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All About Abu Dhabi's new secular and liberal marriage law aimed at promoting civil marriage among foreigners

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Staff Writer, TLR

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

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Abu Dhabi introduced new family law titled ldquoAbu Law

Abu Dhabi has introduced a new family law titled “Abu Dhabi Law No. 14 of 2021 On the Civil Marriage and Its Effects in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi” which allows tourists and ex-pats to get married in Abu Dhabi irrespective of their faith and religion. The new law made in accordance with international best practices governs family matters for ex-pats and foreigners and offers tourists a chance to get civil marriage certificates. This introduction places the Emirate competitively in the entire region as a liberal business and tourism hub by granting personal rights and freedoms that are not available in other jurisdictions.

Under directions by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Presidential Court, and Chairman of the Judicial Department of Abu Dhabi, the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD) and the Department of Culture and Tourism (“DCT”) held a coordination meeting remotely via video conference, discussed joint plans to promote the civil marriage services for foreigners provided by the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department(“ADJD”), by informing tourists and visitors traveling to the country about these services and the facilities offered by the Department of Culture and Tourism(DCT) to assist them in organizing wedding ceremonies. DCT will provide the necessary facilities to foreigners who want to get married.

Hesham Elrafei, the legal counsel for the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department further explained how the system works. Civil marriage and divorce law is based on secular laws rather than Sharia law. Both spouses don’t have to be residents in Abu Dhabi or the UAE to marry in Abu Dhabi. In fact, tourists can even apply online for civil marriage in Abu Dhabi from abroad by submitting the application online and scheduling the ceremonies to come to Abu Dhabi and sign their marriage certificate. He also noted that the court has already started receiving applications from people in other emirates and outside the UAE wanting to marry in Abu Dhabi. A new court has been set up to handle non-Muslim family matters that will operate in English as well as Arabic.

Abu Dhabi is offering a legal solution for couples who can't get married elsewhere. It's not only the safest city in the world but also a modern, progressive, open-minded, cosmopolitan city where you can enjoy the warm turquoise beaches and high-end restaurants and shopping malls, in addition to tying the knot without any bureaucracy and religious restrictions.

Abu Dhabi currently is the only city in the Arab world to implement civil laws for foreigners and non-Muslims in matters of personal status, further cementing its possie and repute as a destination for competencies and expertise from all over the world.

Those interested in knowing the procedure for registering their marriage under this new law may head to the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department website and go to the Civil Court section to register their marriage.

For any enquiries or information, contact ask@tlr.ae or call us on +971 52 644 3004

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