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April 19, 2018

Getting married in Abu Dhabi

Residents of Abu Dhabi regardless of their religion, nationalities or backgrounds, may get married at Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD – Shari’a Courts) as it is the official entity responsible for issuing marriage certificates in Abu Dhabi. Muslims can perform the marriage ceremonies at the ADJD or with authorized religious clerk at home.


  • Bride’s guardian’s approval for the marriage. In case of the father’s absence, the closest next-of-kin male can be the guardian, and in certain exceptional cases, the cleric sheikh himself may assume the guardian’s role.
  • Bride and groom have to be residents in the UAE. If one or both parties don’t have an official recognition documents proving their nationality or a valid residency visa the court will decline to perform the marriage.

Required Documents

  • Birth certificate.
  • Original passports and copies of the data page and residence visas.
  • Original Emirates ID and copy
  • A marital status certificate stating whether the applicant is divorced, single or widowed. The certificate has to be authenticated and translated into Arabic. Information regarding authentication can be accessed at (Authentication).  In the event the person was never married, he or she can write an affidavit to that effect and have the Embassy notarize it.  An online notary appointment with the Embassy is required.
  • Pre-marital Mutual Check Certificate.

As requirements might vary from one situation to another, it is important for the couple to consult their countries’ missions in the UAE to get additional details about the requirements.

Once the above requirements along with the marriage application are submitted to the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department, marriage can be officially performed with the presence of two witnesses. The marriage certificate will be issued within a couple of days.

Getting Married at Church

Churches in Abu Dhabi may perform marriage, but both parties have to be Christians. If a marriage is performed in a church, the marriage certificate must still be obtained from ADJD.

Getting Married at Your Embassy

Some of the Embassies may also perform marriages for their nationals. However, neither the US Embassy in Abu Dhabi nor the US Consulate in Dubai can provide such service.

Special Conditions
  • Expatriate men marrying a UAE national woman have to provide good conduct certificate from the General Directorate of Abu Dhabi Police.
  • UAE women who obtained the UAE citizenship by dependency are not allowed to get married to expatriates.

Further information on getting married in Abu Dhabi will be found HERE


Getting married in Dubai

Neither the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi nor the U.S. Consulate General in Dubai can conduct marriage ceremonies.

The U.S. Consulate cannot provide a letter of eligibility to marry, as we do not have the authority to make such statements.  However, you may request a notarization of an affidavit statement in which you affirm that you are eligible to marry.  The U.S. Consulate Dubai can provide this form for you. To do this you must make an appointment for a notarial service.

For expatriates’ marriages, either the bride or the groom must have a valid UAE residence Visa. For more information about marriage in UAE, please check the following link:https://ae.usembassy.gov/services/  

There is no need to “register” your marriage with the Consulate.  You may, if you so choose, decide to have your marriage certificate authenticated.  The U.S. Consulate in Dubai is able to authenticate documents issued outside the U.S. as long as the document was already authenticated by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Dubai.  For details on authentications, and to make an online appointment, please visit our website at: https://ae.usembassy.gov/services/

If you would like to change your name in your passport to your married name, you follow the regular process for renewing a passport, but bring in an original marriage certificate as proof of your new name.  Information on renewing your passport and a link to make an online appointment is found on our website at:https://ae.usembassy.gov/passports/


Is your UAE marriage certificate recognized in the US?

If you are married abroad and need to know if your marriage will be recognized in the United States and what documentation may be needed, contact the office of the Attorney General of your state of residence in the United States.