced in 2007. Apart from these tests, blood screenings for AIDS, some hereditary diseases and sexually transmitted diseases are also performed. They are compulsory even though the information is kept confidential and it is not included in official medical fitness certificate issued by the authorities.

Once you have your pre-marriage certificate, you need to go to your country’s embassy to fill in all necessary papers, such as an affidavit that you are not already married. It is perfectly possible for you to get married in the embassy. Alternatively, you can go to a religious temple where such ceremonies are held. Most Christian churches in Dubai are allowed to issue marriage certificates. The procedure for Muslims is even simply. Muslim expats can get married at the respective section of the Dubai Court, provided that both of them have residence visas.

Those couples who cannot get married in the Dubai Court have to authenticate their marriage certificate. This is necessary since it will be required for various legal purposes. Mothers need to present the certificate when and if the couple’s children are born in the emirate. There are a number of steps to take in order to get the authentication.

You have to have the document translated in Arabic by a translator who is approved by the court. Then you need to present the original, the translated certificate and copies of you and your spouse’s valid UAE residence visas at the Notary Public Office of the Dubai Court. There is a fee of 100 Dhs that you need to pay. The certification has to be authenticated by the Ministry of Justice. Its authentication must be authenticated by the Ministry of Foreign affairs. It is your responsibility to present the documentation to these institutions.


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  1. i want to get married in dubai . i have a residence visa as well as my future partner. we both work for same employer . i m hindu by religion and she is christian catholic, kindly suggest us how can we get married in dubai ? and what are the essential documents and procedure ?

  2. Hi, many expats residing in Dubai or Abu Dhabi give up trying to get married in UAE because of the difficult procedures. Many of them just elope to Seychelles, which is a 4 hours flight away, and get married there. Seychelles is a high end holiday and honeymoon destination with the big benefit: you can get married there and paperwork is legal and accepted worldwide, even in UAE!

  3. Hi,
    Just wanted to know that for pre marital medicals in dubai, is the tenancy contract necessarily be under your own or your spouse’s name or it’s fine if it is uder your owner’s name ? Will the health centre not accept our tenancy contract and not do medicals because of this?

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