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A New UAE civil marriage law went into effect On February 1

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on July 14, 2023, 17:41:00


implementation new Personal Status Law NonMuslims February

With the implementation of the new Personal Status Law for Non-Muslims on February 1, the UAE has streamlined the procedures for recognizing marriage contracts, making it easier for non-Muslim expats to marry in court.

Other family issues covered by the law include divorce, inheritance, and child custody.

However, a similar law has already been in effect in Abu Dhabi since December 2021.

That enables Abu Dhabi residents and expats in other emirates to tourists from all over the world to marry in the UAE capital.

The civil marriage scheme of the emirate has proven to be a great success.

According to the Abu Dhabi Civil Family Court, more than 6,000 couples from 127 countries have married under the new civil marriage law.

The majority were Filipinos (2,300 couples), followed by 830 Indian couples, Americans, Russians, Lebanese, Nigerians, and Europeans.

According to Hesham Elrafei, a legal expert on UAE laws stated, secular laws have proven to fill a need in the Arab world, with over 6,000 civil marriages concluded in a year. Couples of various faiths and nationalities are now flying to Abu Dhabi to obtain a civil marriage certificate.

He further stated that family law is critical for expats as it's one of the driving forces for the economy because a country can't attract the best talents unless it offers a progressive and liberal lifestyle. Family laws play a role, as the new law now covers the UAE rather than just Abu Dhabi, we expect Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah, in particular, to be added to the wedding tourism destination list. 

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